Petition seeks SC action against top officials: Lal Masjid-Jamia Hafsa operation
ISLAMABAD, Aug 29: Wafaqul Madaris Al Arabia Pakistan on Tuesday pleaded
before the Supreme Court that Gen Pervez Musharraf as army chief and other civil
and military officers should be sued for what it called 'butchering innocent
people' during the July 10 military operation against Lal Masjid and Jamia
On a suo motu notice, a four-member Supreme Court bench,
comprising Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Faqir Mohammad Khokhar, Justice Mian
Shakirullah Jan and Justice M. Javed Buttar, took up a complaint regarding the
extra-judicial killing of people at the Lal Masjid-Jamia Hafsa
Complaints of harassment by family members of some students of
the seminary also invited the ire of the court which directed Deputy
Attorney-General Raja Irshad to ask intelligence agencies to stop imitating
Mughal rulers by exercising unbridled powers.
On the petition of Wafaqul
Madaris, the court ordered the respondents – the federation of Pakistan through
secretary interior, cabinet division and the defence secretary -- to answer 21
questions raised in the petition through concise statements in four weeks.
Attorney-General Malik Mohammad Qayyum was also summoned for the next
Wafaqul Madaris regulates curricula of around 10,000 Islamic
institutions and holds examinations throughout Pakistan.
case of Wafaqul Madaris, Advocate Iftikhar Gillani sought directive of the
Supreme Court for the registration of criminal cases against those who had
ordered the military operation. "FIRs should be lodged against Gen Pervez
Musharraf, Commander 10 Corp Rawalpindi, interior ministry, Islamabad chief
commissioner and deputy commissioner and Inspector General Police
"We will file affidavits that the agreement reached between
the government and Lal Masjid clerics before the operation was torn apart in the
presidency," Iftikhar Gillani said. "Gen Musharraf has given us nothing but
'butchery' in Wana, Bajaur, Karachi, Waziristan and all over the
The court asked the local administration to refrain from taking
hasty steps to change the nature of the place where Jamia Hafsa stood but pulled
down after the military operation. "Prior approval of the court and consultation
with Wafaqul Madaris will be necessary before taking any decision."
court also asked the administration to respect the sentiments of the people and
said that instead of converting the seminary plot into parks or library, some
educational institution, preferably religious, should be developed.
basis of the Wafaqul Madaris petition, Iftikhar Gillani explained, was the note
sent by Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi to the then acting chief justice in which
the judge had held that killings of innocent citizens either by militants or
security forces squarely fell within the ambit of 'Qatal-Amad'
The petition requested the court to restrain the government
from using the Jamia Hafsa place for any other purpose or changing its nature in
any manner till the court concluded its probe into the Lal Masjid
It pleaded that the use of chemical incendiary weapons against
civilians, defacing the bodies, concealing the exact figure of casualties and
use of excessive force were crimes in international law. The Geneva Convention,
1980 provides protection by imposing restrictions on the use of incendiary
weapons against civilians even in war times. Therefore, the people responsible
for the massacre should be booked and penalised, it added.
said the 'operation silence' was clearly beyond the functions of the Armed
Forces as defined under Article 245 of the Constitution. Unfortunately, it said,
efforts were being made to bury the issue, instead of taking action against the
The court directed the administration to address the
allegations of harassments and complaints regarding missing students, expedite
DNA tests of bodies and facilitate handing over of bodies to their
Interior Secretary Kamal Shah informed the court that of the 39
persons who had remained arrested, 37 had been bailed out, except Maulana Abdul
Aziz and one of his daughters. Similarly, DNA tests of 42 bodies of a total 62
have been confirmed while the remaining 20 are under process.
administration was asked to consider payment of expenses to the legal heirs who
had come from far-flung areas to receive bodies of their near and dear
Regarding the desecration of the Holy Quran, the court was told
that five officials of the Capital Development Authority, including a director,
who supervised the removal of debris from Jamia Hafsa, had been
On a complaint regarding two girls who had surrendered to the
authorities but later went missing, the administration submitted a confidential
report before the court and said that efforts were afoot to locate
The interior secretary informed the court that Jamia Hafsa was
demolished after it had been declared dangerous by a committing comprising
Nespak, the CDA and the Planning Commission.
The court asked the
administration to approach Religious Affairs Minister Ijazul Haq who in a talk
show had claimed that the mother of Maulana Abdul Aziz was still alive but her
whereabouts were not known.
During the case, the six-member legal
committee expressed apprehensions over the delay in DNA tests. Dawn
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