Qazi Yasir

It was the first rare parole that the government ordered. A day after Qazi Aman died of a cardiac arrest, the government set his nephew Qazi Yasir free as a “humanitarian gesture”. The young cleric reached after the funeral prayers were over. He went to the cemetery and after offering prayers there he was re-arrested.

Qazi’s of Islamabad have remained in news since Qazi Nissar butchered a calf on the day of Janam Ashtami in the main square to protest certain ban. It got him arrested and built his profile, a base on which he later built his Umat-e-Islami. Later when Muslim United Front came into being, Qazi was among its frontline leaders. He fought a pitched electoral battle but was made to fail. Then came militancy and Qazi was one of the hundreds who were detained.
Once free in 1993, he kept a low profile. For most of the time he would be available within the Islamabad township that was under the control of state sponsored militias.

On June, 19, 1994 Qazi was assassinated. It triggered upheaval in the town with thousands of people coming on to the streets in protest. A case is registered but police is yet to arrest or charge anybody for the murder.

The family decided to handover the reigns of the party to slain cleric’s brother Qazi Amman while his son Yasir was sent to study.

As Yasir grew up, he also started creating his own circle. It is Sajjad Ghani Lone who got him to Srinagar and introducing him as “Mirwaiz-e-South Kashmir” at the peak of his battle with Mirwaiz Umer Farooq. Sajjad and Yasir broke off later.

Yasir continued guarding the legacy when the situation took a turn in 2010, the third consecutive summer that unrest devoured. He was accused by police of using Facebook to instigate trouble.

His detention under PSA was quashed by the court in April. He was re-arrested under the same law. However, after Qazi Amman passed away, chief minister mourned the death and announced his release on the intervention of Mehboob Beig. His relevant tweet read: “Have ordered release of Qazi Yasir on parole to attend the last rites of his uncle Qazi Amman in Anantnag as a humanitarian gesture.”

By the time a one-tonner drove Yasir to town’s main chowk, thousands had already assembled there. He was taken in a procession to the cemetery where his uncle was already laid to rest and then situation started deteriorating. A nervous police somehow took control of Yasir again soon after he made a brief speech.

Interestingly, Yasir’s release on parole came on the first death anniversary of the three youth – Shujat-ul-Islam, Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khanday and Imtiyaz Ahmad Itoo – who were killed brutally allegedly by cops. The town remembered the trio by a protest strike and organizing a series of events that culminated in a protest demonstration. Interestingly, police have detained Farooq Khanday, a cousin of one of the three slain youth, for creating disturbance.


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