Ungovernability: In Pakistan, President Musharraf Continues to Lose Ground

22 de may de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><p> </p><h1>Ungovernability: In Pakistan, President Musharraf Continues to Lose Ground</h1><p>May 22 (LPAC)--Students of an Islamic seminary (madrassah) linked to Islamabad's radical Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), kidnapped another three policemen on May 21, but freed them after police surrounded the area, officials and eyewitnesses told the newsdaily, <em>The Dawn</em> . They said the incident took place in the the wealthy Sector E-7 neighborhood during the evening rush hour when students of the Jamia Fareedia madrassah pulled four policemen out of a car and dragged them into their madrassah. One of the men, however, escaped and rushed to seek help.</p><p>In January, President Pervaiz Musharraf had called for the closure of Jamia Fareeda madrassah because of its teaching of militant Islam. However, Lal Masjid deputy head Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi organized a stand-off and refused to close down the madrassah, undermining the President's diktat. At the same time, President Musharraf was undermined from within, when on January 21, under orders to close down the place, the interior ministry refused to act against the defiant Lal Masjid and the madrassah on the grounds that it would put at risk female students of Jamia Hafsa seminary. Lal Masjhid still holds two policemen seized earlier.</p><p>Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao's warning to the Lal Masjid leadership on May 19 night "to be ready to endure the fallout of such crimes" apparently fell on deaf ears as the Jamia Fareedia students seized three more policemen on May 21.</p></div></body>