ISLAMABAD: Describing the case filed against him as ‘fake’ and ‘illegal’, Lal Masjid chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz on Sunday insisted that his arrest warrants are bailable.
According to media reports, a lower court on Friday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Maulana Aziz for allegedly threatening members of the civil society who had held protests outside Lal Masjid.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the red mosque’s main cleric said the reports about his arrest warrants being non-bailable are wrong. Instead, he said, even an SHO of a police station could release him on bail under the law. Maulana Aziz reiterated that he would not surrender to the police or seek pre-arrest bail because the FIR is “just a heap of lies”. He said he has made it clear repeatedly that he condemns Peshawar attack but no one is ready to accept this.
“I am available at Jamia Hafsa and will not go anywhere and the government should not make a mistake by trying to arrest me,” he said, adding that his arrest could trigger protests.
“They should first arrest Pervaiz Musharraf before wanting to put me behind bars,” he said, claiming that police does not dare to arrest powerful people of the country but places others under custody without credible evidence.
Lal Masjid spokesperson Mufti Tehseenullah told The Express Tribune that the state would face severe resistance from the students and followers of Maulana Aziz if it decided to arrest him. The reaction of an illegal action is always illegal, he remarked.
Jibran Nasir, who spearheaded the protest against the cleric, told The Express Tribune that this case puts credibility and resolve of the government against extremism into scrutiny. “Soon, I will also give a new protest call and our campaign will continue till his arrest,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2014.