Abdul Aziz says MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s ‘provocative’ statement against Lal Masjid warrants legal action, alleges involvement of ‘certain sects’ in ‘anti-Lal Masjid’ protests
Giving in to the outcry from the civil society, Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Aziz apologised Sunday for failing to “unconditionally condemn” the Peshawar school massacre carried out by Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) on December 16.
“I condemn the killing of the school children and apologise,” Aziz said while talking to local media Sunday.
It should be mentioned here that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had registered a First Information Report (FIR) in Karachi against the controversial statement of the cleric following the Peshawar attack. A similar FIR was also registered against Aziz in Islamabad after members of the civil society started a protest against him and called him a “Taliban apologetic for failing to condemn terrorists in unequivocal terms”.
The cleric, who admitted he realised his mistake only after his followers convinced him, clarified that he did not threaten any member of the civil society.
“The police have registered FIR against me due to social pressure. It is not a good precedent,” the cleric reportedly said.
Aziz added that MQM Chairman Altaf Hussain’s statement against Lal Masjid was provocative and warrants legal action.
“But I have not seen any condemnation against such a blatant statement,” Aziz complained. Aziz said his personal opinion was “unnecessarily propagated” in the media.
“I forgave General (r) Pervez Musharraf for launching military operation against us, how is it possible that I was not saddened by the killing of innocent school children,” said the Lal Masjid cleric.
“It is not a good idea to burn sacred places. This mosque (Lal Masjid) is not my creation. It was built by General Ayub Khan in 1965 and belongs to the government,” Aziz said, adding that certain sects having a hidden hand in the protests (against Lal Masjid) were trying to befool people.
“We condemn every incident of violence, whether it was the massacre in Peshawar or the brutal killing of children during drone attacks or in Lal Masjid,” Aziz reportedly said.
Meanwhile, MQM senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said that the Lal Masjid cleric is trying to give “a sectarian hue” to conceal his “crime”.
“Abdul Aziz is trying to start a sectarian conflict,” the MQM leader alleged.