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India-Pakistan
Seminaries combed ahead of Pakistan Day parade
2015-03-22
[DAWN] ISLAMABAD: A joint team of the capital police and paramilitary troops searched different religious seminaries in the capital city as a part of the security measures for the Pakistain Day parade.

Senior officers of the capital administration, including the deputy commissioner, were also present.

Officials said every nook and corner of the seminaries was searched and details of the students and teachers were checked.

The officials said the main concern of the authorities was Jamia Faridia located at sector E-7. Other seminaries were also searched to avoid creating an impression that only Jamia Faridia was targeted.

All the 120 rooms of Jamia Faridia and 450 students were checked and verified with the record of the seminary. The people found on the premises were either students or teachers.

A senior police officer on the condition of anonymity said during the search about two dozen people were spotted arriving at Jamia Faridia in wagons.

The arrival of the people raised an alarm so they were also searched and inquired about the reason for their coming there.

During the search, it emerged that they had gone from the seminary to a mosque in Rawalpindi last night.

Meanwhile,
...back at the dirigible, the pilot and the copilot had both hit the silk.

Jack! Cynthia exclaimed. Do you know how to drive one of these things?

Jack wiped some of the blood from his knuckles.

No, he said. Do you?...

Assistant Inspector General of Police (Special Branch) Waqar Ahmed Chohan on Friday held meetings with the residents of Margalla Hills and asked them to keep a vigil against suspects.

During the meetings with residents of areas from Shah Allah Dita and Bhara Kahu, the AIG said police should be informed about people involved in construction works and the tenants.
Link


India-Pakistan
IHC adjourns Perv's prayer for 4 days
2013-05-28
ISLAMABAD: A division bench of Islamabad High Court adjourned the hearing of bail application of former president Pervez Musharraf in judges’ detention case for four days and demanded the entire record of the case.
Perv is going to wish he'd stayed in Arabia...
On Monday, two-member bench of the IHC comprising Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui resumed the hearing of the bail plea of Pervez Musharraf in judges’ detention case. Muhammad Ilyas Siddiqui, the lawyer of Pervez Musharraf submitted an application in the court in which it is stated that the anti-terrorism act does not apply to the judges’ detention case. He asked the court how a person who remained president and supreme commander of the armed forces of the country could be ascertained a terrorist. He said that the challan was prepared in the light of statements of those who were not directly affected. There is nothing on the record that can prove that his client gave the orders to house arrest the judges, he said.

The lawyer said that the protestor of the case had declared to withdraw the case from the court and not to proceed further in the case during a press conference, whereas there is no evidence against Pervez Musharraf.

The court adjourned the hearing after issuing notices to all concerned parties. Earlier, Haroon Rashid, son Ghazi Abdul Rashid (late), former Principal of Jamia Faridia at the Lal Masjid, submitted an application in the court through his lawyer Tariq Asad in which he requested the court that the murder case of his father and grandmother had been pending in the court. The application states that there are some media reports that efforts are being made to send Pervez Musharraf abroad hence the hearing of the case may be held at the earliest.
Link


India-Pakistan
Lal Masjid cleric's interview in burqa still a mystery
2013-02-10
[Dawn] Maulana Abdul Aziz removing his veil of his burqa on the state run PTV remains the defining image of the Lal Masjid crisis of 2007.

But nearly six years later, it is still not clear whose brainwave led to this spectacle. Both the federal secretary of information and the man managing PTV have little idea whose idea this was.

The Lal Masjid Commission grappled with the mystery on Friday in Islamabad.

A conflict between the Musharraf regime and the Lal Masjid administration provided a basis for the operation which started on July 3 and lasted till July 11, 2007.

The clampdown claimed lives of 103 persons, including 10 army personnel and one Ranger.

Maulana Aziz, the Khateeb of Lal Masjid, who was also the principal of Jamia Faridia was tossed in the calaboose
Please don't kill me!
by the law enforcement agencies on July 4, 2007 a day after the forces launched the operation.

