Former Lal Masjid chief cleric refuses to be part of TTP peace talks

Published: February 1, 2014
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Former chief cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz. PHOTO: AFP

Former chief cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz. PHOTO: AFP

Former chief cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz refuses to take part in the peace negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Express News reported on Saturday.

Major (retd) Muhammad Amir, a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official had requested Maulana Aziz to be a part of the peace talks.

The former chief cleric said that he prays for the success of the negotiations but cannot take part in them.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had set out an open mandate for a four-member committee of negotiators to formally initiate peace talks with TTP, inviting the grouping on January 31 to follow suit and constitute its own negotiating team.

On January 29, TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid had welcomed peace talks with the government soon after Nawaz announced the committee in the National Assembly. Shahid had said the final decision regarding talks would be made by the shura (consultation council).

The committee comprises Adviser on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Major (retd) Amir, senior journalist Rahimullah Yousufzai as well as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and former Pakistan ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan would assist the committee and the premier would oversee it.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Indian
    Feb 1, 2014 - 3:18PM

    All the best but we are sure it will be futile. We are anxiously awaiting what steps Pakistan will take after the talks fail.

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  • james
    Feb 1, 2014 - 3:57PM

    What a Drama,,,pakistan is heading down wards….Recommend

  • Mohammed
    Feb 1, 2014 - 4:41PM

    Shame on this Govt!!! Look to whom asking for help to negotiate, this is the guy (fitna) responsible for Lal Musjid Saga you find only this guy in the population of 200 million wake up our leadership before it’s too late our judiciary should set him as an example for rest of country but alas it’s not gona to happen they try only innocent and poor people!!!!! . Long live Pakistan. Recommend

  • Mohammed
    Feb 1, 2014 - 4:42PM

    Shame on this Govt!!! Look to whom asking for help to negotiate, this is the guy (fitna) responsible for Lal Musjid Saga you find only this guy in the population of 200 million wake up our leadership before it’s too late our judiciary should set him as an example for rest of country but alas it’s not gona to happen they try only innocent and poor people!!!!! . Long live Pakistan..i hop tribune will show this comment.Recommend

  • asif
    Feb 1, 2014 - 4:57PM

    Mohammad, what judiciary? you mean the one headed by Iftikhar Chaudhary?Recommend

  • Shaikh Mohommad
    Feb 1, 2014 - 5:05PM

    Maulana Abdul Aziz seems to be a sensible person. Peace talks should be held with Washington first. Do they want peace talks? Will they stop drone attacks? The government has all the powers to stand up to anyone including Washington. What has happening is that General Musharraf participated fully with American “war on terror” and this is still continuing. What a shame. People should come on the streets and express their opposition to American interference and demand that Pakistan withdraws from American war on terror. It is sad that a neighboring Muslim country [Afghanistan] was allowed to be occupied with the help of Pakistan. American-Pakistan relationship is like a Master and Servant relationship and this should end.Recommend

  • Dajjal
    Feb 1, 2014 - 6:07PM

    The last time we heard from the Good Maulana, he was fleeing Lal Masjid wearing a Burka… Recommend

  • hassan
    Feb 1, 2014 - 6:28PM

    Dear ET, He is not former cleric. Recommend

  • hassan
    Feb 1, 2014 - 6:30PM

    Dear ET, he is not former cleric.Recommend

  • Jibran
    Feb 1, 2014 - 6:51PM

    With Uncle Sargum as the head of the negotiations committee, the entire process is turning into a bad comedy.Recommend

  • ali ahmed
    Feb 1, 2014 - 7:02PM

    Return of the ‘Midnight Jackal’? Major Amir, who allegedly conspired and collaborated with others to topple the first Benazir Bhutto government…..Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Feb 1, 2014 - 8:13PM

    Recently in a TV debate, Rauf Klasra asked Orya Maqbool Jan if he could join the peace talk team and negotiate with the talibans. It put Orya Maqbool Jan in a spot. He could not say yes but evaded a reply. I recall another TV debate where Orya Maqbool Jan and Ansar Abbasi teamed up and were forcing Pervez Hoodbhoy to say on the TV that ahmedis are non-muslims. Taliban supporters like Oria Maqbhool Jan and Ansar Abbasi and even Hamid Gul knows very well that if they become a part of the peace talk team, they will become targets of talibans. They know well that they cannot make talibans talk sense but still have to support the talibans to save their heads, which will only expose them to the public. Can Imran Khan join the peace talk team. I am sure, if asked to do so, he will find an excuse and refuse to join the team. Opinion polls may show that majority of muslims in Pakistan want sharia laws. But I think that it is not true. Pakistani muslims say so only because that think that saying anything against sharia laws saying against islam. The constitution says that all laws should be according to sharia. But Parliamentarians and did not change the laws even when their party had 2/3rd majority and even the army did not do so whey were in complete control. Raymond Davis was released according to the sharia laws but Pakistanis feel bitter and even ashamed about it. What is said in the public is not what is actually believed or even desired. The same thing happened when the judiciary evoked articles 62 and 63 of the constitution to scrutinize the candidates in the last election. They only made a mockery of Islam and achieved nothing. The truth is that no muslim or non-muslim want sharia laws and muslims may want sharia laws to be applied for non-muslims only and not for themselves. Everyone knows that they cannot follow the sharia laws themselves.Recommend

