Rendering apology: Maulana Aziz bows to society’s pressure

Published: December 21, 2014
A file photo of Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz. PHOTO: ONLINE

A file photo of Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Submitting to a huge outcry from civil society, the chief cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz apologised for failing to unconditionally condemn the Peshawar massacre carried out by Taliban on December 16.

“I condemn the killing of schoolchildren and apologise,” Aziz said while talking to The Express Tribune.

The cleric admitted he realised his mistake only after his followers convinced him. He clarified that he did not threaten any member of civil society and police have registered FIR against him under social pressure which is not a good precedent.

Aziz said his personal opinion was unnecessarily propagated in the media. “I forgave Musharraf for launching military operation against us, how it is possible that I was not saddened by the killing of innocent schoolchildren,” he added.

Aziz said that Altaf Hussain’s statement against Lal Masjid was provocative and warrants legal action. “I could not see any condemnation against such a blatant statement,” he complained. “This is not a good idea to burn sacred places. This mosque (Lal Masjid) is not my creation. It was built by General Ayub Khan in 1965, which belongs to the government,” Aziz said.

Certain sects are involved behind these protests and they are trying to befool people, he said. We condemn every incident of violence, whether it was massacre in Peshawar or brutal killing of children during drone attacks or in Lal masjid, Aziz maintained.

MQM senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said that the cleric is trying to give sectarian hue to conceal his crime and is trying to start sectarian conflict.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2014.

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Reader Comments (86)

  • observer
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:14AM

    A. Aziz said his personal opinion was unnecessarily propagated in the media.

    B. Aziz said that Altaf Hussain’s statement against Lal Masjid was provocative and warrants legal action. “I could not see any condemnation against such a blatant statement,”

    C. Certain sects are involved behind these protests and they are trying to befool people, he said.

    I can see the Maulana blaming (a) the Media (b) MQM and Civil Society, (c) Sects other than his own.

    Where exactly is the apology and the condemnation of Taliban?


  • Pindi Kid
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:27AM

    Apology not accepted. He needs to be sentenced for the killing of army personnel in 2007 and promoting terrorism in Pakistan.


  • Ali Shadaab
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:28AM

    As a shia I am deeply saddened by the sectarian divisions Aziz is trying to create in the country while shias are still mourning for the deaths of children who died in Peshawar. What kind of Islam is he trying to push down our throat?
    I think peace living Sunnis should come out in full force to defend Pakistan from these divisive forces.


    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:28AM

    This is an after thought and should be viewed with utter suspicion. This man and all his team of terrorists must be arrested and thoroughly investigated. All his sympathizers including Ejazulhaq and CM Punjab should also be quizzed.


  • Abdullah
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:29AM

    a very insincere apology only brought on by a fear of the mob. Are we really going to let this rat weasel out of this one?


  • KR
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:38AM

    Sorry too little too late, shame on him that he actually had to think so hard to apologize and only after all the pressure …… He lacks total decency and morals …..innocent kids died and he had to think about it. Shame on him and shame on us for listening to him, he needs to be behind bars permanently along with all his buddies.


  • Zafar
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:51AM

    It does not matter if he has apologized or has realized about his mistake just because of public pressure, he is responsible for so much mess which costed so many lives many people might know how the hooligans of Lal masjid used to throw acid on female students of QAU.


  • sidjeen
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:51AM

    still not condemning the taliban. who are you fooling maulana?


  • Bushra Gull
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:06PM

    Do Good, Have Good.


  • niat wali
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:08PM

    His apology came after the public condemn. He is a terror and should be dealt with according to law of the land.


  • Ahsan
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:09PM

    Apology isn’t enough. Remove him from lal masjid and book him for inciting voilence, terrorism and threatening common people. This mosque is government’s property and People’s place of worship. He has no right to deliver hateful speeches in there


  • khwaja
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:12PM

    Can we please get rid of this man. He needs to be behind bars at worst or put out of his misery at best …along with that Um e kalsoom or whatever her name is. These people are super ignorant and havr no right to act as guides of our society.


  • Taha
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:15PM

    We will not except you apology. Can somebody put this hypocrite behind the bars for at-least 100 years


  • Areebah Shahid
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:17PM

    What is wrong with the media?? The TTP apologists in the media are doing everything to sway public opinion in this terrorirt’s favour! I don’t see any apology in this statement; I only see him trying to fan sectarianism and belittle the sentiment of an average Pakistani who does not want terrorists to lead prayers in our mosques!


  • sabi
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:19PM

    Your apology isn’t accepted you will have to face justice.You are a criminal you will face your fate which is -very bad.


