Pakistani judge issues arrest warrant for Imam Abdul Aziz

Imam Abdul Aziz

A judge in Pakistan has issued an arrest warrant for a cleric who has refused to condemn the massacre at a military school in Peshawar.

Imam Abdul Aziz has been accused of threatening protesters outside the Red Mosque.

The cleric said the charge against him was insignificant.

On Tuesday 16 December, the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) attacked a school in Peshawar, killing 152 people, including 133 children.

Mr Aziz said that the authorities should focus on arresting people accused of more serious crimes.

“My case is very small and even a sub-inspector can grant me bail,” he said.

Earlier this year, a school run by the cleric renamed its library in honour of the former al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden.

A spokesman for the Red Mosque said they would resist the arrest of Mr Aziz.

Civil society activists had lodged the complaint against Mr Aziz, saying that they had been threatened by mosque employees during a protest about his refusal to condemn the Peshawar school massacre.

The demonstrators are also being investigated for holding an unlawful protest.

Pakistan has stepped up its anti-terror operations since the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.

Last week, the Pakistani government announced new measures to tackle terrorism, including the establishment of military courts to hear terrorism-related cases.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said last Wednesday that there was a “changed Pakistan” since the tragedy and that there would be “no place for terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and intolerance.”

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