The government hasÂ put some of the Lal Masjid miscreants in jail for disturbing the peace, and the Mad Mullah of Jamia Hafsa / Lal Masjid (Maulana Abdul Aziz) has promised reprisals including kidnapping and hostage taking if the thugs are not released by the police.
More at Khaleej Times:
ISLAMABAD – A radical cleric in the Pakistani capital has warned the government of retaliatory attacks on officials if a number of his students being held in custody are not released, local media reported on Saturday.
If intelligence agencies continue to kidnap our students, we will start kidnapping their personnel. The hostages will be kept on the mosque premises,â€™ the Daily Times quoted Maulana Abdul Aziz, the administrator of Islamabadâ€™s notorious Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, as saying.
Dozens of his supporters, mainly male and female students of two madrassa religious schools affiliated with the mosque, last month abducted two police officers following the detention of two of their colleagues.
The female students were later released, but authorities have since detained about six more students for inciting unrest.
The hostages were later traded for the release of the detained students. Backed by thousands of students, the hard-line cleric has also tried to enforce strict Islamic law in the capital and pledged to trigger a wave of suicide attacks in case of any action against the mosque.
Baton-wielding male students, who were accompanied by burqa-clad female counterparts, under an anti-vice drive also issued warnings to owners of audio and visual entertainment stores to close their businesses.
President Pervez Musharraf is under mounting pressure to use force against the mosque and madrassa pupils. Fearing a backlash from religious conservatives he has favoured a negotiated solution, but the stand-off continues.
However, Aziz said holding talks with the government did not mean that Lal Masjid would abandon its demand for nationwide implementation of Sharia law.
In NWFP near Bajaur the Taliban and their sympathizers are setting roadblocks, smashing CD-players and Cell Phone cameras, and they set 20 bombs at CD shops. The extremism feeds itself on the government’s hesitancy. [Editor’s note:Â unconfirmed reports indicate that some sellers remain untouched, so apparently they are paying bribes, or thereÂ could beÂ commercial interests paying the Talibs to target just certain shops.]
The retaliatory attacks on officials probably means more suicide attacks on ministers, or kidnapping of police as they’ve done in the past. This clearly demonstrates why you don’t negotiate with extremists — whatever you concede it is never enough, and your compromiseÂ merely purchases the next demand.
Someone from Pakistan besides theÂ webmaster at Jamia Hafsa needs to update their Wikipedia entry, this one is obviously biased andÂ omits many pertinent facts that are easily citeable from news sources in Pakistan.
Also note that the Federal Minister of Prayer in Pakistan, Ejaz-Ul-Haq has responded to the students declaration for a fatwah against enlightened moderation, from Pak Tribune:
ISLAMABAD: The federal minister for religious affairs, Ejaz-Ul-Haq has said that if the rector of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz and his associates truly seek consultations or edicts from Imam Ka`aba, the government is willing to arrange their audience with him.
While reacting to the allegations of Jamia Hafsa students, the minister has even offered to pay for the expenses of the proposed trip, and said that he has received a lengthy questionnaire from these students, which is being answered.
He said that since the mosque administration has entered the arena of press and media, he would respond in similar vein.
He welcomed and acknowledged the questionnaire as a legitimate right of the students of Jamia Hafsa to consult anyone in the whole wide world, regarding edicts, while requesting to also add the most pertinent question, as to whether it was morally and ethically according to Shariah to forcibly occupy official / private land or estate? , Whether it was also according to Shariah to enforce one`s personal Shariah? And should the women show their strength armed with weapons? ; Abduct people and subject them to insult under the guise of dispensing justice, and by what authority?
The minister also offered that some renowned Ulema and scholars like Maulana Taqi Usman, Maulana Saleem ullah Khan, and Dr. Abdul Razzaq Sikandar to accompany the Jamia elements on their trip to Imam Ka`aba