Jamia Hafsa demolishion operation
ISLAMABAD, July 24: Demolition of the bullet-riddled building of Jamia
Hafsa started on Monday amid tight security, a senior government official said.
On the first day, about 30 per cent of Jamia Hafsa building and residences of
Maulanas Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rashid Ghazi were razed.
The operation will
continue till Wednesday during which the entire building of the seminary will be
"We have hired heavy earth moving machines and bulldozers for
the operation in which over 200 workers are taking part," Capital Development
Authority (CDA) Chairman Kamran Lashari said.
Meanwhile, a source
said the operation was being conducted jointly by the CDA, local police, Punjab
police and Rangers under the supervision of military authorities.
refreshed memories of the eight-day operation carried out by the army against
Lal Masjid militants which claimed the lives of 102 people, including 11
security officials. The area around Lal Masjid was again cordoned off and heavy
contingents of security forces were deployed there.
Residents of G-6
sector, who live in the eastern and western sides of the mosque, faced great
trouble during the first day of the operation as all streets on both sides were
blocked with barricades. Personnel of Islamabad and Punjab police and Rangers
were seen standing at the corner of all streets leading to Lal
The area in the vicinity of Lal Masjid was in the grip of tension
and fear and the situation became worse when an unclaimed black bag was found at
a petrol pump located in the area.
Workers and other people at the fuel
filling station left the site and stood away from it. Police and bomb disposal
squad were called but before their arrival a worker of a car washing station at
the petrol pump showed courage and opened the bag.
A laptop computer and
a car registration book were found in it. The car registration book was in the
name of a person named Inamul Haq.
Police also found his mobile telephone
number on the registration book and called him to Aabpara police station to
collect the bag.
The Lal Masjid administration reportedly kept on
constructing illegal structures and rooms in the mosque complex for the last
many years but it accelerated the construction work during the tenure of the
Another CDA official said the mosque administration had
encroached upon 7,500 sq yards (16 kanals) of land for the construction of Jamia
He said Lal Masjid administration had also encroached three plots
allocated for women library, the author's corner and a gymnasium.
establishment of women library was a project of the education ministry and it
had been provided an alternative plot for the library.
The CDA had served
many notices on the mosque administration and sometimes anti-encroachment
operations were planned in the past but all such actions against the mosque were
prevented by the people in power, the sources said.
The construction of
Jamia Hafsa's four-storey building was completed in 2003 and during its
construction, the CDA tried their best to stop it but a federal minister
interfered and stopped action against the seminary, they said. Dawn
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