Lal Masjid goes back to former clerics
ISLAMABAD, Oct 3: The local administration has decided to hand over the
Lal Masjid to its former management after orders from the Supreme Court that the
mosque should be opened for prayers and Aitekaf from Wednesday.
It was learnt the government agreed to the proposal that Maulana Ghaffar, a teacher of
Lal Masjid's seminary Jamia Fareedia, be appointed the new Imam. The place of
Naib Imam has been given to Amir Siddique, a close relative of Umme Hassaan, in
charge of the demolished Jamia Hafsa and wife of the mosque's former Khateeb,
Maulana Abdul Aziz.
Sources in the local administration said the
government had accepted all the demands of the former administration and Umme
Hassaan regarding appointment of Imam, naming of the mosque and its
Under the plan, given to the government by former administration
of the mosque, name of Lal Masjid would not be changed and its red colour would
Meanwhile, Secretary Interior Syed Kamal Shah has directed
the capital administration to open the controversial Lal Masjid for prayers from
Wednesday and make a complete security plan to maintain peace and avert any
clash between the supporters of Maulana Abdul Aziz, the expelled Imam of the
mosque, and security forces at the time of opening.
The sources said a
committee had been formed comprising representatives of Wafaqul Madaris, Umme
Hassaan and residents of Sector G-6 to run the affairs of the mosque, while
deputy commissioner Islamabad would be the overall in charge of the
The local administration, representatives of Wafaqul Madaris and
former administration of the mosque will meet on Wednesday morning to finalise
the finer details of the mosque's reopening.
A senior official in the
interior ministry said the government already had finalised a plan and was to
implement it soon when the Supreme Court orders came.
The government had
reopened the mosque on July 27 under Maulana Ashfaq as the new Imam but the
residents of the area and supporters of Maulana Aziz chased him out of the
mosque when he reached there to lead the Friday prayers. That led to a pitched
battle and a suicide attack near the mosque in which 20 police personnel and
other people were killed.
Earlier, the residents of G-6 had demanded that
Maulana Abdul Aziz should return to the mosque and the government should allow
him to lead the prayers.
Maulana Aziz is presently in custody. A number
of cases against him are being heard in an anti-terrorism court in
Lal Masjid was virtually closed on July 3 with the start of a
bloody showdown between militants holed up inside the mosque and the security
forces. The confrontation continued for 12 days and claimed the lives of 103
people, including 11 military personnel.
Earlier on Tuesday, a two-member
bench comprising Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi and Justice Javed Buttar ordered
the mosque's reopening and also directed the authorities to pay compensations to
the heirs of those who died during the military operation within two
The session judge in Islamabad was directed to determine the
legal heirs of the deceased within a month.
The acting Inspector General
of Police (IGP) was asked to record statements of the family members of those
who went missing or were killed during the operation, and register
The court also directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to
reconstruct the demolished Jamia Hafsa seminary at its site within a
The Supreme Court was assured that the CDA would rebuild the
seminary and constructing a research centre on the remaining area that would be
utilised for religious education and research.
Deputy Attorney General
Raja Mohammad Irshad appeared before the court and submitted that a report had
already been submitted by the CDA before the court during the last
The court ordered that students of Jamia Hafsa be shifted by
October 15 to Jamia Fareedia after make adequate arrangements for their
Jamia Fareedia, an affiliated seminary of Lal Masjid meant for
male students, was sealed by the authorities during the Lal Masjid operation in
Ms Ayesha, a final year student of Jamia Hafsa appearing before the
court, claimed that she was a witness to the killing of 400 male and 250 female
students on the very first day of the operation.
She said it was a
mystery where the bodies of the dead had gone. Ms Ayesha said she did not know
how many more people lost their lives till the completion of the
She requested the court to make arrangements for their
studies, as she informed that their classes are due to commence after Eidul
She proposed that they should be allowed to take their classes in
The interior ministry's National Crisis Management Cell
Director-General Brig (retired) Javed Iqbal Cheema said that there were only 103
casualties in the entire operation.
He said as per information available
in the register of Jamia Hafsa, 1,700 female students were registered in the
seminary of which 1,526 were boarders.
Umme Hassaan, wife of the former
chief cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz, who was present in the courtroom
submitted before the bench that Javed Iqbal was giving details of three-
year-old record of the Madressah.
She submitted that there were 450
female students present in the seminary when the operation against Lal Masjid
and Jamia Hafsa was on its peak on July 9.
Ms Hassaan said she had seen
30 female students being killed on July 3 in one room of
Mr Cheema told the court that the body of Sahiba Khatoon,
mother of Maulana Abdul Aziz, was still untraceable, however, he said that the
body of Inamullah had been identified after conducting DNA test, but his heirs
refused to accept it.
He said at present there was only one body of a
female in the custody of the government.
According to him, 87 bodies have
been handed over to their legal heirs, and 77 FIRs about dead bodies were
registered under section 302. Dawn
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