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Lal Masjid: Who summoned army, SC asks officials

15 May, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Islamabad police that who ordered the armed forces to launch crackdown against the students and clerics of the Lal Masjid in 2007.

A three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, was hearing a number of identical petitions over Lal Masjid case. The CJP asked Islamabad Assistant Inspector General Tahir Alam whether it was on the record who called the armed forces for help. Justice Khawaja said, "We wanted to know who felt the need to summon the army for the aid of civil administration under Article 245 of the constitution."

"Why the police do not register FIRs when the affected families of the missing persons approach the police station with complaints?" the CJP asked Islamabad SSP. Deputy Attorney General Babar Ali, representing the federation, said when the seminary students and clerics snatched weapons from the police and rangers and beat them up then the Islamabad district administration decided to take help from the armed forces.

Lal Masjid affectees counsel, Tariq Asad, said the parents of the killed students only wanted the police to register a first information report against the officials responsible. Justice Khawaja said that they could understand the anguish of the parents, but the court needed to proceed in accordance with law.

Alam said that on July 3, 2007 the seminary students attacked police and rangers, adding that a lance naik of rangers was also killed. However, the official failed to tell the court about registration of FIRs in this regard.

Last week, Jamia Hafsa cleric Abdul Qayyum filed an application against the officials responsible for the Lal Masjid operation, which, according to him had claimed dozens of innocent lives.

End.

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