Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Maulana Abdul Aziz, an infamous radical cleric, on Sunday hoisted Afghan Taliban flags at a seminary in Islamabad on Sunday, news agency PTI reported citing Pakistan news outlet Dawn. Pakistan police registered a case against Aziz, who also runs the women’s seminary known as Jamia Hafsa, and cordoned off the area with an anti-riot unit.
The Islamabad police spotted Afghan Taliban flags on Jamia Hafsa’s rooftops and received open threats from Aziz himself. Aziz, his students and fellow collaborators were booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Islamabad police faced taunts, threats
The Islamabad police personnel who reached the spot faced warnings from Aziz, who also allegedly brandished weapons at them. The people inside Jamia Hafsa invoked the name of Taliban and said the law enforcement personnel will face dire consequences for their intervention.
Seminary students and teachers also taunted the police and led to tensions in the area. This is the third time since August that Afghan Taliban flags were hoisted in the seminary. The Islamabad deputy commissioner after removing the flags shared an update on Twitter. The law enforcement officials took action after residents were terrorized after the flags were hoisted once more.
Aziz took advantage legal loophole
Islamabad deputy commissioner also said that Abdul Aziz took help of legal lacunae as Pakistan does not criminalise hoisting of any flag because of which no law addresses the issue or under which legal action can be taken.
Aziz, infamous for his role in the Lal Masjid case, where he threatened to overthrow the Pakistan government and impose Sharia law in the nation. The Pakistan government led by then president Pervez Musharraf ordered the Pakistan Special Forces to storm the establishment which led to the death of more than 100 people and fundamentalist cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi.