Red Mosque case: Police fail to register FIR over Lal Masjid episode

Petitioner says Musharraf was prepared to unleash aggression against Lal Masjid.

Umer Nangiana July 16, 2013
Haroon Rashid, son of the late Ghazi Abdul Rashid submitting his application to register a murder case against former president Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: INP


The police on Monday failed to register a case against former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for killing of Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi, his mother and hundreds of students in Lal Masjid in 2007 even after recording the petitioner Haroonur Rashid Ghazi’s statement.

Ghazi gave his statement to the police on the directives of Islamabad High Court (IHC), which last week had ordered the police to book Musharraf if he was found involved in a cognisable offence of murder.

The Aabpara police had told Ghazi that they would intimate him about the FIR after consulting with their legal branch by 8pm Monday; however until the filing of this report no FIR had been registered.

The spokesperson for Ghazi and Shohuda Foundation Lal Masjid, Ehtisham Ahmed said they would file a contempt of court petition against Aabpara Station House Officer (SHO) Qasim Niazi and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Bani Amin on Tuesday if the case was not registered against the former president.

“If police do not register the case, they will be committing contempt of the honourable court as it was the violation of the court orders,” Ehtisham said.

“The police did not contact them. However Ghazi himself submitted his written statement to the Aabpara police on Monday in which he has made it clear how Musharraf was directly involved in killing his father,” the spokesperson added.

Haroonur Rashid Ghazi, the son of former deputy cleric of Lal Masjid Abdul Rashid Ghazi, had filed a petition in the IHC that his father and grandmother along with their associates were killed in military operation in Lal Masjid and that the former President Musharraf was directly responsible for their deaths. He pleaded that the court order the police to register a murder case against Musharraf.

Earlier the petition by Ghazi was rejected in the session court on the grounds that it was not on merit and was filed only to get “cheap popularity”.

In his written statement, submitted to the Aabpara police Ghazi pointed to former President’s ‘threatening’ statements in which he had warned the Lal Masjid occupants and his father to give up on their stance and surrender.

“Otherwise he directly threatened the Lal Masjid students and its clerics of grave consequences,” said Ehtisham. He said the former President made such threatening statements on two occasions before the final military operation was launched.

In his statement, Ghazi maintained that Musharraf’s ‘threats’ indicated that he was already prepared to use force against his father and students in Lal Masjid. The military operation was pre-planned and his father was particularly targeted with the intention to kill him.

He said that Musharraf was not only ‘the killer’ of his father and grandmother but hundreds of other students in the Lal Masjid operation in 2007. “Therefore, a murder case for all the killings be registered against the former president,” Ghazi pleaded in his statement.

The Aabpara police received the statement but did not immediately file the case. A police official said that as per the court orders, they were required to record the petitioner’s statement and investigate in the light of the claims made therein.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.