OPERATION SILENCE


An unfortunate incident in the nation's capital when the false religious elements misused the teachings of Islam and took up arms against the nation.


And when they are told, "Do not spread corruption on earth," they answer, "We are but improving things!". Oh, verily, it is they, they who are spreading corruption but they perceive it not?. Al-Baqarah 11-12

And there are those Who put up a mosque By way of mischief and infidelity To disunite the Believers And in preparation for one Who warred against Allah And His Apostle aforetime. They will indeed swear That their intention is nothing But good; but Allah doth declare That they are certainly liars. At-Tawbah 107

"A person with eyes protruding, with a long beard and head clean-shaven came to the Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) and declared: 'O Muhammad! (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) fear Allah. "' The Prophet(Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: "If I disobey Allah, then who else will obey Him? I am obedient to Allah at all times and never disobedient. Allah has sent me as Amin(Honest for the entire world, but you don't accept me as an honest man?' A Sahabi (Companion) became infuriated and sought permission to remove him from the presence of the Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). The Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) prevented the Sahabi from doing so After the person had left, the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "From his progeny will rise a Group who will recite the Holy Quran but it will not go below their throats. They will leave the Deen just as an arrow leaves the bowstring. They will kill the Muslims but spare the idolaters. If I ever confronted these people I would slaughter them just as the people of Aad had been destroyed" (Mishkat Shareef, pp/535)

Hazrat Ali (RA) narrated as follows: "I heard the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) as saying that as the Day of Qiyamah approaches there will appear a group of youths with a low mental capacity and understanding, apparently they will talk of good but their Imaan will not go beyond their throat and they will leave the true Deen like an arrow leaves the prey. Wherever you find them, you should make Jihad with them. (Bukhari Shareef, pp/1024)

The Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) stated: "My Ummat is destined to differ and be divided. So a group will arise whose talks will sound very good but their character will be misleading. They will read the Quran but it will not descend below their throats (just oral reading). They will leave Deen just as an arrow pierces and goes right through the prey. They will not return to Islam. They are the worst of creation because of their nature and constitution. They will call the people towards the Quran and Deen whilst in reality they will have nothing to do with Islam. Whoever will confront them, he will be the most beloved servant of Allah. The Sahaba inquired: "Ya Rasoolullah, (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) what is their sign?" He replied: "Sitting in a Halqa (circle)."(Mishkat Shareef, pp/308)

The hostile youth of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa started their campaign to enforce Islam by making aggression and threatning suicide attacks on the government imposing direct threat to the civilians and ultimately vowing to launch Jihad against the country.

Abdullah bin Umar RA narrated, the Messenger SAW observed: He who takes up arms against us is not one of us. Sahih Muslim 123

The fact is that these extremists are referred as Kharijis and Takfiris who are quick to declare war on Muslims if they disagree with them, they consider all Muslims as kafirs/apostates/spies/enemies who are not with them and consider it legal to harm their lives, wealth and property. The psychology of these people is that they think all the Muslim states are not following Islam therefore it is legal to first declare Jihad on them.

After several months of hostility, clashes suddenly erupted between the militants and security forces which later turned deadly when one Rangers personnel was shot dead. The battle started when the militants opened fire at the Rangers during negotiations at the main entrance of the mosque after a protest demonstration by the female students of the seminary at about 12:15 pm. In the firing, Lance Naik Mubarik Hussain and Lance Naik Ghulam Abbas of the Rangers sustained multiple bullet injuries and were shifted to Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH). Mubarik died during surgery while Abbas was in critical condition. Mubarik was driver of Col Mashallah, who was negotiating with the Lal Masjid administration to get back a gun and a wireless set earlier snatched by the Mosque militants from a Rangers personnel. Mubarik was standing beside the colonel when the students opened fire.

The students of the seminary went on a rampage and the Lal Masjid administration declared “Jihad” on behalf of Maulana Abdul Aziz, Khateeb and administrator of the mosque. The spokesman of Lal Masjid told that their suicide bombers had been granted permission to find targets on their own and strike wherever they choose to.

