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Home > News > PTI

Did Pak Intelligence scuttle Lal Masjid deal?

July 17, 2007 13:12 IST

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Pakistani intelligence agencies may have played a role in derailing the Lal Masjid deal by jamming the mobile phone of slain radical cleric Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi when he virtually agreed to the demands of negotiators.

A key negotiator has suspected the role of the agencies in bringing the last-minute negotiations with Ghazi to a halt, The News reported without naming him.

He has equally blamed the leaders of Wafuq-ul-Madaris for their failure to avert the disastrous end of the Lal Masjid saga.

Ghazi's phone seemed to have been jammed by the intelligence agencies when he virtually agreed to the demands of Chaudhury Shujaat, a key negotiator, in terms of the release of 15 to 20 people, according to a source.

Many efforts were made but Ghazi could not be reached on phone. 'Network busy,' was what appeared on the screen every time the negotiators tried to contact the radical cleric who was available just minutes earlier.

'After the repeated attempts in getting Ghazi on the phone failed, decision-makers decided to start the operation,' the newspaper quoted the unnamed source as saying.

Meanwhile, a close aide of Ghazi has blamed the leaders of Wafuq-ul-Madaris for their lukewarm response to the conciliatory efforts.

'They were more interested in taking over the mosque complex instead of resolving the crisis,' the aide said.

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