Lal Masjid

The case against conduct of electronic media in Pakistan

Posted on November 17, 2007. Filed under: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Electronic media in Pakistan, Lal Masjid, Martial law |

Cable news just got unplugged in Pakistan. I for one am supporting the government here and will shed no tears for the likes of Talat Hussain, Mushtaq Minhas, Hamid Mir, or Shahid Masood.

I will point out a few instances where, I as a viewer was disturbed by the partisanship, unprofessional attitudes, and loose ethics of the cable news industry in Pakistan. I shouldn’t say ‘in Pakistan’, because these channels were being run from the UAE where they could escape Pakistan’s taxation system. They like to profit from our country but would rather not pay taxes. Ok, I am getting side tracked here. My complaints follow:

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Someone please stop these dumb TV reporters from revealing tactical information about Lal Masjid siege

Posted on July 8, 2007. Filed under: Electronic media in Pakistan, Islamabad, Lal Masjid, Stupid people, Terrorism |

Real time reporting of troop movements and tactical positions by the media is a most problemetic issue in my view. Reporters from TV channels, especially Aaj TV, have continually reported on the moment, positions, and tactical preparations of the troops in real time. This information is of absolutely no use to any of the ordinary viewers of the channels’ coverage. To the layman, it doesn’t matter what kind of troops, in what numbers, with what equipment just went towards which quadrant of the facility. To the average house wife, it doesn’t add anything to coverage to know that the vehicles used for tear gas shelling have just recharged and are moving towards Lal Masjid. To the terrorists, it gives all the warning and time in the world to don gas masks or take other protective measures against the effects of the gas. And the revelations about the troop movements and nature of the troops keep getting more and more flabergasting. Why in gods’ name would you reveal the position of snipers on the rooftops of specific buildings. You might as well climb up there and plant a bullet behind his ears yourself, mr reporter.  A sniper can engage target from 100 yards as well as from 500 yards just as well. Let the terrorists guess where they are being targeted from. Don’t reveal the position of snipers so the terrorists can flush them out or force them to move to secondary positions pre-maturely. They see a UAV circling the madrassa at night and all of these bitches start squeeling at once. That one hour flight that was meant to gain crucial intelligence might just have gone to waste because the terrorist can now change positions, even prepare traps for the troops.

Pakistani media whores have screamed at the slightest restriction in access to the battlefield. But such access should be granted as a privellege dependent upon their common sense. Geraldo Riviera, reporting for Fox News during the US invasion of Iraq, was removed from the country and sent back immediately following one instance of allegedly revealing the positions of some US troops by drawing a map on the sand. Reporters from Aaj and Geo have gone miles beyond that kind of revealing. They have pointed out specific buildings and types of troops. They have reported on troop moments that took away the element of surprise and endangered the troops. They have pointed out government tactics and operations.

I probably shouldn’t say this but the reporters did point out the fact that commandos were laying explosive charges along the walls of the madrassa and the firing from all directions on the madrassa was just a diversion. Could this have caused the incident where the SSG CO was critically wounded along with another officer. I’ll leave this investigation to the authorities. But with the militants being in constant telephonic contact with media and their supporters outside, this hypothesis does not seem a stretch.

At this point the terrorists have better intelligence about the movements of the troops outside, than the troops do about the terrorists inside the buildings.

I am not going to let the military get off scott free here either. They should have clamped down on this the first time this sort of thing happened. Where the fuck is ISPR. Isn’t there one officer who has seen this sort of coverage and felt uneasy about it. The men who fight under one are the officer’s responsibility. How can everyone involved be playing such a loose game here. This sort of carelessness by the media might end up costing many lives of the troops and the people inside when and if an operation is launced to enter the madrassa.

Media should be free to report on the event, but not on the tactics and operations of the troops trying to put an end to this. None of this reporting is adding anything to the home viewer. All they are doing is acting as the eyes and ears of the terrorists inside.