Some students pounced upon Islamabad Police officials, snatched their weapons and wireless sets and started raising slogans, they were soon joined by over 100 more students. The Rangers returned fire but avoided direct shooting. They fired shots ‘over the heads’ to warn the Lal Masjid militants. However, as the firing from Lal Masjid continued to grow the Rangers and Islamabad Police resorted to tear gas shelling to calm down the situation. The nearby building of Ministry of Environment was attacked and burnt and public as well as private properties were also damaged (The News). The bloody day left 10 deaths including a media person and nearly 100 injured. 3 July 2007

Army was mobilised, Cobra helicopters started recce flights, APCs arrived in the capital and the famous 111 Brigade took position in the affected area. The masjid and seminary was sieged and Sector G-6 was put under indefinite curfew, it was the first curfew in the history of Islamabad. 3/4 July 2007

The government adopted an effective strategy and succeeded in forcing the students to come out of the premises voluntarily. Water, gas and power supply of the masjid and seminary was cutt off. Deadlines were announced for those present inside to come out and the students started exiting the mosque and seminary, more than 1000 male and female students exited and were offered safe passage to their homes. The head cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz was captured red handed while escaping disguised in a burqa attempting to leave the mosque along with a group of female students, he was carrying a lady’s handbag stuffed with a lipstick, an ID card of a woman and a diary (The News). 4 July 2007

Students continued to surrender outside the besieged Lal Masjid. Guardians of the students of Jamia Hafsa faced more difficulties in getting their girls released from the custody of clerics as militants offered resistance. This all was happening in the presence of law-enforcement agencies, which were unable to interfere at that stage. Interestingly, militants were offering more resistance while releasing the girls (The News). 5 July 2007

The standoff continued and elite commandos from the Zarrar Company of SSG joined the operation as exchange of firing continued with the troops. 6 July 2007

Relatives cry as militants refused to let their family members go out of the Lal Masjid, negotiations continued between both sides to end the standoff but without positive outcome. As the siege continued, women and children were not being allowed to leave the seminary by the militants in pursue of the strategy that if any harm happens to them the blame can be easily put on the Pakistan Army but the government continuously extended the deadlines with the strategy to evacuate the mosque and annexed madrassa. 6 July 2007

Confrontation and exchange of gunfire continued between Zarrar Company and the militants. During the relaxation in curfew the armed fanatics inside the besieged mosque opened fire on the children`s parents when they went to the Jamia Hafsa gate in search of their children (Pak Tribune). 7 July 2007

The commandos raided the outer perimeter of the complex at midnight setting off explosives blasting holes through the boundary walls of the compound in a hope to help women and children escape. The Commanding Officer Lt. Col Haroon ul Islam who was leading got wounded along with three other officers Maj Tariq, Capt Omar and Capt Bilal when they came under heavy fire from the militants, Lt. Col Haroon was airlifted to CMH Rawalpindi and died later, his killer Muhammad Maqsood, guard of Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi was killed in retaliatory fire by the security forces. 7/8 July 2007

The Namaz e Janaza of Lieutenant Colonel Haroon Islam was held at Chaklala on Sunday morning. He was later buried in his native city of Lahore.

Standoff continued between the troops and militants with no end in sight, a Rangers personnel looks back at the bullet-riddled besieged mosque during a heavy exchange of fire. 8 July 2007

Soldiers hold their positions as the siege continues. The following night, UAV flew over the complex capturing images of the movements inside to plan starategy for the inevitable assault and to also study the claims of the cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi regarding casualties and damage caused to Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa.

Six unfortunate parents who had gone inside the Lal Masjid to get release of their children have too been held hostage by the militants holed up in the seminary. Credible sources told Online that the Islamabad Administration had emphatically advised these parents not to take the risk of going inside the seminary but they insisted to allow them make the attempt to get the release of their children. The sources said, that they have not returned back, adding that they too have been held hostage along with other male and female students restrained at the gun point from coming out of the Lal Masjid complex by the militants. 9 July 2007

After the negotiations between the delegation of scholars, political leaders and the stubborn cleric which were continuing the following night failed, the SSG commandos stormed the Mosque and the adjacent seminary at dawn. 10 July 2007

SSG commandos from Zarrar Company move towards the mosque for a strike against the Takfiri militants. Captain Salman Farooq Lodhi is also seen at the front left.

The commandos launched the attack by breaching the mosque from the south and assaulting it in three directions, heavy fighting started between both sides, some 20 children rushed towards the advancing troops and were brought to safety.

Reinforcement commandos move towards the complex as intense battle continue throughout the day between the die hard Takfiri militants. The assault combat was aimed at ending the retaliation by extremist militants and saving the lives of hostages who were trapped inside the mosque. After the militants were neutralized in the mosque the commandos progressed deeper into the complex, the seminary was booby trapped to stop the advance of the commandos and it took several hours of intense fighting to take control.

During the day Director General ISPR Major General Waheed Arshad gave updates of the ongoing battle in press conferences. The militants were taking positions in almost every room, they were fighting from room to room and had positions in the basement and on the stairs, they were armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The assault continued for more time than expected as the military refrained from using excessive force due to the presence of children and women among the militants. 10 July 2007

The bitter battle continues and casualties are inflicted, injured army commandos are brought to a hospital.

