How the Pakistan army’s Lal Masjid operation resulted in the downfall of Pervez Musharraf

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, who died on Sunday at a hospital in Dubai, resigned from his position in 2008 after the ruling coalition threatened to question him.

Musharraf's ouster from vigour become the fruits of no longer one specific cause. in opposition t the conclusion of his tenure, the leader changed into within the soup on account of a few conflicts brewing within Pakistan.

He confronted huge protests from lawyers after firing former Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. His choice to declare a state of emergency met with a big backlash. Musharraf became additionally accused of enjoying a task in the assassination of former best Minister Benazir Bhutto. And his political party, PML-Q, carried out poorly in the 2008 time-honored elections.

despite the fact, many analysts accept as true with that the biggest reason behind his downfall was the 2007 operation on the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, which changed the route of not simplest Musharraf's rule but also Pakistan's relationship with Islamist militancy. It led to the upward push of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has performed a lot of deadly assaults across the country through the years.

Even now, the TTP, which called off its June 2022 ceasefire with the government in November closing yr, gifts the greatest inner security hazard to Pakistan. On January 30, a TTP suicide bomber killed more than one hundred americans at a mosque in Peshawar.

historical past of Lal Masjid

considering the fact that its inception in 1965, Lal Masjid had served as a platform for propagating Islamic extremism. Its founder, Muhammad Abdullah Ghazi, turned into "famous for his speeches on jihad" and shared a detailed relationship with Pakistan's former dictator, widespread Zia-ul-Haq, according to a BBC record.

all through the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the mosque provided a gentle stream of mujahideen, who performed a pivotal role in combating the crimson military. once the war ended, it endured to impart "radical Islamic getting to know, housing a number of thousand male and female college students in adjoining seminaries", the report noted.

After Ghazi become assassinated in 1998, his sons, Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rashid took over the complicated, which had by way of now elevated and additionally consisted of a madrassa for women, known as Jamia Hafsa.

As per the BBC record, Ghazi's sons approved they'd "first rate contacts" with several al-Qaeda leaders, together with Osama Bin encumbered himself, a few years before the 9/11 assault. youngsters, after the us begun its "struggle on terror", they denied having any links to the terrorist corporation.

The tussle with the Pakistan government

once President Musharraf declared his support for the united states's "war on terror", the leaders and college students of Lal Masjid brazenly condemned his circulation and known as for his assassination. Kidnappings, violent demonstrations, arson, and armed clashes with the authorities adopted.

in accordance with a file in dawn, the mosque also "announced a constitution for proposed Islamic rule of the country, which envisaged a brand new social, political and judicial device based on the Sharia. The clerics referred to as for the formation of progressive committees for the implementation of the constitution".

The condition worsened in June 2007, when each male and feminine students of the advanced raided a therapeutic massage parlour in Islamabad, which they alleged changed into a brothel and kidnapped 9 americans working there, including seven chinese language nationals. They were launched day after today however the chinese language authorities compelled the national govt to take motion towards the culprits.

The siege of Lal Masjid

The report via morning time mentioned that the Pakistan military for months "hesitated" to take action in opposition t the leaders and students of Lal Masjid since it shared close ties with them. ultimately, on July three, 2007, the forces, backed by using tanks and artillery guns, surrounded the area below the orders of President Musharraf.

In retaliation, college students and militants no longer only fired upon the Pakistani troops but additionally set fire to a Ministry of atmosphere building near the complex. The battle escalated after July 7, when snipers "positioned inner a minaret shot Lieutenant-Colonel Haroon Islam, the commander of the special Forces main the operation." He succumbed to his injuries day after today.

This became the closing straw for the Pakistan forces and, three days later, they entered the premises of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa to begin "Operation Silence".

particularly, all over the siege, the militia found that features from jihadi agencies like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami have been present internal the seminary, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, LMGs, hand grenades, petrol bombs, and rocket-launchers, according to an evaluation posted in the Indian specific.

at the conclusion of the stand-off, greater than a hundred people, including commandos, were dead. The mosque become additionally severely broken.

The aftermath of the operation

After the Lal Masjid operation, Islamic hardliners grew to become strongly towards Musharraf. Ayman al-Zawahiri, then number 2 in al-Qaeda, vowed revenge. Abdul Rashid, who became killed while fighting in opposition t the army, changed into described as a "hero of Islam" by way of Bin laden in an audio he released soon after the incident.

"Al Qaeda and other militant agencies have considering that used the storming of the Lal Masjid as a rallying cry to battle the Pakistani executive and its defense force", dawn suggested. It further outlined that in the first yr after the incident by myself, greater than 88 bombings killed 1,188 americans and wounded three,209.

The fallout of the Lal Masjid operation added to the problems of President Musharraf, and finally resulted in his resignation in 2008. Years later, he sought to disown his responsibility and denied ordering the operation whereas he confronted a trial concerning the incident.


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