Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Sindh Secretary General Rashid Mahmood Soomro on Wednesday challenged the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to dare implement the Supreme Court’s order to demolish illegally constructed mosques and shrines in Karachi.
It is pertinent to note that on Tuesday, the SC gave directive to raze illegally constructed structures including a mosque, shrine and cemetery built on amenity parks’ land near Tariq Road.
“Mr chief justice the mosques are not orphans… Mr chief minister the mosques are not orphans… if you have the courage then show it and try bulldozing the mosque,” Soomro said in a video that went viral on social media.
He went on to say that till the day he was alive, he will never let “even a single brick of any mosque in Karachi be demolished”.
“We will stop you on the way [to the mosque]… if the mosques are demolished, your offices will also be demolished,” JUI-F leader warned.
He also dared Commissioner Karachi to implement the apex court’s order to demolish illegal mosques.
A day earlier, a division bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin, heard a case against the construction of Madinah Mosque and other encroachments on the land meant for a park in Tariq Road at the Supreme Court Karachi Registry.
During the hearing, when District Municipal Corporation (DMC) Administrator East stated that the mosque was constructed on park land, CJP Gulzar expressed anger over the land still being occupied, reprimanding the district administrator over Karachi’s condition.
“What have you done with this city? The city has been built in a way that it now needs to be rebuilt from scratch, like Poland, Germany and France were”
As a reponse, Khawaja Shams, the mosque administration’s counsel, said that the land was obtained from the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) through auction. However, he claimed that a new mosque was being built in its stead.
“Assistant Commissioner Asma Batool has built a mausoleum and a graveyard to add fuel to sectarian rift. Bismillah mosque was also built overnight to sow sectarianism,” the lawyer stated.
Justice Amin remarked that no place of worship could be built on illegal land.
He emphasised that Islam did not allow the construction of mosques on land acquired illegally. Justice Amin added that the KMC did not have the authority to issue a licence for the construction of a mosque on land meant for a park.
It is pertinent to note that the SC rejected Al-Fatah Mosque administration’s request for a review, ordering them to return the land allotted for the mosque to the KMC. It further revoked the licence issued by the KMC.
The court ordered complete relinquishment of land in the Kidney Hill Park area, as well as the removal of Bismillah Mosque, mausoleum and cemetery within the park.