Aziz who was 'caught' slipping out of the mosque in a burqa was presented on PTV on July 4, 2007.

The one man commission of Justice Shehzado Sheikh of Federal Shariat Court (FSC), however, remained firm that the issue was an important one as he felt that the orchestrated manoeuvre worsened an already tense situation.

The judge pointed out that the government had announced a general pardon and Rs5000 cash reward for the embattled students of Lal Masjid who were willing to come out and surrender.

But once Aziz was 'humiliated' thus in the 'drama on television, his infuriated followers stayed put and died in the subsequent operation.

Initially he was shown wearing burqa, the veil of which he then threw back from his face and the interview began.

Justice Sheikh began by asking MD PTV Mirza Yousaf Baig why he allowed the interview at that critical time.

Mr Baig surprised the judge as well as others when he said, "I never ordered the airing of the interview," adding that "I had expressed my reservations to then secretary information and told him that the interview would have serious implications."

However,
a person who gets all wrapped up in himself makes a mighty small package...
Baig added that "the secretary information asked me to air the interview and I passed on the instructions to the chief coordinator of the television."

He further revealed that he had no idea that Aziz would be interviewed while wearing the 'burqa', claiming that he found out about the 'disguise' once the interview had been recorded.

Mr Baig informed the court that the decision had taken "elsewhere".

However,
the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits...
when the commission turned to then secretary information Anwar Mehmood, his answers were not any more enlightening. He said, "I was asked to telecast the interview".

Later when asked to explain what he meant, Mr Mehmood told Dawn, "After the arrest of Maulana Aziz, I received a call from an unknown number and the caller asked me to record and air the interview of the holy man."

When asked whether he tried to verify the identity of 'unknown caller', he replied "no because I was not in a position to trace the caller."

Recording his testimony before the commission, then federal minister for interior Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao also said that timing of the interview was terrible.

He, however, added that when the military started the operation, he was not in Pakistain, adding that the interior ministry had nothing to do with the operation though it tried to settle the issue peacefully.

He said that after the operation Maulana Aziz was not sent to Adiala Jail but was kept in house arrest along with his family members in a rest house near Simly Dam.

President Gen (retired) Pervez Perv Musharraf
... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ...
and then prime minister Shaukat Aziz had been summoned to appear before the commission on Friday, but both of them remained absent.
Link


India-Pakistan
Clerics acquitted in kidnapping case
2013-01-30
[Dawn] A local court on Monday acquitted Lal Masjid Khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz along with his spouse and two other clerics in the kidnapping case of four policemen.

On January 10, Senior Civil Judge Sheikh Sohail had framed charges against Maulana Aziz, his wife Majida alias Umme Hassan, Maulana Afzal and Maulana Abdul Basir for kidnapping the police officials on May 18, 2007.

They were also accused of obstructing the policemen from performing their duty and using the loudspeaker for inciting people against the government.

The clerics, however, pleaded that they had neither kidnapped the police officials nor committed any other illegal act.

It may be noted that it is a routine practice under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that statements of witnesses are recorded and they are cross-examined after the indictment of an accused.

However, in the kidnapping case of the police officials, in which Maulana Aziz and his associates were booked, the court had recorded the statements of the witnesses even before framing the charges against the accused persons.

Later, in order to complete the CrPC requirement, the court offered the prosecution -- the Islamabad police -- to produce witnesses and reserved judgment on Jan 12. However, no witness appeared before the court.

On Monday, the judge announced the short order acquitting all the four accused persons of the charges.

According to the FIR registered by the Aabpara police on May 18, 2007, students of Jamia Faridia and Jamia Hafsa, the two seminaries affiliated with Lal Masjid, kidnapped the policemen at the behest of Maulana Aziz and his associates.

It said the seminary students while attacking the policemen were chanting slogans against the government and demanding the release of Khalid Khawaj, a former ISI official and a close friend of Maulana Aziz and his brother Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, who was at that time in the custody of law enforcement agencies.