  • faheema
    Feb 1, 2014 - 8:48PM

    Let’s pray for safe return of negotiating team members. Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Feb 1, 2014 - 9:11PM

    Is this the same guy who dressed up as a woman to escape while he left his student to fight? If so he should be sitting in jail right now rather than be a negotiator with religious extremist.Recommend

  • Feb 1, 2014 - 9:32PM

    Maybe the men asking should wear Burkahs first? That may assist!Recommend

  • Voice
    Feb 1, 2014 - 10:57PM

    At Duniya TV news, Cleric Aziz mentioned that “if government is sincere and serious to impose Nifaz-e-Mohammadi or Hadith & Sunnah as rule of law then he will take part”….

    I wish the anchor of Duniya news should have told me the guiding lines for consitutions instructed by Founding father Mr. Jinnah….

    You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State… We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State… Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State. On August 11th, 1947, during first presidential address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Arzoo
    Feb 1, 2014 - 11:17PM

    @Indian: Pakistan will go back to playing mickey mouse games after the talks fail. Pakistan has no will or spine to counter real threats facing the country or its’ people. People are dying and blown away everyday but the Government would not do anything except to ‘condemn’ the attacks. The first statement of condemnation comes from Altaf Husain in London, then from the Governor of the province where the innocents are killed, and then maybe if the Prime Minister is not doing anything else he issues a statement of condemnation and a lie that the ‘culprits will be arrested soon.’ Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:03AM

    The Burka avenger….Recommend

  • Azam
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:12AM

    Will the Armed forces wait and watch all this “Topi Drama” of the clerics when they have already lost so many precious lives of soldiers and innocent citizens throughout the country.

    This is the time to crush them rather than sitting together to nogotiate “FOR WHAT ??”

    Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Feb 2, 2014 - 4:01AM

    Ha, Ha !!!!!!!!
    The latest news now on ET says that TTP have included Imran Khan and Samiul Haq and Maulana Abdul Azizin their team and want them to negotiate with the government on their behalf. TTP is exposing them all. TTP does not accept Pakistan’s constitution and they have included Imran Khan an elected MNA in their team. If Imran Khan accepts TTP’s demands he has to disown Pakistan’s constitution. If he does not accept or is not able to make Pakistan’s government agree to TTP’s demands, his head is at stake.

    Love this tactic of TTP.

    Let us see how Imran Khan wriggles out of this situation. Is he going to grow a beard, stop polio vaccination camps or blow up schools for girls? Imran Khan cannot preach Islam to TTP also as they will blow him up if he talks anything to them against their version of Islam. He had been their spokesperson for long and is in a difficult situation now. All taliban supporters now have no choice but to take the arm and government’s side and push for military action. We may not hear for some time from the likes of Orya Maqbool Jan, Ansar Abbasi and Hamid Gul.

    Sharia is easy to force on others but difficult to practice it for yourself. You can push and punish the weak, minorities and poor with sharia but can never practice it yourself.

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Feb 2, 2014 - 6:54AM

    @Raj – USA:
    I do not mean to be rude , but have you an idea what Sharia means or what it implies? Are you aware that in USA sharia is practiced in the Bible land? And If the answer to my question is ‘NO’, should’nt you stop commening on the term sharia?

    Rex Minor

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Feb 2, 2014 - 7:11AM

    @Azam:

    I would’nt worry about this hoax of the Prime Minister? Neither the Prime Minister nor the army supremo has any intention to have a serious dialogue with the Talibans? The areal bombing of the waziri villages and firing rockets across into Afghanistan are not peace initiatives that must not be overlookedll . The process of talibanisation in Pakistan is likely to continue in the foreseable period..

    Rex Minor

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Feb 2, 2014 - 10:35AM

    Both Aziz and IK are trusted, respected and endorsed by TTP to the extent that they nominated them to plead their case. However just like Aziz, IK as a politician has distanced themselves a bit away from TTP. Of course IK and PTI coalition partner JI perhaps would continue for fight the case for TTP as their voters are few but solid supporters.

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  • Parvez
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:55PM

    Why did the TTP leave out Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and Munawar Hassan ?

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