Pakistan

‘Lal Masjid cleric’s wife failed to substantiate claim’

The capital police have informed the Supreme Court that the wife of Lal Masjid’s cleric, Umme Hassan, failed to substantiate her claim about the number of seminary students inside the mosque during the operation in 2007.

The Islamabad police have submitted its reply regarding the implementation of the Supreme Court order of October 2, 2007. The court is resuming the hearing of case today (Thursday).

The reply states that the investigation team recorded Ayesha Ahmed and Umme Hassan’s statements. The police states that during the probe, both of the witnesses failed to substantiate their version that there were 3500-3600 students inside Lal Masjid.

The report further states that the operation started on July 3, 2007 by the armed forces in pursuance of the federal government’s directions under Article 245 of the Constitution and was concluded on July 10, 2007.

It is also stated that 662 people were arrested and released later on. As many as 467 female seminary students were evacuated from Lal Masjid during the operation and were handed over to their relatives.

Regarding the operation, 53 criminal cases were registered.

Challans against Maulana Abdul Aziz his wife and 39 other accused were sent to the courts for further proceedings.

The report says 103 people — 89 militants, 11 officials and three civilians — were killed during the operation.

On the last date of the hearing, Maulana Aziz’s counsel Tariq Asad, claimed he was denied access to the documents submitted before the Lal Masjid Commission in sealed envelopes though the report had been made public.

The court had directed the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP), Salman Aslam Butt, to go through the sealed documents and tell the judges about their contents in open court.

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