The FIR also alleged that in May 2007 during a Friday sermon Maulana Aziz had warned of suicide attacks if the government launched an operation against Jamia Hafsa.

During the hearing of the case, Qari Wajihulllah, the counsel for Maulana Aziz, maintained that the police had framed his client. He claimed that Maulana Aziz was not present at the place from where the policemen had been kidnapped.

According to him, in order to please the then military dictator Pervez Musharraf, the police had fabricated 27 'bogus' cases against the Lal Masjid cleric.

He pointed out that the police had produced eight witnesses in the court but none of them deposed against the clerics of Lal Masjid.

Qari Wajihullah told Dawn that Maulana Aziz had been acquitted in all but one case. The only pending case against the cleric is related to raids by the seminary students on CD shops at F-7, F-6 and Aabpara market. The case was registered a few days before the Lal Masjid operation in 2007, he added.

It may be mentioned that the Islamabad administration in its reply submitted to the Lal Masjid commission had mentioned a series of cases registered against the cleric.

According to the administration, Maulana Aziz on February 25, 2007, was booked in the abduction case of an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the special branch. On March 27 the same year, he was nominated for abducting a woman and her daughter and on March 28, a case was registered against the cleric and others for kidnapping two police officials and seizing their official vehicles.

On March 28, a case was registered against him for launching an FM radio without obtaining permission from the government. On April 14, the cleric was booked in the CD shops burning case. On May 18, he was booked for kidnapping the four police officials and on May 21 for abducting three other policemen. 0n July 3, the Lal Masjid management snatched weapons from the police.
Link


India-Pakistan
Final assault on Lal Masjid: Top clerics were not there
2013-01-05
[Dawn] The big shotship of the Lal Masjid and several key functionaries of Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Faridia, the two seminaries attached to it, were either not present in the mosque or had left it before the military launched its final assault on July 10, 2007.

This has emerged from the testimonies of 50 of the 294 witnesses recorded in the past four days by the one-man judicial commission inquiring into the July 3-11, 2007 bloody operation that killed 103 people, including family members of Maulana Abdul Aziz, head holy man of the mosque, teachers and students of the seminaries and 10 security personnel.

Asiya Hameed, a teacher of Jamia Hafsa and custodian of the record of the girls seminary, was among the 16 witnesses who recorded their statements with the commission on Thursday.

"Since I was not in the madrassa during the operation, I don't know the exact details," she said when asked by the head of the commission Justice Shehzado Sheikh of the Federal Shariat Court, whether she had the record of the girls who were on rolls, or went missing during the operation.

She said her uncle had taken her away from the mosque complex, where the girls seminary operated, on July 3, 2007, the day the operation began.

When she rejoined Jamia Hafsa, she said, she did not find the record, which security agencies might have taken away.

Maulana Aziz, who also acted as principal of Jamia Faridia located in Sector E-7, had similarly told the commission in his testimony on December 31 that he could not compile the record of the students killed or went missing in the operation as he was nabbed
Please don't kill me!
when he came out of the mosque on July 4, 2007, the day after the army laid siege to the mosque.

Reports at that time said Maulana Aziz slipped out in a 'burqa' in the company of his daughters and girl students leaving the mosque in response to appeals made by the administration in the days before the Special Services Group launched the final assault on July 10, 2007.

Nazim of Jamia Hafsa, Afzal Khan, deposing the day after Maulana Aziz did, told the commission that he and some 500 girl students had left the mosque on July 6, 2007 during a break in the curfew imposed in the mosque area.

Umme Hassan, Maulana Aziz's spouse and principal of Jamia Hafsa, was arrested from inside the mosque complex on July 10, 2007 but says she did not witness the last stages of the final assault.

She told Dawn that she had struggled for the enforcement of Sharia in the country and lost many members of her family in the quest, including her only son Hassan.

"I sacrificed my son for a cause. There was nothing more precious to me than him," she said.