  • Syed
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:29PM

    Malik Riaz stop giving residence and money to this monster.

    Enough is enough.


  • Naushaba
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:36PM

    Too little too late. He’s a coward. He said if he gets arrested suicide bombings will Increase. Explain If left he’s gonna cause more destruction. At least interrogate, investigate thoroughly


  • Candid1
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:44PM

    This insincere apology from an insincere person is unacceptable. If he really regretted his actions he should leave Lal Masjid and cooperate with law enforcement authorities to identify the network of extremists that sustsains the Taliban. Short of that, the government must arrest this terrorist and try him for all the crimes he and his followers have comitted against citizens of Islamabad, and soldiers who raided the moaque. If the government fails to do so, then it will be viewed as being complicit with the terrorists as it has allowed Lal Masjid to become a den of fanatics and terrorist supporters once again.


  • Amjad
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:53PM

    Simple apology will not work. He needs to act – withdraw case against Gen Musharraf, change the Lal Masjid Madrasa into a school and behave like a Pakistani and NOT scot free Taliban.


  • bash gul
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:56PM

    If the Lal Masjid belongs to the government, then why is the government not dismissing this extremist cleric and replacing him with a moderate one. He fired a shot in the dark, but it back-fired to him. This apology is just a gimmick


  • Azi
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:08PM

    After all this, if the country still believes in these snakes then I honestly have no words.


  • jock
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:12PM

    @Ali Shadaab:
    He is talking more about the Deobandi-Barelvi split here. I tell you; this man considers Shias as non-muslims.


  • Salman Ali
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:15PM

    We still need to reclaim our Mosques from people like Maulana!


  • kafirmusafir
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:36PM

    Are there people in Pakistan that even believe in such insincere and coerced apology? It is more to save his own skin and more venom hurled at others. Rather than apology, it sounded more like an apologist for the Murderers with no criticism of the perpetrators of Peshawar brutality or the ideology.


  • zafar
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:45PM

    Musharraf made a huge mistake by allowing this man to escape last time. Let’s hope current gov does not do the same.


  • Abdul Hameed
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:54PM

    In the TV interview on the 16th, he had condemned killing of children, but had refused to condemn the perpetrators – Taliban. So what is new in this interview? He has not condemned Taliban. In fact this interview has a fresh list of threats from him. It is very clear that he is unrepentant. He is a public servant. He should be forthwith dismissed from this job. Full stop. Secondly, cases should be instituted against him for grossly misusing a public property in 2007 by amassing lethal firearms in it, and for illegally accommodating trained terrorists in the premises of the mosque and the madrassa under his charge, for instigating illegal vigilante actions in the town, for instigating kidnapping of citizens, for attacking and killing armed forces personnel, and for waging war against the state. The evidence exists in abundance in the press coverage of that time. He should be tried in an anti-terrorist court.Recommend

  • a&a
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:55PM



  • abdullah
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:58PM

    A mosque is no place for keeping assault weapons and harbouring terrorists. He is an anti pakistan and anti Islam cleric the nation will never forgive what he has done and been responsible for. He should be hanged for the loss of army soldiers martyred during Lal masjid operation


  • Azhar
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:03PM

    Too little – too late !!
    and he continues to pour position into the minds of thousands of children in his network of madrasahs. What I fail to understand is that if the mosque belongs to CDA, why the heck government doesn’t rescue it from his illegal occupation.


  • Saad
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:13PM

    Stop giving this terrorist a platform to spread his evil. Don’t promote him.


  • YP Mississauga
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:17PM

    This so called Moulvi Abdul Aziz is two sides of same coin. He is just too claver and keep fooling people, He should not be spared at all, when he realised mounting pressure of civil soceity, he changed his statement over night. He has to face the music for all those killed directly or indircetly by his extreme preachings.


  • ishrat salim
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:19PM

    Moulana Aziz says he pardoned Gen M, then why is he not withdrawing the case he filed against him ? he is a hypocrite. He works in CDA, so, who is going to evict him & his seminar ? the seminar should be closed, demolished & a public park made in its place. If this property belong to the govt, then what the govt is waiting for ? this place / location is a goldmine & CDA can sell it & make up for some of its losses. If this place was built by the govt during Gen Ayub period, it does not make it necessary for the govt to continue support its presence in the middle of the city & population for the sake of peace. Remove it !

    Moulana Aziz is an opportunist & a apologist as such he should be treated as such. He seem to be rendering apology due to the present high emotion & public pressure. Just wait for a few days, let this pressure ease, then hear him again.


  • Naasir
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:19PM

    The apology is a day late and a dollar short. If you have to be convinced that not condemning the act of killing children is abhorrent, then your need to get your head checked.

