Negotiating the Siege of the Lal Masjid
In January 2007, the students of the radical Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) took over a childrens library in protest of the Government of Pakistans decision to demolish mosques and seminaries built illegally on government land. After six months of escalating tension, the crisis culminated in an eightday siege, and eventually ended by an armed assault, resulting in the deaths of over a hundred people and injuries to many more. This tragic outcome of the standoff had a devastating spillover effect, as it turned into a rallying cry for Islamist militancy in the country. Since the siege, militant violence, such as suicide bombings, has continued to escalate.
Based on extensive field research, including interviews with key actors on all sides, this book provides an in-depth analytical account of the events that unfolded during the siege, with specific emphasis on the successes and failures of the negotiation process. It outlines important lessons and practical guidelines for crisis negotiators, incident commanders, and political decision makers, in order to provide them with the tools necessary to manage possible similar crises in the future more effectively.
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