Her husband, Maulana Aziz, had recounted to the commission other members the family lost -- his mother Sahiba Khatoon, younger brother Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi and two cousins.

Many teachers, students of Jamia Faridia and their administrator Tariq Saeed, escaped the misfortune as they were enjugged
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
inside the seminary located far away from the mosque, according to a teacher of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Qadir.

Sajjad Ahmed, a Murree-based journalist, told the commission that his elder brother Khalid Ameen, inspired by sermons of holy mans, reached Lal Masjid on July 3, 2007 morning to defend it and went missing in the aftermath.

"I received his last call on July 6 (2007) and then silence fell, without a trace of him," he said. Despite his best efforts, Khalid Ameen's body was not found.

Sajjad told Dawn that his brother was not religious-minded and seldom offered prayer in Lal Masjid. "But because he was an emotional man, he decided to stand with the Lal Masjid people till the end," he said, adding that "the role of holy mans was not very encouraging in this episode".

"My family lives in a never-ending uncertainty over Ameen's fate."
Link


India-Pakistan
The reason terrorism suspects go free
2011-04-20
[Dawn] No less than 23 suspect Orcs and similar vermin have been acquitted of the charge in the past six months by the trial courts in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

That sounds alarming but only until one learns the reason -- weak prosecution.

Each of the 23 accused went free because the prosecution failed to connect them firmly with the seven terror attacks they were said to have a hand in. Mostly, the prosecution`s case collapsed because the trial judge found the witnesses and confessional statements unreliable.

"In my experience, the prosecution in suicide kaboom cases overwhelmingly relies on eyewitnesses to the incident who later identify the suspects during the identification parade in jail," said Advocate Basharatullah Khan who has represented accused people in such cases.

However,
The infamous However...
the prosecution case is usually very weak legally; for instance eyewitnesses are found by the Sherlocks after the accused have been tossed in the slammer. This weakens the case as ideally eyewitnesses` testimony should be recorded soon after the incident and not after the accused are tossed in the slammer, he pointed out.

This is exactly what happened in the case of Ghulam Mustafa Tabbasum and Shafiqur Rehman who were recently acquitted after having been tried for being involved in the suicide attack at the entrance of Rescue 15 in Islamabad in 2009.

The Margalla police in their preliminary investigation report did not mention any eyewitness. Later they added that two coppers claimed to have seen the two suspects roaming near the office of Rescue 15 two days before the suicide attack.

And if the eyewitnesses were found at the right time, the prosecution fails to fulfill legal requirements, making the testimony invalid. This was the mistake made by the prosecution which won the accused of the suicide attack on a police gathering near Melody Market in 2008, Qari Ilyas, his freedom.

The Aabpara police failed to fulfill all the legal requirements of holding the identification parade at the jail under the supervision of the judicial magistrate. The two police witnesses identified Ilyas in the absence of the magistrate and confirmed that they saw him `directing` the jacket wallah to attack the police gathering on July 7 2008. The testimony was thrown out of the court.

Lazy eyewitnesses also came to the rescue of Qari Ilyas in another case. Along with Mohammad Rizwan and Rao Shakir Ali, he was accused of a car boom blast outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad in June 2008.

The prosecution based its case on two police constables who said they saw the three outside the embassy soon before the blast. Later these two constables identified the three accused in a cop shoppe -- in violation of rules of the identification parade. In September 2010, all three were acquitted.

A month later, an anti-terrorism court acquitted five men in two suicide cases one -- outside the office of Islamabad police`s special branch and at the checkpost of Frontier Constabulary. The reason? The eyewitnesses.

One of the two witnesses never appeared in court and the other could not identify the five men in the court though he had earlier testified that he saw them near Jamia Faridia planning the suicide attacks.

"In all these cases, the Sherlocks had no legal means to link the suspected Orcs and similar vermin with the actual incident and as a result fabricated witnesses," Advocate Khan said.

