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Red Mosque Opration

11 July, 2007

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The eight-day long “operation silence” has ended with the death of Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, and his 70 aides in addition to 8 security troops, including a lt. colonel and a captain.

Contrary to his “hardline” brother, Maulana Abdul Aziz, who was arrested while trying to flee in Burqa on the second day of operation, Maulana Ghazi refused to surrender and fought till last bullet.

The 80-year old mother of Maulana Ghazi was also killed in the operation, however security forces claimed that she died due to suffocation.

Though, the operation is over, mystery still shrouds the breakdown of talks between an Ulema delegation, and Maulana Ghazi that led to bloodshed.

Qari Hanif Jalahindari, one of the members of four-member Ulema delegation which was supposed to meet Mr. Ghazi on Tuesday morning to negotiate says that the two sides were almost reached at an agreement.

“ We had suggested that Maulana Ghazi will surrender and he will be shifted to his hometown with his family. Later, A judicial inquiry would be initiated against him, and if he was found guilty, he would have been arrested”, Qari Hanif told newsmen.

Mr. Ghazi had also agreed to hand over 15 wanted militants to the government, he said.

“ Our suggestion was welcomed by the two sides. But when the draft of the proposed agreement was sent to President House, it amended that, which was not acceptable to Maulana Ghazi”, he said.

He said that President House amended the draft asking Maulana Ghazi to surrender and hand over 50 wanted people to the government instead of 15. The amendment was turned down by Mr. Ghazi, he said.

“ General Musharraf has been under immense pressure from his close aides after death of Lt Colonel Haroon (killed during Sunday’s operation)”, a government official said wishing not to be named. He was also under immense pressure from the United States to prove that he does not in any way giving Leverage to Islamic Fundamentalists.

Here are some questions
1) Who is responsible for the Red Mosque carnage?
2) Could the issue have been resolved through talks?
3) Ulema blame Musharraf for failure of talks. What do you think?
4) Will Red Mosque bloodshed fan the religious extremism in the country and are Govt claims regarding casualty`s true as Journalists are not allowed in or near the Hospitals?
5) Has the Red Mosque operation turned Ghazi into a hero instead of a villain?

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