    Why do we even give these type of people exposure in the media? They just propagate hatred and are a menace to society.


  • abc
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:23PM

    The govt must keep these guys under surveillance and they should not be allowed to roam free all over.


  • Parvez
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:26PM

    This is totally unacceptable…….an apology to save his own skin is NO APOLOGY.
    The PML-N government who supports and nurtures him is equally complicit in this and when they say ‘ terrorism will be rooted out at all levels ‘…..NO ONE BELIEVES THEM.


  • Moiz Omar
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:35PM

    He is not fooling anyone.


  • Allah_Rukha
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:44PM

    Its not an apology rather a clarification given by maulana. This is perhaps done as maulanas have realized that Army is a bit angry, so lets tone down for now.


  • Dec 21, 2014 - 2:45PM

    His beard should have been shaved, body painted black, hung
    up by the heels for one day in D Chowk, then whipped hard,
    made to recite Kalmah 1000 times. Then asked if he wants
    to apologize or not.


  • Ahmed
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:48PM

    Hiding behind sectarian hues! is this an apology or further aggravation of our wounds?! Where is the apology anyway?

    “Apology” not accepted mualana. Police arrest him for creating sectarian divides, for terrorism, for threatening public safety and anti-state activities.


  • Acorn Guts
    Dec 21, 2014 - 3:24PM

    We are not asking for an apology Mr. Aziz, it is too late for that; damage is already done. We demand your arrest and fair trial.


  • Salma
    Dec 21, 2014 - 3:26PM

    At last wisdom prevails over ignorance. The power of people over ignorant individuals. Hops that this is not a one time miracle. Hope that every politician, every preacher and every general heeds to the voice of humanity.


  • Waqar
    Dec 21, 2014 - 3:29PM

    I dislike this person to the extent of hatred. But if someone realizes or accepts their mistake, we should be kind and graceful enough to accept it. If they are uncivilized, it does not mean we become uncivilized too …..


  • Asif
    Dec 21, 2014 - 3:42PM

    This person saved his life wearing a burqa … do you want to believe him?


  • Malveros
    Dec 21, 2014 - 3:46PM

    Snakes are being replaced by Chameleons. Give more push and see how they change.


  • Kanwal
    Dec 21, 2014 - 3:46PM

    There are certain ways of apologising for certain crimes Mr Burqa Mulla. You have brought suicide bombing on us, according to your own words. We dont think we can take just words as apology anymore. How conveniently you have forgotten the sentence for inciting mass murder in islam? Shall i remind you that you deserve gallows. APOLOGY REJECTED AND SMASHED ON YOUR HYPOCRITE FACE!!


  • unbelievable
    Dec 21, 2014 - 3:58PM

    This is the same “religious leader” who named a library after OBL .. that tells you everything about his true beliefs. Shame on him and shame on Pakistan for tolerating him. He is a disgrace to Pakistan and Islam.


  • TAKhan
    Dec 21, 2014 - 4:10PM

    A total hypocrite.Recommend

  • Abdul Lateef
    Dec 21, 2014 - 4:28PM

    Someone righlty mentioned above “can you believe this person who tried to escape by wearing BURQA” very well said, surely I will never believe this liar. The fact is he is not promoting Islam in his madrassa he is promoting hatred for western world and trying to convert innocent followers and students into millitants. If ever we need a cleaner Pakistan we need to get rid of these so called clerics and Mullahs to finish off Talibaan and all agressive natured people only then we can have a real Pakistan.


  • V4Vendetta
    Dec 21, 2014 - 4:33PM

    Dear Civil Society,

    The apology by Maulana stand void and not accepted, he deserves to be behind bars and justice needs to served. Please join the protest infront of Abpara Police station on Monday 22nd December 2014 at 5:30pm onwards and spread the word around.

    We need a peaceful Pakistan and we will stand for it.

    Awaaam ki awaz is stronger than all
    Pakistan Zindabad


  • Dr.M.M. Khan
    Dec 21, 2014 - 4:35PM

    So when you are giving sermons what are we to beleive? Your personal opinion or one for public consumption. We now know about your personal opinions which were disclosed under pressure.


  • Yasser
    Dec 21, 2014 - 4:38PM

    i think it is because of harsh statement from Altaf you are at least able to retract your statement.


  • Zia
    Dec 21, 2014 - 4:49PM

    He is trying to dodge now because his fellows are feeling the heat and made him do it for their sake. He still has not condemned the killers. On the other hand he and his students are alleging support and underscoring synergies with ISIS. This man should not be allowed to roam & preach. How many more kids will we loose before putting a stop to such nonsense?