A second main reason for the acquittal of terror suspects in the last six months is that the prosecution could not prove the circumstances in which the suspects were tossed in the slammer; in almost all the cases the families of the suspects alleged that the suspects had disappeared long before the police found them.

In support of their contention, the families could provide FIRs they had filed against the disappearance of their relative or moved the high court against the missing men, the lawyer added.

"Most recently, the Lahore High Court in Rawalpindi on April 12 acquitted nine men as it could not be proved that they had been tossed in the slammer from a house on the outskirts of Rawalpindi cantonment," the lawyer said.

These nine men had been tossed in the slammer and accused of the murder of Surgeon General Mushtaq Baig and for possessing explosives.

However,
The wishy-washy However...
they were acquitted earlier of the murder. But this year, though a magistrate had convicted the nine men for carrying kaboom and illegal weapons, the high court set aside the conviction. This decision came because the prosecution could not satisfy the court about the identity of the owner of the house in which these nine men were supposed to have been living at the time of the arrest, Basharatullah told Dawn .

However,
The infamous However...
in the last case, the prosecution`s blunder was so great that it has left observers bereft.

Former MMA MNA from Karak Shah Abdul Aziz was acquitted by a court from the charges of kidnapping and beheading a Polish geologist in 2008 in Jand, Attock. This is because the entire case was based on the confessional statement of Attaullah, the second accused. However,
The infamous However...
the case came to an abrupt end when it was discovered that Atta`s statement was written in English while he only spoke and understood Pushto.
Link


India-Pakistan
After Lahore Shrine Bombing, Spotlight Turns on New Militant Group 'Ghazi Force'
2010-07-09
On July 1, three suicide bombers attacked the shrine of Sufi mystic Syed Ali Hajwairi, in Lahore, killing more than 40 people and wounding 175 others. The 11th Century Sufi mystic, who is commonly known as Data Gunj Bakhsh, has a large number of followers across South Asia, especially in Pakistan and India. The attack, seen as an assault on people's Islam as expressed in Sufism, has once again focused the spotlight on militant organizations based in Punjab, of which Lahore is the capital. According to a report, the Ghazi Force, a relatively new militant organization, could be behind the attack.

Commenting on the Data Gunj Bakhsh shrine attack, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik stated that the attackers are "worse than animals and infidels" and, pointing out those behind the attack, noted that the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and Al-Qaeda are working together. The Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a former religious-political party that was outlawed due to its campaign of violence against Shi'ite Muslims, is considered to be the mother of almost all Sunni jihadist organizations in Pakistan, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jaish-e-Muhammad. In April, Pakistani intelligence officials in Karachi indicated that the SSP and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had formed two smaller organizations: Lashkar-e-Islam and Ghazi Force. However, the Ghazi Force may have been established more than a year ago.

Over the past year or so, Ghazi Force has attracted the attention of Pakistani security agencies in connection with its role in various militant attacks. The organization was formed to avenge the deaths of Abdur Rashid Ghazi and dozens of his armed students during the 2007 military operation in the Red Mosque of Islamabad. The army operation was ordered by the then-military ruler General Pervez Musharraf after the radical students of the Jamia Hafsa madrassa for women and Jamia Faridia male madrassa, both controlled by Red Mosque's leaders Abdur Rashid Ghazi and his brother Maulana Abdul Aziz, occupied a government building, challenging the state of Pakistan, and began enforcing Islamic Shari'a in Islamabad.

The army operation in Red Mosque, where top generals of the Pakistani military have offered their weekly Friday prayers over the years, caused an outrage among the jihadist organizations in Pakistan and their sympathizers in Pakistani society. General Musharraf was forced to appear on national television to explain the necessity for the army operation. The top Al-Qaeda leadership also reacted against the operation. In a 24-minute video address, Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden called upon Pakistani soldiers to desert the Pakistani Army and "eliminate" General Musharraf, adding: "The storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad was a saddening incident... which revealed his determination to continue [serving as] a loyal and obedient supporter of America against the Muslims... We must [therefore] launch an armed [struggle] against him and eliminate him... Shari'a commands [us] to kill apostate leaders, and a Muslim must not question the commands of Allah... Know that when jihad becomes an individual commandment incumbent upon every Muslim, as it is today, there are only two options...: either [to wage] jihad for the sake of Allah, which is the Prophet's way... or to avoid [waging jihad], which is the way of sinners and hypocrites..."

