Maulana Abdul Aziz

Rangers, police deployed outside Abdul Aziz’s residence

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior has decided to act against firebrand cleric of Islamabad’s Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) Maulana Abdul Aziz over his activities, local media quoting officials reported today.

Today, a large contingent of Rangers and police personnel were seen deployed outside the mosque, which was the center of a major anti-Taliban military operation in 2007 which ended in a bloody eight-day siege killing more than 50 Pakistani troops and seminary students.

According to the interior ministry, the cleric was using the government-run mosque for political activities.

According to reports, the cleric has also cancelled his upcoming planned rally in the federal capital following talks.

The authorities have decided to arrest Lal Masjid imam as he announced to lead a rally.

Earlier, the imam came under fire for his remarks over Peshawar Army Public School (APS) massacre. Civil society had taken to the streets in Islamabad after his controversial statement. Arrest warrant of the cleric was also issued on case registered by civil society.

Scholars belonging to Sunni school of thought had agreed to declare Aziz ‘traitor of state’ and thus treat him no different than terrorists. They had demanded public hangings of militants.

The religious scholars had demanded of the government to declare all pro-Taliban people in the country, traitors.

In Musharraf’s era, an operation was carried out in Lal Masjid that created waves across the boundaries. Recently in the ongoing Ghazi murder case, former president’s council had maintained that army was called in on civil administration’s request.

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