Musharraf says no woman or child was killed in Lal Masjid operation

April 20th, 2009 - 3:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, Apr. 20 (ANI): Former Pakistan President General (r) Pervez Musharraf has claimed that no child or woman was killed in the controversial military operation conducted in Lal Masjid in 2007.

“It is time to end the lies. Those who say women and children were killed and several hundreds died in the Lal Masjid operation are telling white lies. Only 94 people were killed and all of them were terrorists and extremists. Not a single woman or child was killed,” the Dawn quoted Musharraf, as saying.

However, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain rejected Musharraf’s claim, by saying that there were some children and women present when the operation was carried out against the militants.

“I do not know the exact number of children and women that were inside the mosque during the operation but it is a fact that the mother of Maulana Abdul Aziz (Imam of Lal Masjid) was among those killed in the battle,” said Hussain, who was in power during Musharraf’s regime.

Shujaat added that he had opposed the launching of operation, and even Musharraf, recently, had admitted this fact.

Controversy still prevails about the killing of women and children, and nobody exactly knows the entire truth.

Even Lal Masjid’s Khatib Maulana Abdul Aziz after his release on bail said, “It is quite difficult to tell the exact number of total women and children killed in the mosque during the operation.”

Musharraf, who was leaving for Saudi Arabia for Umrah, also did not have any clear view on the peace deal with the Taliban in the northwestern Swat valley.

“Nothing can be said. If the agreement is only for ensuring speedy and cheap justice within the Pakistani legal structure and system, then it is all right. But from a position of weakness, if the Taliban want to challenge the writ of the government, the deal is dangerous and should not be allowed,” Musharraf said. (ANI)

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