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Chaikhanah exclusive: Cell phone video of the unveiling of Mullah Abdul Aziz in burqa

Posted on July 5, 2007. Filed under: burqavaganza, Jamia Hafsa Ninjas, Lal Masjid, Terrorism |

Yes, dear patrons we have just acquired a cell phone video of the discovery and unveiling of the Amir-ul-momineen from Lal Masjid as he tried to escape in a burqa. We are very thankful to the female officer who shot this video on her cell phone. We are also very thankful to the chaikhanah chota who stole the cell phone and allowed us to release this video on the internet.

Eteraz pointed this out and here is a transcript of the Dialogue for those who don’t understand Urdu or Punjabi.

  • Policewoman: (as she pushes the veiled mullah into the room) Ok now take this veil off.
  • Madrassa student 1: (complaining) You can’t do this to her. She is our aunty and stays veiled even in front of woman.
  • Madrassa student 2: Let our aunty go please, she is not well.
  • Policewoman: Shut up you bat-like thing or I’ll give you a slap.
  • Mullah under burqa: (sings his appeal) Let me stay under the veil, don’t lift the veil; If the veil is lifted the secret will be out; Allah I repent, Lord I repent
  • Policewoman: (she has obviously had enough of this) Stop this bullshit, I have stomach cramps as it is. (She unveils the mullah and then discovering the mullah calls out for a male officer)
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Was the whole Lal masjid issue an ISI produced drama?

Posted on May 3, 2007. Filed under: ISI, Jamia Hafsa Ninjas, Lal Masjid, Politics, Talibanization |

That question has been asked by numerous people. It is a natural question considering the heavy fisted treatment metted out to previous challengers to the Pakistani establishment. Civil and Military governments in pakistan have not been known to handle the threat of armed opposition lightly. And neither should they. Anarchists have to be dealt with severely to ensure peace on land. The Pakistani governments have gone miles further and have never flinched from bombing rebelious citizens. Be it East Pakistan, Balochistan, or Waziristan, we bomb resistance away. And then they bomb back. And we bomb some more, until they run out of collateral cassualties. With such background, many observers are puzzled by the current handling of the crisis in Islamabad.

The taliban at Lal Masjid and its associated madrasas, Jamia Fridiya and Jamia Hafsa, have certainly given enough cause to be dealt with severely.

  • They have illegally constructed a 5000 student madrassa on public land. 
  • They have been in illegally occupying a public childrens library for over three months now.
  • They have attacked, beaten, abducted, illegally confined for three days, and harrassed away a family of three women and a child from the neighbourhood.
  • They have abducted police men from the street, damaged police property, and held the abductees hostage as human shields.
  • They have threatened local businesses selling music and video CDs and DVDs with attacks lest they close down or change their business.
  • They have established a parallel court system, where they are the judge, jury, and executioners.
  • They have issued fatwa denying the Pakistan army soldiers, who die fighting taliban, the right of a namaz-e-janaza. They have gone even further praising the taliban who die in these encounters as the rightful shaheeds.
  • They have threatened the citizens of Islamabad and across the country with hundreds of suicide bombings if any action is taken against them for their crimes.

Just one of those complaints should have been enough to take action against these people. But we have a plethora of serious violations of law and nothing happens. Here is a few suggestion from Shakeel Anjum from The News.

  • They could be booked under Article 5 of 1973 Constitution, Section 3 of Illegal Dispossession Act 2005, Sections 124-A, 125-A, 506, of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and 6/7 Anti Terrorism Act (ATA), the report said.
  • The Section 3 (Illegal Dispossession Act 2005) says, “Whoever occupies a property without any lawful authority would be liable to punishment of imprisonment, which may extend to ten years and with fine”, the law book said. Section 124-A PPC says, “Whoever is found guilty of sedition would be liable to punishment of life imprisonment along with fine.”
  • 125-A (Sedition), PPC says, “Whoever by words either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise brings, or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards- the Federal or Provincial Government established by law shall be punished with imprisonment for life to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine”.

