Supreme Court orders report on Lal Masjid operation to be made public


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday ordered that the report on Lal Masjid operation be made public after it was compiled by a one man judicial commission.

Former President Pervez Musharraf, whose arrest has been ordered by the Islamabad High Court, could face further criminal charges if the report compiled by Federal Shariat Court and Justice Shahzado Sheikh rules against him.

A three member bench consisting of Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said that the Lal Masjid operation, involving Jamia Hafsa students was witnessed by everyone as the media was reporting all the proceedings.

The commission recorded statements from over 300 witnesses. Amongst them were the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former education minister Javed Ashraf Qazi, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Ijazul Haq, Tariq Azeem, Mohammad Ali Durrani, and Aftab Khan Sherpao.

The conflict with the Jamia Hafsa students had started when they had occupied a children’s library on January 22, 2007 in response to the city administration razing seven “unauthorised” mosques. The conflict turned into a full fledged armed clash when a Rangers personnel was killed by gunfire issuing from the mosque on July 3.

The army was called in and special forces stormed the mosque after the suspension of water and electricity supply to the building failed to subdue the alleged militants.

The apex court had instructed the commission to investigate the causes that led to clash and to ascertain if the dead were identified and handed over to their legal heirs, the number of those killed, if any action was taken against the people responsible by the police and if it was possible to hold someone accountable for the incident.

According to legal experts, there is a possibility that witness’ statements recorded by the commission might have singled out Musharraf as the person responsible since he was at the helm of affairs in 2007.

Sources by: tribune