E. A. PAKHOMOV
RIA Novosti correspondent
Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) turned two and a half years ago into the most famous mosque in Islamabad, replacing even the famous Faisal Mosque - an unofficial symbol of the city. The tragic events of July 2007 were the result of a deep crisis in which the regime of the Pakistani military leader, General Pervez Musharraf, found itself. Still, for the first time in the country's 60-year history, Islamists organized a real armed insurgency in the capital, and the army also conducted real combat operations in Islamabad for the first time, and with the use of helicopters and heavy weapons. It was after the Red Mosque that the world began to speak loudly about the threat of a seizure of power in Pakistan by radical groups, and discuss the possibility that the country's nuclear weapons would end up in the hands of religious extremists.
Even then, observers in Pakistan and beyond said that this tragedy would obviously affect not only Musharraf's cabinet, but the entire political system of the country, and that the final results of the "bloody summer" would not be immediately clear. Now, two and a half years later, we can try to analyze what really happened in July 2007 and how these events affected the situation in Pakistan today.
In fact, the main events of the summer of 2007 unfolded not at all in the Red Mosque, but in the Jamia Hafsa women's madrasa located a few dozen meters away: it was this building that the army stormed for a long time, since the government units took Lal Masjid itself easily and quite quickly. And the main fighting force of the Islamists was not at all the parishioners of the Red Mosque (although there were some among its defenders, of course), but students of the" subordinate " male madrasah Jamia Faridia, located a few blocks from the site of the clashes, as well as those whom the authorities called "extremists who arrived in the city". However, it was the Red Mosque that became the "headquarters" ... Read more