Lal Masjid’s Shuhada Foundation moves IHC to reopen mosque - Pakistan Today

Lal Masjid’s Shuhada Foundation moves IHC to reopen mosque

ISLAMABAD: The Shuhada Foundation, which handles the legal affairs of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa, moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday for reopening of the mosque.

The petition submitted by the foundation’s spokesperson Hafiz Ehtesham requests the authorities in the federal capital to reopen the mosque to enable people to perform their religious obligations.

The petition further prays upon the court to refrain law enforcement agencies from carrying out any security operation against the mosque and its administration.

Earlier in February, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration reached an agreement with deposed Lal Masjid Khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz after three days of negotiations, allowing him to stay in the mosque as long he did not deliver sermons.

On February 7, the cleric had occupied the mosque and laid out his demands. Authorities in the federal capital had laid siege to the mosque and started negotiating with him.

Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat confirmed that an agreement had been reached with Aziz and said its details would be announced soon.

The firebrand cleric told BBC Urdu that he had reached a verbal agreement with the authorities and a written pact would be prepared within three days.

“The Islamabad administration would not object to my stay in Lal Masjid and we will be handed over Rs35 million that we spent on Jamia Hafsa,” he said.

“Otherwise, the issue of the Jamia Hafsa building being constructed in Sector H-11 of Islamabad will remain controversial,” he added.

The issue of a disputed 20-kanal plot allotted to Jamia Hafsa in Islamabad is pending in the Supreme Court.

Aziz’s demands included the reconstruction of the old building of Jamia Hafsa adjacent to Lal Masjid. It was demolished as it was illegally constructed on government property.