In the aftermath of the Red Mosque operation, there have been concerns in Pakistan that the radical students of the Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Faridia madrassas could formally join the jihadist movements in Pakistan. The students of these madrassas have marked the anniversary of the military operation in recent years. According to a report in the Pashtu-language newspaper Wrazpanra Wahdat, the female students of the Jamia Hafsa students organized a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the operation in July 2009 and banners inscribed with anti-military slogans were put up in the vicinity of the Red Mosque. During 2009, various Pakistani courts began acquitting Maulana Abdul Aziz, who had been charged on various counts in connection with Red Mosque episode. It was also during 2009 that the Ghazi Force's name began appearing in the Pakistani media, especially following arrests of militants from madrassas in Islamabad.

In June 2009, Islamabad's Senior Superintendent of Police Tahir Aslam disclosed the arrest of one militant named Fidaullah, noting that he had established a new militant network with the name of Ghazi Force. In July, police in Islamabad arrested two militants: Mohammad Ovais and Obaidullah Khan. A report quoted unidentified police sources as saying that the two admitted that they had sent a dozen youth from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Pakistani Kashmir to the Pakistani tribal areas for militant training. Interestingly, Mohammad Ovais, who came from the Poonch district in Indian Kashmir, and Obaidullah Khan -- a computer engineering graduate -- worked for one militant commander called Tipu, who was "affiliated with a militant group named Ghazi Force."

Following the arrests of a number of militants from the Pakistani capital who revealed that they belonged to the Ghazi Force, the Lahore-based newspaper Daily Times wrote an editorial in October 2009, titled "Islamabad: Terror Epicenter?" The editorial observed: "Examining the spoor of terrorists closely, security agencies are increasingly worried about Islamabad being the epicenter of terrorism. Acting on the basis of this pointer, there was a dragnet taken across the numerous madrassas in the capital city, only to find that all was fine with them. It is not known if the mosques -- where sermons laced with politics are routinely given -- were also under observation. But an outfit named Ghazi Force is being mentioned..." In late-October, the Dawn newspaper also published a report, titled "Lal Masjid [Red Mosque] is Still Training Militants?" The report noted that police officers investigating terrorist attacks in Islamabad suspect the involvement of Ghazi Force, with its Emir being identified as Niaz Raheem aka Bilal.

In November 2009, the Pakistani security forces arrested one Jamsheed aka Tahir, a former student of the Jamia Faridia, in connection with the October 5 attack inside the office of the World Food Program in Islamabad. According to a Pakistani police official, Tahir belonged to the Ghazi Force, which was identified to be working from its base in the Pakistani tribal district of Orakzai Agency. From Tahir's statement, it emerged that the headquarters of the Ghazi Force is in the Dabori village of Orakzai Agency.

Azam Tariq, the spokesman of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has denied the Taliban's involvement in the shrine attack. However, this denial may be a tactical move to overcome people's anger against the Taliban. Just a week before the July 1 Data Gunj Bakhsh shrine attack, a Pakistani intelligence report warned that jihadist organizations are actively recruiting youth in jihad and are "publicly raising funds" in the Punjab province. Noting that at least 17 jihadist groups are raising donations through religious congregations, certificate award ceremonies and meetings held in the name of social welfare, the report noted that "the most active among these groups... [is] the Ghazi Force." The intelligence report also noted that the Ghazi Force has "close working relations" with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
Link


India-Pakistan
Police raid madrassas in Islamabad
2009-10-19
Law enforcement agencies on Sunday raided religious seminaries in the capital, to check for the presence of 'foreigners' there.