  • omer khan
    Dec 21, 2014 - 4:58PM

    We don’t want your forgiveness for the Lal Masjid raid. This mosque is government owned. Get out and leave this mosque. A mohallah committee can run it easily. Leave or be expelled !


  • omer khan
    Dec 21, 2014 - 5:01PM

    Mohallah committee should replace the maulvi. We don’t want the government involved here.


  • raider
    Dec 21, 2014 - 6:18PM

    induced apology which is not allowed in liberal societies


  • kabeer hussain
    Dec 21, 2014 - 6:19PM

    too little, too late.


  • Gone with the wind
    Dec 21, 2014 - 6:23PM

    I don’t trust this man. He is trying to be sheep in jackal’s skin. Remember his escape in burqa during Lal Masjid incident?, that shows what he is capable of. Don’t believe him.


  • Dec 21, 2014 - 6:33PM

    He should be jailed and investigated about Peshawar incident.


  • S Chaudhury
    Dec 21, 2014 - 6:38PM

    This Stan Mulan is liar. He is an enemy’s supporter & preparing future bomber to take innocents life in Pakistan
    He should be hanged immediately


  • Fn
    Dec 21, 2014 - 6:54PM

    He should be take out and hanged he and the head of women terrorist trainer in Lal mosque. He is a terrorist. He has a mention in Beharia Town where he hosts terrorists opposite the shopping center. He killed a Lt.Col. Of Pakistan Army and other officers that’s an act of war against the State he should be hanged other wise no one man or woman is safe in Pakistan.


  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam (retd)
    Dec 21, 2014 - 7:11PM

    Mr. Tahir Mashadi stop throwing fuel into the fire. Mr. Aziz has unconditionally apologized. Religious & Political Parties must stop this Tirade against each other & Focus on the common enemy..


  • Dec 21, 2014 - 7:42PM

    Father of . . .(shaitaan)!!Recommend

  • Menon
    Dec 21, 2014 - 8:19PM

    When people stand up for things to change, THEY CHANGE.

    You want better democracy, better governance, STAND UP AND DEMAND IT AND DON’T QUIT UNTIL YOU GET IT.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    Dec 21, 2014 - 8:59PM

    Lying is an important feature of Islam and the most practiced social norm in especially urban Pakistan.


  • Napier Mole
    Dec 21, 2014 - 9:15PM

    @Lt Col Imtiaz Alam (

    Are you blind. This so called maulana is obviously promoting sectarian hatred when everyone in Pakistan except for the apologists like you and maulana, irrespective of sect has come out in condemnation of the cavemen of waziristan.


  • Waheed
    Dec 21, 2014 - 9:39PM

    Maulana once again proved that Musharaf was right and the politicians, who followed him, wrong in most decians.Ironic. Isn’t it?


  • Fm
    Dec 21, 2014 - 9:50PM

    These are the people who harbor terrorists. This Maulana burqa has the blood of a Lt. Col. And many army jawans on his hands. You are disloyal to the same army and nation you took oath under and which is your status and identity. Shame on you and himRecommend

  • Rawalpindi Kid
    Dec 21, 2014 - 9:50PM

    Let me be very clear. Musharraf did not let this man go. He was in jail with a lawsuit on him during Musharraf’s time. He was let go in Zardari’s time when PMLN was I charge of Punjab govt and his case intentionally not properly prosecuted. If Musharraf had been in power he would have been prosecuted and convicted.


  • sabi
    Dec 21, 2014 - 10:35PM

    @Lt Col Imtiaz Alam (retd):
    No wonder why army was reluctant fighting against terrorists for three decades…I hope there.are not many left in army to protect mullah-the real enemy.


  • Mike Hunt
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:00PM

    Not wisdom. It was fear that made him change his mind.


  • Imran Ahmed
    Dec 22, 2014 - 12:15AM

    I see no apology.
    He has not stated that killing non combatants is wrong even in revenge.
    He has not condemned TTP.
    He is persistently trying to incite further mischief by making sectarian accusations – more hate speech.

  • Dec 22, 2014 - 1:12AM

    Bloggers/ Readers,
    Nation has to understand, that they are ALL vultures ( on the political landscape) and having their share from our beloved country Pakistan. No one is serious about peace in the country.
    We as a nation have not done anything so far to make this county united. MQM is a most opportunist party in this country. They have started challenging these religious organisations because they themselves feel the threat from such organisations.
    It is very unfortunate that this so called Maulana ( Burqa Maulvi) was released.

    Musharraf was right all along. Atleast nation should realise that how sincere he (Musharraf) was.