Instead of facing criminal prosecution, the mullahs and their brain-washed goons are seen holding court over the governments’ ministers. One idiot is attending brick laying ceremonies for the reconstruction of the demolished mosques. Even promising that the tax-payers will bear the expense. Another duffer goes around telling everyone that Jamia Hafsa is a non-issue, while the mullahs keep threatening the nation with hundreds of suicide bombings. The rhetoric from Lal masjid has been caustic enough for the governing bodies of madrassas to disassociate from them. These nutters don’t even have the support of other mainstream madrassas. Still, the government dithers.

Thus, the question, Why? Why have the taliban and talibaat of these madrassas been given a free pass to flay laws, and terrorize the capital city? Why hasn’t the government come down on them? Why hasn’t anybody been arrested or better yet killed?  

If anything the government has backed off and played dead. Recent news indicates the government has agreed to all of the illegal demands of the taliban. Being diplomatic and avoiding bloodshed in the capital is one thing. Being a refusnik and cowardly in the face of attack on the nation is another. And our generals have once again been found wanting in the ‘defending the homeland’ department. So what gives?

Lal Masjid and ISI headquarters don’t just happen to lie on the same road. They are co-travellers on the same path. Lal Masjid is where the military-mullah alliance was born and bred over decades. It is just too convenient to stage this topi-drama on Aabpara road. It might not be conspiracy, but it sure stinks like one.

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The Land Grab behind the Lal Masjid / Jamia Hafsa drama

Posted on April 13, 2007. Filed under: Jamia Hafsa Ninjas, Lal Masjid, Talibanization |

Ninjas from the Jamia Hafsa have been illegally occupying the children’s library. Mind you it is the only public children’s library in the capital city of Islamabad. That alone says some things about the priorities of our people but lets save that for a later thread. When I first heard the news, I was a little bemused and thought this was just going to be a 1-2 day sit-in, civil disobedience action. Three months into the occupation, it clearly is much more.

A lot has been said about the illegal nature of the ninja occupation. Blogistan has been afire with threads and comments in all direction from all view points. The story has been picked up by all major international media. But surprisingly there has been little investigation into the motives. I was a pleasantly surprised to find a new angle on the whole thing. Most of what follows is me paraphrasing this article and parsing it out for an easier, comprehensible read.

The library under occupation happens to be just down the street from the Madrassa. In between lie three plots of land. The library and these parcels of land are owned by the Ministry of Education, through its arms: the Department of Libraries and the National Book Foundation. The land it seem, was obtained for future expansion of the children’s library. But a few years ago the madrassa, it seems decided to usurp the land for its own benefit. They expanded onto the street, back into the green belt, and sideways onto library property. No one from the ministry or CDA was able to challenge this land grab effectively.

Then the recent demolition by CDA of some illegally constructed mosques probably sent shivers up the spine the (mis)management of Lal masjid. They were guilty of the same crimes and could be next in line for the demo squad. And therein he seems to have hatched a great plan to save his gaddi(seat). He was going to be proactive about protecting his illegal construction. The occupation of the library by the Ninja squad starts making sense now. The terrorizing of the neighborhood has a new context now.

In short time the madrassa started expanding Jamia Hafsa and building on the vacant plots of land of the Dept. of Education. And they built enough to expand their capacity from a paltry 500 students to the 5000+ they are housing now. Whoa! Were the owner ministry and the city government caught snoozing. Not really but they do seem unwilling to act forcefully. Read on.

The construction of a small part of Jamia Hafsa was initiated in 1999 behind Children Library. It was in late 2002 that it was extended on the land owned by two departments of the Ministry of Education. This illegal construction on ministry land must have enjoyed tacit support from the Islamabad administration for they took no action against the encroachment.

On May 3, 2003, the then Secretary Education, Tariq Farooq wrote a letter to Chairman CDA to get the plot vacated but nothing was done. When CDA failed to get the land vacated, the Education Minister, Lt.Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi, officially requested the Interior Minister, Aftab Sherpao on December 31, 2004 “to look into the matter personally and direct CDA to arrange possession of land to department of libraries at the earliest.” The interior minister did not respond to that request and since then neither Javed Ashraf.

