Heirs of Lal Masjid operation victims criticise Aziz for ‘pardoning Musharraf’

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Heirs of those killed in the 2007 Lal Masjid military operation accused on Monday Maulana Abdul Aziz of ‘dictatorship’ by pardoning former military ruler president Pervez Musharraf.

The cleric announced at a press conference on Sunday he was ready to forgive Musharraf and others involved in the operation.

Aziz’s lone son Hassan Ghazi was among nearly 90 students killed during a three-day standoff in July 2007 at the mosque in Islamabad, which also claimed lives of 11 security personnel.

Haroon Ghazi, Aziz’s nephew and son of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi (who was killed in the operation), also accompanied the cleric during the media talk.

However, Advocate Tariq Asad, who is representing Lal Masjid in the Supreme Court, claimed Aziz had persuaded Haroon Ghazi not to object to the announcement.

“Participants at Shuhada Foundation’s meeting strongly condemned Maulana Abdul Aziz for his announcement to withdraw case of Abdul Rashid Ghazi’s murder against the main accused Pervez Musharraf,” the defence lawyer said.

According to the affected families, Aziz can only pardon Musharraf for the death of his son but not on behalf of others.

The advocate also announced that the foundation will pursue the case in the Supreme Court, despite Aziz’s decision.

Aziz made the decision days after he released a video, saying he had been involved in talks with security officials amid growing pressure on the government to take action against him.

A local court this month granted bail to the cleric in a case threatening members of civil society.

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