Islamabad, July 15: Terming the Pakistani
government's claims of involvement of Islamic fighters from
neighbouring countries in the Lal Masjid stand-off a "joke,"
the leader of opposition Jamat-e-Islami Sunday alleged that
locals were "dubbed" as foreigners.
Addressing a condolence meeting in Rawalpindi today, Qazi
Hussain Ahmed said the government claimed that a large number
of foreigners were present in Lal Masjid, but none were found
or detained during the operation.
"It is joke that locals are being dubbed as foreigners,"
Hussain, who is also president of the islamist alliance
Muthahida Majlis Amal (MMA), said.
Ahmed said one the student being shown as a foreigner
belonged to Attock in Punjab, and accused the military
government of conducting the operation only to please America.
Hussain yesterday announced his resignation from the
National Assembly in protest against the military operation on
the masjid, but so far no lawmaker from the MMA's five other
constituent parties have come forward to resign along with
He said the government could be removed if around 100,000
people staged a 'sit-in' in Islamabad.
He claimed that beside his spouse and daughter, the MMA
secretary Maulana Fazlur Rehman did his best to peacefully
resolve the masjid stand-off, but the government created
hurdles and foiled every effort for a negotiated solution.
He also claimed authorities had reached an agreement with
the slain cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi but the terms of the
settlement were changed by Musharraf at the eleventh hour.
Accusing Musharraf of pitching the people against the
Army, Ahmed urged the government to release the exact figures
of those killed, injured and arrested.
Speaking on the occasion, deputy secretary general of MMA
Liaquat Baloch defended radicals of the mosque, saying they
were talking about implementing the Shariah and opposing
obscenity and vulgarity. He also said the operation launched
by the government was carried out to promote obscenity in the