The then Chairman of National Book Foundation, Ahmed Faraz also lodged FIR against Maulana Abdullah’s sons, Ghazi Abdul Rashid and Maulana Abdul Aziz over encroachment of the land. CDA then intervened and offered a place in lieu of those two plots. Unfortunately, department of libraries didn’t get any substitute plot and also lost in January 2007 the possession of Children Library, which was providing healthy entertainment to a number of children.

Interestingly, General(retd.) Qazi, who is also former DG ISI, intervened to the extent that when the female students of Jamia Hafsa invaded Children Library in January 2007 to settle their scores with the government, he did not give a single statement over such an unlawful act.

So the good general seems to have no qualms about giving up the rightful claims of the department he is supposed to be a guardian of in favor of the ISI’s old partners at Lal Masjid.

Reaction from CDA: According to the sources, after the land was bought in 2001, first CDA delayed handing over the possession to the ministry and then the land was encroached. Since then Ministry of Education has been officially requesting CDA to hand over the possession of those three plots. CDA in turn has been requesting Deputy Commissioner for taking action. Those three plots, holding a tall building of Jamia Hafsa as of now, actually belong to the two of the departments of Ministry of Education. The payment of two plots was made by the National Book Foundation and of one by the Department of Libraries.

Acting Chairman CDA, Kamran Qureshi substantiated the fact that the land belongs to National Book Foundation and Department of Libraries. “It’s certainly encroached and we have sent almost over 120 notices to them and also to Islamabad administration but no action was taken by the Deputy Commissioner,” said Kamran Qureshi.

According to a senior official of Islamabad administration, “the administration should have done something if CDA had requested. And CDA could also use its enforcement staff if it actually wanted to get the land vacated.”

Reaction from Interior Ministry: When Sherpao was asked about the illegal construction of Jamia Hafsa in 3 to 4 years on the land owned by Ministry of Education right next to Children Library, he denied having any such information about the ownership of land and saying rather annoyingly, “your information is not correct and the madrassah has been there since long. How can it be constructed within such a short time period.”

Initially the minister could not differentiate between the Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Faridia. He thought that contentious Jamia Hafsa was located in E-7. The Interior Minister, who is supposedly dealing with the issue, doesn’t even know that the female students, who are a hindrance in any action taken by the police to arrest the kingpin Ghazi Abdul Rashid, were a very small part of Lal Masjid. They have burgeoned in 3 to 4 years. Either he is helpless or he wants to disown the fact that Ministry of Education did bring the matter to his notice and requested him to get involved personally but for some reason he had to turn a deaf ear to it.

Reaction of the Police: In 2004 the then IG Islamabad and SP entered Lal Masjid to arrest wanted Ghazi and his brother Maulana Abdul Rashid, but the female students came to their rescue.” “Consequently the IG was transfered. Such an action taken against the IG by the government has strengthened them even more.”

On 21st January, an FIR was lodged by watchman Muhammad Ehsan of the Children Library, against the Jamia Hafsa students over illegally occupying the library. Since then the FIR seems to have languished on govt. desk. The police look on from afar but are powerless to act, as the generalisimo atop the chain of command seem to have lost his wits.

When IG Islamabad, Iftikhar Ahmed was questioned about the delayed action against Ghazi and about the lethal charges against him in 2004, he responded, “I assure you, we will arrest him and the law will take its course. We are only being careful about taking any action against him since he has taken refuge behind those female students.” He further said, “Those FIRs against him still stand and we are waiting for the right time but whenever the action is taken, we are afraid, may result in bloodshed.”

If you thought that was the extent of the land grab, think again. The Lal Masjid itself is under illegal occupation of the mullah brothers. You see the mosque is a property of the Department of Auqaf.  The Khateeb (guy who leads prayer services and says the khutba on Fridays) and the muazin (dude with the good voice who sings the azaan-call to prayers) are employess of and appointed and paid by the department of Auqaf. Read on.