Pakistani troops make way to ambulances toward the besieged compound. 100 injured militants and students from the besieged mosque were brought to various hospitals in Islamabad.

Picture released by ISPR shows breaches in the walls of the compound. The battle was not over yet as the remaining militants present inside the complex were still fighting, the heavily armed militants had retreated into the basement using women and children as human shields and were putting up a stiff fight. According to various reports, security forces during search inside the basement of Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid recovered 27 women including wife of Abdul Aziz Umme Hassan, his daughter Asma Aziz and 3 children. 10 July 2007

During a break in fighting, commandos return from forward positions around the complex. Over 50 militants surrendered during the battle. The cleric Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi leading the fight got killed when he came out to surrender with his companions and was caught in the crossfire with militants who did not let him surrender, his already ill mother also died of suffocation.10 July 2007

The savage battle passed in to the next day and it took almost 36 hours to fully secure the complex as it was booby trapped. The heavily armed, well trained and well equipped militants fought with desperate courage and had not only denied the commandos a quick success but also inflicted casualties. 11 July 2007

Some secured pictures by ONLINE establish the presence of foreign militants, photo shows a dead body of foreign Uzbek militant lying at the compound.

Secured pictures by ONLINE establish the presence of foreign militants, some dead bodies of foreign militants lying at the compound.

SSG commandos leave the area after wiping out the militants from the compound, troops cleared the final clutch of diehard militants following two days of intense fighting that left at least 80 dead.

Some of the soldiers who died in fighting with the militants. 164 commandos took part in the operation, 11 SSG commandos including Captain Salman Farooq Lodhi died and 33 were wounded in battle with the militants. 11 July 2007

Janaza prayer was held in Rawalpindi for the army commandos who died in the operation and Gen. Musharraf visited CMH Rawalpindi and comforted the wounded commandos. 11 July 2007

People bury the dead militants in presence of the media in a graveyard in Islamabad, there were total 94 casualties in the fighting. 12 July 2007

When the operation finished, the mosque and seminary was immediately opened to the media, the complex witnessed definetely showed that a bloody and intense battle took place. The weapons which were recovered from the compound included AK-47 rifles, Russian made RPG and Chinese variant RPG-7 rockets, PK machine guns, anti-tank and anti-personnel landmines, suicide bombing belts, three to five .22 caliber rifles, RPD and RPK-74 light machine guns, Dragunov sniper rifles, SKS rifles, pistols, night vision equipment, over 50,000 rounds of various caliber ammunition. Three crates of petrol bombs prepared from green soft drinking bottles, gas masks, two-way radios, large plastic buckets held tennis-ball-size homemade bombs and knives were also displayed. 12 July 2007

As the role of ‘free’ media was concerned, it was criticizing the government before the assault lecturing that the government was continuously delaying the prolonged operation to gain political mileage from the crisis while the residents of the affected sector pressed on the government to wind up the operation as soon as possible. When the operation concluded the same media which earlier criticized started blaming the government for taking action raising cries that brutality had been committed. On the same hand the supporters and former students of the seminary did their best to emotionally trap the nation and grab sympathies by presenting the operation as a massacre against them, however they were not very successful.

When the operation concluded, the free media in a usual habit to make a hot issue spread a rumor that White Phosphorous, a chemical weapon was used by the commandos in an order to give an impression to the nation that the commandos were brutal and tyrant and they only went in to kill women and children instead of battling the militants. The fact about White Phosphorous is that the army uses a grenade called SMOKE DISCHARGE/GRENADE WP P3 MK1, locally produced in POF and is used for smoke screening purposes in battles which is an ordinary grenade and not a chemical weapon. The name was misused in the media.

The media played with the casualty figures and spread another rumor that 1000 were killed in the battle by the commandos and more than one bodies were put in one coffin. Those who had put up these claims could never themselves prove them to be true. Apart from these false doubts which fall in the category of lies, a fact which everyone saw was that the number of parents who were looking for their lost ones had fall less than 80 and continued to decrease. Another fact was that the attendance register of the seminary showed a presence of around 1700 students including those who did not reside in the complex. More than 1000 had come out of the seminary in the initial days the operation started and many continued to escape the following days except for those who were not being allowed to leave by the militants.

Concludingly, this is not the first incident of its kind, history tells that many times unislamic acts have been done taking the name of Islam. In November 1979 during Hajj, a similar and more shocking incident was witnessed when so-called Islamic militants seized the Holy Kaaba, the armed takeover resulted in bloodshed in the most holiest site of the Islamic world. The siege continued for two weeks with a final battle to regain control of Holy Kaaba.
 

PAKISTAN ARMY

 

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