Abdul Aziz (Pakistani cleric)
Abdul Aziz Ghazi
|Known for||Pro-Taliban Sermons|
|Relatives||Muhammad Abdullah Ghazi (father)|
Abdul Rashid Ghazi (brother)
Mawlānā Abdul Aziz Ghazi (Urdu: محمد عبد العزيز) is a Pakistani cleric and khateeb (sermon giver) in the central mosque of Islamabad known as Lal Masjid, which was the site of a siege in 2007 with the Pakistani army. Aziz was released from custody by the Pakistani supreme court in 2009 and acquitted in 2013.
He also warned the government of attacks in the case of a violent police operation launched against the seminary. "If the government fails to eradicate all these moral evils from the society within the specified period of one month the students of the seminary would themselves take actions against all the people involved in such activities," said Abdul Aziz while addressing Friday Prayer congregation at Lal Masjid.
The Lal Masjid brigade came to public notice when they kidnapped women (who they accused of being prostitutes) from Islamabad's residential areas and then later kidnapped several police officers. The brigade increased their activities and took to the crime of kidnapping Chinese workers from massage centres. This particular event created international pressure on Pakistan, especially from the Chinese government.
On 3 July 2007, the standoff with the government ended in bloody gun battles in which some publications claim that more than 1,000 Students were killed and scores wounded. The official death toll is much lower, at less than 300. 
on 4 July 2007 at 8.05, Aziz was arrested while leaving the complex disguised in a burqa. The reason for his cross-dressing escape was later revealed to be that he was called 'by a senior official of an intelligence agency with whom he has been in touch for a long time' (Aziz admitted that he and his brother Ghazi had done this many times before when they were declared wanted by the government). Since this man could not enter into the mosque to meet him, he asked Maulana Aziz to come down to Aabpara police station, situated on a walking distance from the mosque and asked him to wear a burqa to avoid identification.
Aziz was released on 16 April 2009 by the Pakistani supreme court as he awaited trial on Alleged charges of murder, incitement, and kidnapping. He was greeted by throngs of supporters.
Since 2001, 27 different cases have been filed unsuccessfully against him.
- Farooq, Umer (7 April 2007). "Religious Cleric Threatens Suicide Attacks". OhmyNews International. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- Walsh, Declan (4 July 2007). "Red Mosque leader attempts to flee in burka". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Pakistan counts costs of bloody end to mosque siege". Reuters. 10 July 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
- Walsh, Declan (17 April 2009). "Red Mosque siege leader walks free to hero's welcome". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- Asad, Malik (24 September 2013). "Lal Masjid cleric acquitted in all cases". Dawn News. Retrieved 22 October 2015.