Pak court to summon Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz over 2007 Lal Masjid case

Islamabad, Feb. 1 (ANI): The one-man commission constituted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to probe the 2007 Lal Masjid operation has decided to summon former president Pervez Musharraf and former premier Shaukat Aziz for questioning.

The Dawn quoted an official, as saying that Musharraf and Aziz would be summoned in the second week of February.

The commission decided to summon the two after a number of witnesses in their statements alleged that Musharraf was responsible for launching the military operation on Lal Masjid in July 2007.

The cleric of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz, while testifying before the commission on December 31, 2012, had said that Musharraf was against their religious ideology. He said that during Musharraf's tenure, the district management started demolishing 80 mosques in the capital, following which students of Jamia Faridia started protesting against him.

Musharraf branded Lal Masjid supporters as terrorists and ultimately launched a military operation against them, he added.

Similarly, Majid Younis, the spouse of Maulana Aziz also alleged that Musharraf, General (retired) Rashid Qureshi, then spokesman of the president house; and a serving three star general, Waheed Arshad, then director general inter-services public relations, were responsible for the Lal Masjid operation.

Most of the witnesses including the employees of Jamia Faridia and Jamia Hafsa - the two seminaries operating under the administrative control of Lal Masjid - also held Musharraf responsible for the 2007 Lal Masjid operation.

On Thursday, the commission recorded the statements of PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former religious affairs minister Mohammad Ijazul Haq and former state minister Tariq Azeem.

In their statements, the former ministers of Musharraf's cabinet told the commission that they had tried to defuse the situation and did their best to convince the Lal Masjid management to surrender but all their efforts were in vain. (ANI)

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