    We ( the government of the people) should introduce tougher laws to tackle the menace of extremism and uproot violence in the name of religions as no religion in this world teaches ‘Violence’.


  • MA
    Dec 22, 2014 - 2:19AM

    Why single this Maulvi out, where are all the others that reside in Pakistan, who haven’t come forward and raise their voice condemning this human carnage


  • Dec 22, 2014 - 3:36AM

    No apologies accepted, this Mullah is a terrorist and promotes fitnah – Lal Masjid should be liberated from him and all Masjids in Pakistan should be liberated from the clutches of such Mullahs.


  • Asif
    Dec 22, 2014 - 4:19AM

    He apologized only when people start to threaten his government job. He is a snake in the grass


  • salim
    Dec 22, 2014 - 12:08PM

    @Lt Col Imtiaz Alam (retd):
    Another apologist! No wonder you were retired so soon!


  • Black
    Dec 22, 2014 - 4:25PM

    Isn’t this just another dilemma to distract us from the Peshawar Incident. to shift our anger towards something else.


    Dec 22, 2014 - 6:44PM

    @Black: This is not “Something Else”! Mullah Abdul Aziz supported the TTP and their bloodshed of Pak Citizen while controlling a his HQ in Islamabad at Laal Masjid. He first threatened with 500 suicide bombers ready to wreak havoc in Pak Citizens. We must all support his removal from Lal Masjid!


  • ThankBroNaeem
    Dec 22, 2014 - 7:30PM

    Above all condemnations, it’s brother Niem’s denouncing of TTP from world respected Islamic Center of Madrassa Education of Binnoria Town, Karachi that hit him the hardest. Now TTP will go after Head of Madrassa Ideology. See, Wahabism was imported by anti-Russian elements from Saudia for it extremist views & ruthlessness to fight Russian Army. That “Steroid Shot” just got out of hand, and also their supporters “forgot” to STOP funding from there.


  • Imran Ahmed
    Dec 22, 2014 - 9:11PM

    In many Pakistani minds why do all of Pakistan’s ills seem to originate abroad?
    If we are convinced of this thesis we should seal our borders, declare foreign remittances illegal, recall all Pakistanis working abroad. Refuse both military and humanitarian aid.
    Why not make a go of standing on our own two feet without outside help?
    The reason we cannot do this is that we are addicted to aid like any drug addicted beggar.


  • Saboor Khan
    Dec 23, 2014 - 11:34AM

    Just look at this coward dog!


  • Dec 24, 2014 - 12:03PM

    link text
    enough is enough, first of all we all are pakistanis. let us think that what image are we creating about our country? where is our unity! if we dont become serious then we are not doing justice with our children.


    Dec 24, 2014 - 9:25PM

    @Imran Ahmed: India get billions in all sorts of foreign aid why don’t they have this problem? They don’t have a powerful TTP base in their Punjab neither are terrorists’ relatives and friends running the government there. PUNJAB is not in control of India, it’s just a simple province there in its bounds. How to tame this Genie?


  • Zahid
    Dec 28, 2014 - 10:29AM

    Denotify him as Khateeb Lal Masjid and install replacement. Remove all his subordinates and transfer spread them elsewhere. What ever he believes in is his personal right. That personal right should not get state sponsorship.


  • DeTache!
    Dec 28, 2014 - 6:56PM

    What our forefather The English have done in this situation is to remove his association with this Masjid first. Which is making very hard for him to listen to court or people. This building has become his cave and sanctuary which it should not have been… to any government servant, period. His attachment to this building is the bigger problem than his belief. What if his “Gaddi Nashin comes out too from somewhere? A Family lesson: Once a toy is removed from a kid’s hand it’s easy for him to listen to you. It’s not his toy here in the first place, was it? If Musharaf made a mistake by not finishing the job, Pres. Zardari and then CJ Iftekhar M, made a blunder by giving him back the toy along with apologies & gifts. We are to blame for stupid politics not him. He was given a toy to play as he wish. A child can’t be blamed when the parent spoil him!


  • Neil
    Dec 29, 2014 - 12:09AM

    What is there for him to apologize and for what. He was clear about his facts, ideas and visions from beginning. It was Common peoples mistake who tolerated this kind of peoples,It was the mistake of Supreme court to let him go. A hater will always remain hater and still you can easily find thousands of peoples who will stand for him and are ready to die for him. Put the country first then anything else. Not from Pakistan but I don’t think that I need to be Pakistani to understand the Pain and Grief of all the ones who lost their loved ones. Feel it,if you believe in Humanity, feel it if you are Human.


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