Deputy Director Auqaf, Malik Afsar said, “Ghazi’s presence in Lal Msjid is due to his brother Maulana Abdul Aziz who was employed as khateeb of Lal Masjid in 1998 after his father was slain. Although we terminated his services as khateeb in 2004 but he is residing there in blatant violation of law.”

He said, “Auqaf department has nothing to do with the matter since it was sent to district administration and AC is looking into the it. Officially the khateeb and muazan of Lal Msjid is Ayub Abid.” So will the real khateeb and muazin of the Lal Masjid please stand up, please stand up.

On the whole the article makes for a depressing read. This is a city, a country, in which the ordinary citizen cannot get his basic rights. But the generals, and the gaddi nasheen politicians, and the bureaucrats, and the mullahs steal with impunity. While we the citizens are fighting, in the blogistan and on the streets of Pakistan, about what if any Islam’s role should be in the running of our country. The poverty pimps and the jihad whores are playing us all like puppets.

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Pakistan’s blood red Temple of Doom: Lal Masjid

Posted on April 9, 2007. Filed under: Lal Masjid, Talibanization |

A person commented in our piece on the Jamia Hafsa drama and tried to insinuate that we and some moderate visitors to this blog were unaware of the situation on ground in Islamabad. That we had somehow just become aware of Lal Masjid as this terrorist threat became public fodder. No my friends, we are well aware of the geography and history of Lal Masjid. Liptondicha being a born and bred son of Islamabad is well versed with the political history of the masjid.

Lets start today with a brief intro to the place. Lal Masjid, located on aabpara road in central Islamabad is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, mosque in Islamabad. Its central location places it with in very close proximity of various government offices, the ISI among them. There was a time, before being eclipsed by the newer, bigger, shinier, Faisal Mosque, when Lal Masjid was Islamabad’s main mosque. The presidents and the powerful in Islamabad used to offer ceremonial prayers in Lal masjid. The imam of the masjid used to to be the additional secretary of religious affairs. That was in the days of the moderate Islamic republic of Pakistan.

Then came the tyrant Zia, forcing a twisted view of Islam upon the people for his own benefit. He was helped on this path by the CIA. The dictator needed to stay in power after murdering the popular elected premier of the country. The CIA needed brainless foot soldiers to halt the advance of socialism in Afghanistan. The Proximally located ISI had found its jihadi HQs just down Aabpara road in the form of Lal Masjid. Madrassas were established and used to produce indoctrinated cannon fodder for the new jihad in Afghanistan. And thus began the long process that finds us here today. The taliban terrorists, having been defeated by the west are now eyeing our own home. This is our own blow back effect. The CIA coined this term to define the un-intended consequences of its operations or policies. The problem with our blowback is it threatens to blow up in our faces and tear our heart out.

Dire as the situation seems, all hope is not lost. Who better than a self-proclaimed moderate muslim general and president to clean up the mess of another self proclaimed fundamentalist muslim general and president.

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Hope is alive; Lal masjid website taken down

Posted on April 6, 2007. Filed under: Jamia Hafsa Ninjas, Lal Masjid, Talibanization |

Yes, our lovely patrons, the online mouthpiece of the blood red temple of doom is out of commission.

The talibaan of Islamabad went out of their way today when they set up their court system and threatened the government and people of Pakistan with suicide bombings. I am hoping that this is a permanent thing. Hopefully initiated by the government of Pakistan, and a sign of things to come on the streets of Islamabad for the masjid and its affiliated madrassas. Let’s hope the government is ready to execute a severe crackdown and follow that up with shutting these terrorist factories down for good.

I am keeping this short, because I’ve got my fingers crossed on both hand and typing is a bit hard this way. Chai with desi biscuts is on the house today.

Update: 12 April, The shaitan mullahs of Lal Masjid are back online. And they are complaining of curbs on their freedom of speech. Imagine the audacity. Will someone please shut them up already. Where are the hackers when you need them. Will someone please deface the Lal Masjid website with some pictures of women not wearing any burkas or much else. Please, pretty please!

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