ICT admin, commission yet to identify exact number of Lal Masjid students at the time of army operation

Umme Hassan, Maulana Abdul Aziz’s wife, stated that there were about 3,500 students at the time of Lal Masjid’s operation. However, this fact was refuted by National Crises Management Cell DG, and according to him, the register maintained by Jamia Hafsa showed there were only 1,700 students in Jamia, and as per information, all had safely gone back to their native places.

The committee tried to trace out the record of Jamia Hafsa through Auqaaf Department but to no avail.

Umme Hasaan stated before the court that in addition to the total number of students in Jamia Hafsa, as shown in the register maintained by her, and mentioned by her recorded statement, there were about 3,500 students – including 1,300 orphan students – in Jamia Hafsa, who were not traceable.

According to the official documents available with Pakistan Today, the government disclosed that regarding the female teachers/students of Jamia Hafsa, the only evidence available is the enrolment register, retrieved from Jamia Hafsa as pointed by Umme Hasaan, which indicates the names of 1,770 female students and 158 female teachers, and out of 1,770 female students, 1,526 were boarders, while the remaining were day-scholars.

The matter was again taken up in 2012, but the register of Jamia Hafsa could not be found.  However, a list of 1,770 students of Jamia Hafsa was received from the Special Branch.  As per record, a total of 467 female students were present in the compound during Lal Masjid operation.  The female students were evacuated successfully.  After the evacuation, their antecedents were verified and most of them were paid to buy tickets back home.

Another exercise was carried out to ascertain the missing female students at their houses.  A total of 255 female students were found at their homes and remaining could not be verified due to incomplete and incorrect information or didn’t reach their homes safely and they were not yet traced.

At that time, on the direction of the Supreme Court, the FIRs of missing persons registered in year 2007 were perused minutely and it transpired that the names of the following missing persons (students) of Lal Masjid are mentioned in the FIRs in Abpara police station: Muhammad Ali S/O Muzammil Shah, Muhammad Asif S/O Ghulam Muhammad, Muhammad Aslam S/O Muhammad Ashraf, Ali Akbar S/O Ali Hassan, Hafiz Zafran S/O Mehraban, Nargis and Sidra D/O M Akhtar Azeem, Naveed Ahmad Qureshi S/O Jan Muhammad Qureshi and Tahir Farooq S/O Nazar Hussain.

Out of above nine missing persons, the dead bodies of Naveed Ahmad Qureshi and Hafiz Muhammad Zafran were identified through DNA and by their heirs as well on a later stage, whereas the dead body of Muhammad Asif was also identified through DNA but the heirs did not accept the result.

It was also mentioned that the following four missing persons have also been considered by the Commission of Enquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIED): Asif S/O Ghulam Muhammad, Muhammad Ali S/O Muzammil Hussain, Aslam S/O Muhammad Ashraf, and Tahir Farooq S/O Nazar Hussain.

In a proceeding, Aisha, a student of final year, resident of KP, Darse Nizami, Jamia Hafsa, stated that about 400 female students lost their lives in the incident, out of which 250 female students were killed on the first day of operation. However, as per the police report, it has been found that there were a total of only 103 dead bodies, including 88 of militants, 11 of law enforcement agencies, 16 unidentified, and four of innocent killed people. Curiously, there is a big difference between the statements of Lal Masjid and Islamabad police.

Aisha further stated that about 1,000 to 1,300 orphan students were in Jamia Hafsa, and their whereabouts were available at the register, being maintained by administration of Jamia, which was taken into custody by the local police.

In 2007, a team of senior police officers was constituted, headed by Islamabad Additional SP, DSP Secretariat and DSP Investigation.  The statement of Ayesha was recorded; however, she could not substantiate her claim and stated that she had no documented proof to support her point of view because the register was in the custody of police. Her statements were recorded on October 30, 2007.

In compliance of the order of the court, fresh FIRs of the following missing persons have also been registered at Aabpara police station in June 2012: Sahiba Khatoon W/O Maulana Abdullah, Khalid Amin S/O Gul Zaman, Mamraiz Khan S/O Ajab Khan, Muhammad Anwar S/O Abdul Rehman, Tahir Azeem S/O Muhammad Azeem, Naveed Iqbal S/O Nosherwan, Zar Muhammad S/O Gulfraz Khan, and Maula Inam Ullah S/O Abdullah.

When contacted, SSP Operations and focal person of Lal Masjid Commission Sajid Kiyani said he couldn’t give his version in this regard, as the final report was submitted to the commission. When questioned about the missing persons, he didn’t reply.

When contacted, Lal Masjid Spokesperson Hafiz Ehtisham confided that out of 212 missing females, only two families contacted them. He said that 700 female students (orphans) were martyred during July 3 to July 10, 2007, and were secretly buried in Seehala, including the mother of Maulana Abdul Aziz. He said that on July 4, during the meeting at Aewan-e-Sadar, the then interior secretary briefed that there were 1,300-1,500 male and 3,500-4,000 female students present in Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid. The police report is full of lies and against the sayings of their own interior secretary and sealed commission report in SC, he said.



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