Interview of Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid Islamabad that a friend conducted and when Maulana had had enough of the grilling questions, he decided not to continue with the interview. Answers to the few questions he gave were very depressing for me as this is a man who initiated an armed rebellion against the state and now he is not even willing to condemn the killings that are being carried out in the name of Lal Masjid. Leave alone the ordinary Pakistanis, Maulana cannot condemn the TTP for killing two of his most closest companions, Raja Dilawar and Khalid Khwaja.
He has been asked in this interview repeatedly to condemn the TTP for killing innocent people across Pakistan but it seems he is either convinced that these killings are according to the Shariah or he is afraid to condemn the TTP.
When asked about a Fatwa that was issued by Lal Masjid in 2004 after Pakistan Army started an operation in Waziristan that stated that Namaz e Janaza of Pakistani troops killed in Waziristan should not be offered, Maulana states that the Dar ul Ifta is independent and only they can comment on this matter whereas anyone who has been to the Dar ul Ifta knows that they do not issue even a simple Fatwa without consulting Maulana Abdul Aziz. I am a witness to that. With that said, Maulana Abdul Aziz’s signatures are present on the Fatwa that was issued in 2004 but still he says that he is not the authority to comment on this question.
Maulana was asked about with reference to Syed Saleem Shahzad’s book Inside AlQaeda and Taliban that an AlQaeda ideologue Sheikh Eesa al Misri visited Lal Masjid and was the mastermind of the whole Lal Masjid issue. Maulana says that it was a spontaneous reaction to bringing down Masaajid across Islamabad and went on to say that he has met many Arab Mujahideen. His father and brother too have met many Arabs including Osama Bin Ladin. He did not categorically deny the fact that Sheikh Eesa al Misri visited Lal Masjid. This forces me to believe that AlQaeda was the one that orchestrated the whole Lal Masjid event.
Somewhere in the middle of the interview Maulana mentions that some intelligence officials visited him recently to take his view on the upcoming peace talks. He was trying to give an impression that now he is much closer to the Pakistani Establishment. Is Maulana playing a double game here? He is not afraid to reveal his connections with the establishment but will not condemn the TTP too?
All in all it was a very weak interview by Maulana Abdul Aziz. My last comment on the interview is that I hope Maulana Abdul Aziz stops being servile and submissive to the will of the TTP and speaks what is Haq.