ISLAMABAD, April 24: The government has agreed to accept all demands put forward by the Lal Masjid management, including the enforcement of Sharia in the country.
The second round of talks started on Tuesday night when Pakistan Muslim League president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain paid a surprise visit to Lal Masjid and met its in-charge Maulana Abdul Aziz and deputy in-charge Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi.
The PML chief assured the mosque administration and girl students of Jamia Hasfa that the government was ready to accept all their demands, including the enforcement of Sharia.
Talking to journalists after the meeting, Chaudhry Shujaat said all contentious issues between the government and Lal Masjid clerics had been settled, adding that he would tell details of the talks before the parliament on Wednesday.
Responding to a question about the situation inside the mosque, the Pakistan Muslim League president denied the presence of activists of banned outfits and illegal arms in the mosque.
President Gen Musharraf had said many times in the recent past that the mosque administration had provided shelter to suicide bombers.
Two security officials, who were made hostage by the students of Jamia Hasfa last month, had also told the media that they had seen a bulk of arms and ammunitions in the mosque.
About enforcement of Shariat, the PML chief said: “No Muslim rejects the enforcement of the Islamic system in the country.”
Later, Chaudhry Shujaat took a round of Jamia Hafsa and said that female students were studying in a good atmosphere.
The first round of talks was suspended after a military helicopter had continued hovering over the mosque for 20 minutes last week.
The mosque administration condemned what it called aerial surveillance of the mosque and spraying of some gases.
Earlier, according to this report from ANI, Aziz had threatened the Musharraf regime with jihad:
Maulana Abdul Aziz, the chief cleric of the controversial Lal Masjid, has reportedly said that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s regime was “un-Islamic”, and that it was obligatory for every Muslim to wage jihad against it for rule of law and speedy
dispensation of justice.
He also said that Musharraf regime had failed to give the desired results.
“The government is un-Islamic and the present system and political hierarchy have failed to deliver,” the Daily Times quoted Aziz as saying in an interview.
He added: “We have no intention to wage a war against the government leading to a bloodbath. However, if it launches a crackdown on Jamia Hafsa or Lal Masjid, of course our movement would automatically turn into a militant movement.”
The cleric also criticised democracy, saying it was a flawed system. “Democracy is nothing, but counting of heads. It cannot differentiate between good and bad people, as in this system the vote of a devout Muslim equals the vote of a frail Muslim,” he said.
But suicide attacks are always wrong (at least in Pakistan), except when they aren’t:
On the recent spate in suicide attacks in Pakistan, he said: “Suicide attacks in Pakistan are un-Islamic, but if the government took action against Jamia Hafsa, we would allow our followers to launch suicide attacks against it to save the honour of our female students.”