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Islamic Activists Close Down Islamabad

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    Madressah force on the offensive in Islamabad: Move to impose Talibanisation; three women kidnapped By Syed Irfan Raza, Pakistan
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2007
      Madressah force on the offensive in Islamabad: Move to impose
      Talibanisation; three women kidnapped
      By Syed Irfan Raza, Pakistan

      ISLAMABAD, March 28: Signs of Talibanisation appeared quite evident on
      Wednesday in the heart of the federal capital when hard-line religious
      leaders and hundreds of men and women activists from the local
      madressahs challenged the writ of the government for the second time
      by trying to force their brand of Islamic justice in Islamabad.

      They first took hostage three women from a house near their stronghold
      of Lal Masjid for allegedly running a brothel and later forcibly
      detained two security personnel in protest against detention of their
      four supporters, two of them women teachers of Madressah Hafsa.

      The madressah students, mainly women, had been taking rounds of the
      nearby markets for a few days, threatening video and music shop owners
      to close down their business. In some way, they had been encouraged by
      the soft pedalling by the government on their earlier action of
      occupying a children's library two months back, which still remained
      in their control.

      The three women were apparently kidnapped two days ago, but the
      situation took the form of a confrontation on Wednesday when the
      authorities detained four madressah people on the charge of
      threatening video-shop owners. The madressah students reacted
      violently, and within no time two police vans were attacked and two
      security officials taken hostage.

      Later, the ulema and local administration reached an agreement under
      which Qamar Abbas of Islamabad police and Hammad of Punjab police were
      released with their official vehicles. In return, the two women
      teachers and two other activists were released by the police.

      However, the three kidnapped women were still stated to be in the
      custody of the students of the madressah and negotiations were under
      way for their release.

      "We will not release the women unless a `strong' FIR is registered
      against them so that they can be taken to task for their immoral
      activities," said Ghazi Abdul Rashid, deputy Imam of the mosque.

      The tension that gripped the capital continued from 1pm to 8pm as all
      roads leading to the Lal Masjid were closed by police and
      baton-wielding students of Madressah Hafsa and Jamia Fradia, another
      seminary of the mosque for men, remained on the roads, staged a
      demonstration and chanted slogans against the government and President
      Pervez Musharraf. Heavy contingents of police was seen outside Aabpara
      police station but they did not go close to the mosque. The hard-line
      ulema of the mosque are reported to be trying to impose
      `Talibanisation' in the capital after the government showed its
      incapability to get vacated the library occupied since Jan 21.

      According to a security official, the ulema were trying to expand
      their operations in the city in the name of Jihad.

      Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Mohammad Ali said the ulema had
      a facility to use frequencies of FM radio and on Wednesday they
      blocked four frequencies -- FM 92 to 96 – to launch their propaganda
      through radio for an hour in the morning.

      The students of Madressah Hafsa, who had been occupying the
      government's library for children for the past two months, had raided
      the house, picked the owner Shahmim, her daughter Sadaf and
      daughter-in-law Nadia Batool, and detained them in Lal Masjid.

      Abdul Rashid claimed that the `brothel' had been raided on the
      complaint of residents of the area, who, he said, feared that the
      owner, allegedly having links with senior police officials, would take
      revenge if they lodged any report against her.

      Police picked up Madressah Hafsa teachers Tasleem Bibi and Seyeda Bibi
      with two activists, Qari Aziz and Maroof, who had tried to close a
      video shop. Two police personnel present there stopped them and took
      them away.

      Police took the four to Aabpara police station and kept them there for
      eight hours.

      They were released when Lal Masjid Imam Qazi Abdul Aziz gave an
      ultimatum to the local administration that if the teachers were not
      released by Maghrib, the activists would march towards the police
      station to burn it.

      The government made Aabpara Police Station SHO Mohammad Safeer a
      scapegoat and suspended him.

      A police source said he had been suspended for not tackling the
      situation and picking up the teachers of the seminary at a time when
      Chief Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Mohammad was addressing a big
      gathering of lawyers in Rawalpindi and an Azadari procession had been
      taken out from the Markazi Imambargah, located half a kilometre away
      from Lal Masjid.

      The deputy imam of the mosque said he had given 15 days to the
      administration for releasing five activists and former Inter-Services
      Intelligence official Khalid Khawaja, who was pursuing the case of
      people who had `disappeared'.Police sources said the activists had
      removed wireless sets from their vehicles they were monitoring all the
      moves of the force.

      Later, the Islamabad police chief ordered the force not to use
      wireless sets for conveying any message.



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