President warns mosque, madrassah not to be used for terrorism
July 14, 2007
ISLAMABAD (APP) - President General Pervez Musharraf Thursday expressed the government's firm resolve to fight extremism and terrorism and warned that no other mosque or madrassah would be allowed to be misused like Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa. "The extremism and terrorism would be defeated in every corner of the country," said the President while addressing the nation on radio and television. The President said the Lal Masjid administration was using minor children as shield and was deceiving them in the face of teaching Islamic education. "In Islam, the killing of one human being is equivalent to the massacre of entire humanity, so what kind of Islam Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa were propagating?"
Referring to the successful completion of the operation against Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa, the President sought support of the nation in changing the mindset of the misguided elements. The President said the action against Lal Masjid would not eliminate extremism and terrorism from the society but the government's resolve is unwavering in defeating the menace in every province and corner of the country.
He said more than 2000 people including children, women and men fled from the complex before the start of the operation and added that government was able to save more than 1300 people from July 3 to final day of operation which means that over 3300 people including women, children and men with showing wisdom and acumen.
President Musharraf said military operation had to be delayed due to the negotiations and the army had to face loss of lives due to launching of the operation in the day light because such operations are undertaken in darkness to minimize the loss of lives.
Giving details of the reasons leading to the standoff at Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa the President Musharraf said terrorists were provided shelter inside the mosque and the students were fully armed and a baton-weilding brigade of female students was prepared.
President Musharraf said it was a embarrassing situation for him when seven Chinese were kidnapped by the militants of Lal Masjid. He said China is most trustworthy friend of Pakistan and kidnapping of Chinese citizens by Lal Masjid militants was one of the shameful act.
The President said the adjoining buildings were damaged and set on fire and even the fire brigade was not allowed to extinguish it. He said even the National flag was seen burning. President Musharraf said a vast majority of the people of Pakistan are moderate and they have been expressing their concern and anxiety over the on-going Lal Masjid crisis.
He said that negotiations failed because Abdul Rashid Ghazi wanted amnesty and safe passage for himself and his companions including foreigners. They wanted amnesty for their acts. The President said the actions of the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa were not acceptable to any government. He said the militants inside Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa had their linkages with extremists in FATA and some parts of NWFP.
He said some civilians also died and prayed that Allah may grant strength to the bereaved families to bear the loss.
President Musharraf said Lal Masjid, Jamia Hafsa and the Children Library have been freed from terrorists through a successful operation. He appreciated law enforcement agencies including police, Rangers and armed forces for proving their professional excellence during the operation, and paid glowing tribute in particular to the Special Services Group (SSG) and Anti-Terrorists Force. "The nation and I feel proud of them who sacrificed their lives for the country, and (of them) 10 martyred and 33 others injured," the President said.