A police team raided the Jamia Mohammadia mosque and checked the records and particulars of the students enrolled there. Police found no irregularities during the 90-minute operation and no arrests were made.

Police teams also raided madrassas in Bara Kahu, I-8 and Jamia Faridia but found nothing irregular. Police sources said the raids were part of precautionary measures the government was taking to prevent terrorist acts.

The raids come as Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced the government would take strict action against any mosque that allowed any foreigner to serve as a prayer leader.

Also on Sunday, the interior minister visited different markets in the city to examine security measures there. He instructed police to ensure strict security to pre-empt that no terrorist attack could be carried out in the area.

On September 9, the government had informed the National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior that it was monitoring the activities of madrassas in Islamabad, as legislators expressed concerns over unregistered seminaries still operating in the federal capital.
Link


India-Pakistan
Pakistan: Spy agency exposes link between militants and religious schools
2009-07-16
[ADN Kronos] By Syed Saleem Shahzad - As refugees displaced by conflict in northwest Pakistan make their way home, they are afraid that their children will now depend on Islamic religious schools as their only option for education. At least 270 schools, used by the Pakistani army as military posts, were destroyed in the crossfire and by bomb attacks in Malakand agency during the recent military offensive in North West Frontier Province. More than two million displaced people have begun leaving refugee camps and other shelters in the Peshawar valley region of the province.

Now there is renewed fear that Islamic schools or 'madrassahs' will be the only system of education left to fill the vacuum which could lead to a new generation who could be trained for the Taliban.

Pakistan's largest spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, has produced a full dossier on this new phenomenon describing the connection and roles played by different religious education organisations in Pakistan and how they play a role for the networking of Jihadis.

The first page of the dossier is about a recently arrested militant, allegedly responsible for attacks on the state police Special Branch and a military camp in Islamabad highlights the connection between the militants and religious schools. Fidaullah Yousufzai alias Abdul Rahman was recently detained by the ISI along with former MP, Shah Abdul Aziz, from the home of Maulana Abdul Aziz.

Maulana Abdul Aziz, the recently freed cleric who was prayer leader at Islamabad's Lal Masjid or Red mosque, during the violent siege in July 2007 in which more than 100 people were killed.

The Pakistani interrogation report chart showed Fidaullah, 24, was educated at Lal Masjid Islamabad, Jamia Mohammadia, Jamia Faridia, Jamia Haqqania and Darul uloom Huda Golra. He comes from Buner in Malakand.

He joined a militia Ghazi Force, named after slain Abdul Rasheed Ghazi of Lal Masjid, because all his fellow students or teachers of seminaries he was educated in were part of the Ghazi Force.

He was also part of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan's Buner chapter because he came from that area and spent time in prison where he increased his links with militants.

As the report suggested, this background helped him to become someone who plans terror attacks, raises funds through his sources and executes his plans with whichever group is available in a given area.

This chart focuses on four Islamic seminaries that are Jamia Mohammadia, Jamia Faridia, Jamia Haqqania and Darul Uloom Golra which engage a network from Swat Valley to Islamabad and setup an array of Jihadi outfit.
Link


