Lal Masjid issue becomes talk of the town
By Abid Jan Razarwal
PESHAWAR: All eyes are set on Islamabad where the face off of the security forces with the students and administration of the Lal Masjid is continuing. Majority of people in this provincial metropolis remained glued to their TV channels which have been telecasting live transmissions on the issue.
People are worried over the loss of precious lives in the incident and a general atmosphere of fear and gloom is prevailed everywhere.
Haseenullah, a professor worried about the lives of the inmates of the Lal Masjid and held the teachers of the Masjid responsible for the issue. "Why not the clerics understand that they are not the government," he remarked.
"The picture that emerges is clearly that of a society at war with itself and a government that is slowly but inexorably losing control. The government is desperate to ward off the creeping Talibanisation of the state but is unsure of the course of action that it must adopt and of what the consequences might be", he concluded.
MMA, MPA and In-charge Political Cell of Jamaat Islami Shagufta Naz demanded of the government to find a peaceful settlement to the Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid standoff.
The MMA legislator while expressing regret over killing of innocent people in the day long skirmishes around Lal Masjid, said, the government should try to settle the dispute through table talks and avoid using the option of force as it would further complicate the delicate matter.
A resolution in this regard has been submitted in the NWFP Assembly secretariat, she maintained. She demanded that the Supreme Court should take suo moto action in the matter and fix the responsibility for the riots that rocked the federal capital on July 3.
Gulzar Khan, a senior journalist was of the opinion that the government instead of arresting the students who surrendered on the request of the government should allow them to go to their residences, keeping a vigil on their movements only. He said that only certain incentives offered by the government would convince the students to come out of the premises of the Masjid. He said that peaceful resolution of the incident was very much necessary and was a test case for the present government.
Jammiat Ulema Islam (F), NWFP, Wednesday, through a resolution condemned the incidents occurred at Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa and offered dua for the victims of the crisis during its meeting at the office of Nifaze- Sharia here. The meeting, which was presided over by provincial acting amir Qari Abdullah, was attended by Maulana Attaur Rehman, MNA Maulana Ihesamuddin, Qari Rafiullah Qasmi, Maulana Abdul Haq Darwesh, Maulana Shujaul Mulk and Haji Abdul Jalil Jan.
Shujaul Mulk later addressing a press conference alleged that the federal government had tried to benefit from the Jamia Hafsa issue with intervals. On one hand the government through increasing troops deployment near Lal Masjid tried to divert the attention of the media and public from the chief justice visit to Supreme Court, while on the other it showed to the US that Maulavis were getting strength in Pakistan and tried to achieve some political objectives, he added.