Briefly, the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) Commission report indicates that there were only 103 people killed when the army took operation in 2007 on the instructions of the government. Media reports have not indicated that children and women were killed in the operation. Weekly, it blames the government for the action without sustaining by strong arguments and recommends that those who were killed should be compensated.

The report is utterly poor and does not indicate the situation under which the action was taken. It does not say that those who were killed in the Lal Masjid operation whether or not involved in the terrorist activities. It does not indicate whether or not weapons were in the Lal Masjid or not.

lal masjid spreading terror in PakistanLal Masjid activists were spreading terror in Islamabad in the name of Islam when the Lal Masjid operation was taken. The young women and men were going to video shops and closing them by force. They kidnapped women on the charges that they involved in prostitution. The media reports showed that the terrorists not only were supported by the then Lal Masjid administration but also provided them safe-heaven in the Lal Masjid. The commission report should have indicated the facts under which circumstances the operation was taken and only then decide whether the lal_majid women spreading torror in Pakistanoperation was right or wrong. Before the operation, negotiations were held between the government and the then Lal Masjid Administraiton but Mullahs were not willing to give up the activities. Moreover,people were given enough time to vacate the mosque but some of them were willing to accept the offer. Under that situation,  how can the commission argue that the government reacted to the situation irresponsibly? The commission should have highlighted what the government should have done when a few religious fanatics consider that spreading terror means serving the religion!

Paradoxically the commission report is contradictory. On the one hand, it states that Islamabad administration rightly called the help of army accordance with the constitution clause 245 and soldier acted according to their oath; on the other hand, it states that the public office holders had not responded to the situation through their own judgments. Public office holders should develop a consensus and not act individually. It seems that there was a consensus since the report blames the then president, prime minister and the cabinet.

Lal Masjid Mullah RahsidThen the report does not speak about the role of two Mullah brothers: Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi and Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi. Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi died in the operation and Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi was captured whenLal Masjid Mullah Aziz he tried to escape from the scene while dressed up as a female . The Lal Masjid commission should have said about his behavior as to how come he left his acolytes in danger. If their role has been discussed and media did not report, then it is against the ethics of the journalism.The report would be credible if they have recommended registering the case against Mullah Abdul Azia Ghazi and others for instigating violence in the name of Islam.

It is also ironical that the commission suggests monetary compensation for all those who died in the operation. Why should they be compensated if they acted illegally? Why should they be compensated if they involved in spreading terror in Islamabad? Only those deserve compensation who were willing to leave the premises but could not because they were held by force by the two Mullah brothers and their acolytes. Overall, the Lal Masjid operation was justified. And, this is among a few actions that should be praised of Musharraf’ era than criticized. Now the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Pakistan, should stop further politicizing this issue because the action was legitimate.


Nadeem Yousaf

4 April 2013