In Islamabad, the leader of Lal Masjlis (The Red Mosque) made good on his 7-day ultimatum to the Musharraf government and set up a sharia law court on Friday. Ten judges were selected and appointed to the Sharia court. The demonstration included the burning of thousands of DVD movies doused in gasoline.
Maulana Aziz addressed a crowd of about 3,000 outside Lal Majlis saying, "The government has been saying that an operation against us is the last option, I want to tell the government that suicide attacks are our last option." After asking the crowd if they were prepared to die, the angry response was "Yes! Yes! Allahu Akbar!"
Pakistani Minister of Information Tariq Azim warned, “They have misjudged the government’s resolve. We want to avoid the use of force against them. We want to resolve all issues through peaceful means.” He also accused Maulana Aziz of using female seminarians as a human shield.
Key indicators to watch for in the Pakistani tinderbox are whether local shop owners are dragged before the mosque's Sharia judges, if and how the Pakistani government cracks down on the Islamabad mosque, and whether the action of setting up Sharia courts is replicated elsewhere in Pakistan beyond the tribal areas.