India-Pakistan
Pakistan: Suspects arrested for Žplotting attack against spy agencyŽ
2009-05-29
[ADN Kronos] By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Pakistani police claim to have arrested a group planning to carry out an attack against the headquarters of the country's military intelligence agency or ISI in the capital, Islamabad.
The day after isn't as good as the day before, but it's better than never.
A former MP was also detained for allegedly helping the militants. Former MP Shah Abdul Aziz was among three people who were arrested on Wednesday in Islamabad over the alleged plot.
He'll be sprung for lack of evidence.
The arrests came the same day that militants carried out a deadly gun and bomb attack against a building used by police and ISI in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore. The Pakistani Taliban told the British broadcaster, the BBC, on Thursday they carried out the Lahore attack - which killed at least 24 people and injured over 200 - in retaliation for the ongoing military operation in the restive northwestern Swat Valley area.
They really aren't very good at military operations against even minimally trained soldiers.
Later on Thursday twin bomb attacks struck the capital of the North West Frontier Province, Peshawar.
They're pretty good at blowing things up, though.
The two other people arrested in connection with the alleged terror plot against ISI's Islamabad headquarters were named as Asif and Junaid (an alias).
The Pak equivalent to "Herb" and "Walter (an alias)."
Both are wanted by Pakistani security forces and come from North West Frontier Province's Malakand division, which includes Swat. They were both found at the residence of radical cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz.
Nothing at all is going to happen to the Maulana. If he happens to fall down dead from heart failure feel free to say "Whoa! They really are serious about stamping that crap out!" But he won't, so you won't have to say it.
The prayer leader at Islamabad's Red Mosque, Abdul Aziz was linked to the 2007 Red Mosque siege in which over 170 died, sparking a bloody two-year militant insurgency in Swat. The two suspects portrayed themselves to Abdul Aziz as collecting donations for Swat victims.
Stop laughing like that. You'll hurt yourself.
Meanwhile, security agencies received intelligence about the suspects and moved to arrest them.
"Calling all cars! Be only the lookout for Herb and Walter (an alias)! Last seen in the vicinity of Maulana Abdul Aziz' house! That is all!"
They allegedly called Shah Abdul Aziz, who tried to help them escape in his car, but all three were picked up by ISI officials.
"What are you idiots doing here? You're supposed to be back at the hideout! Get in the car! Get in, dammit!"
Abdul Aziz is a former member of parliament for the alliance of religious parties and a was a Taliban commander in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
No! Reeeeeeally? Do tell?
Two other people suspected of plotting terrorist reprisal attacks for the military operation against militants in Swat were arrested in Karachi. Both are students of Jamia Faridia, an Islamic seminary affiliated with Islamabad's Red Mosque.
It's being rehabbed with public funds. No U.S. aid money's being used, of course. They're using non-fungible currency.
Pakistani human rights activist Khalid Khawaja, a friend of Abdul Aziz
The Shah or the Maulana? Or both? Khalid's a friendly guy, for an ex-ISI agent. He's also a friend of Hamid Gul and Osama bin Laden. Last December he was going to be declared a terrorist for his involvement with the Mumbai attacks.
and fellow member of the Defence for Human Rights organisation said Abdul Aziz was not involved with any criminal suspects.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
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India-Pakistan
3 'terrorists' held in Islamabad
2009-05-28
Police arrested three suspected terrorists on Tuesday night from sector E-7 near Jamia Faridia. An official source said that the arrested men -- aged between 25 and 30 and "residents of Malakand division" -- were allegedly planning to target sensitive installations in the city. Police also seized weapons and suicide jackets from the possession, said the source. He said the men had been shifted to an unidentified location for investigation.
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India-Pakistan
'Jamia Faridia re-opened after Fazl-govt deal'
2008-09-01
The government has re-opened the Jamia Faridia madrassa following a deal with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman, a senior Islamabad Capital Territory official said on Sunday.

He denied the government had reached any agreement with the Lal Masjid administration before opening the madrassa late on Saturday night.

Lal Masjid deputy cleric Amir Siddique also said no agreement had been reached with the government for the opening of the madrassa, which was closed in July 2007. He added, however, that the government had a few reservations, which he claimed had been addressed through dialogue.

"The government had demanded that we reduce the number of madrassa students ... we considered their demand and agreed to it," Siddique said. He said political pressure had convinced the government to open the madrassa.

He denied that Jamia Hafsa -- a madarassa for female students adjacent to Lal Masjid -- would be rebuilt at an alternative site. "The Lal Masjid administration will never allow the madrassa's relocation."

Siddique said the mosque administration and madrassa students demanded the government release their former chief cleric Abdul Aziz before Ramazan.
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