Rebuilding of Jamia Hafsa: Lal Masjid cleric, ICT admin on collision course

With the seminary’s reconstruction on cards, administration begins to worry.


Azam Khan December 19, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The Lal Masjid management’s announcement to reconstruct the Jamia Hafsa, a girl’s seminary, that was razed to ground in a military operation in 2007, has started worrying the capital’s administration.


Islamabad administration seems to be reluctant to thwart the plan by the chief cleric of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz, fearing a law and order situation.

A meeting between the city administration officials and Maulana Aziz remained inconclusive on Saturday night as the firebrand cleric turned down the administration’s request to abandon his plan to rebuild Jamia Hafsa, which was razed to ground during the operation ‘Silence’ in July 2007 as according to the ICT officials, it was built on a state land allocated for children’s library.

However, Maulana Aziz blamed the administration for creating unnecessary hurdles in the reconstruction of the seminary, claiming that it is in defiance of a Supreme Court order.

A senior official of the city administration requesting not to be named told The Express Tribune on Sunday that Aziz was taking unwarranted benefit of the volatile political climate in the country.

He maintained that Maulana Aziz was “misinterpreting the Supreme Court” judgment on the reconstruction of the seminary. He also hinted at other factors, especially the maintenance of law and order in the city.

The official said that only 250.65 square yards (as per CDA report submitted before Supreme Court) at the site belong to Lal Masjid.

“The city administration will not allow encroachment on state land in the name of religion,” the official said.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) spokesperson Ramzan Sajid told The Express Tribune that as per the CDA’s records, the vacant plot near Lal Masjid was allotted for children’s library. “We asked the relevant department to contact the city administration and take the possession of the plot a year ago,” he said.

Another official said that it seems as if Islamabad administration is also reluctant to ensure safe disposal of the plot. However, Maulana Aziz said that the official record has no significance.

The management of the defunct seminary made an announcement back in 2007 that it would start reconstruction of the seminary on its own if the government did not take a timely decision to that effect. The seminary administration also decided to hold classes for female students at the site of the seminary.

“We are starting classes in the open as the government has failed to obey the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to reconstruct the seminary,” they said. The ‘Darse Nizami’ classes were supervised by Umme Hassaan, wife of Maulana Aziz and principal of the razed seminary.

A contempt petition was also filed by the red mosque management through its lawyer Tariq Asad in the Supreme Court, accusing the government of delaying the construction of the seminary and demanding the implementation of former Supreme Court judge Nawaz Abbasi’s judgment.

The seminary was razed to ground after the operation “silence” in July 2007 in which the red mosque’s deputy cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi, 84 of his supporters and 11 army personnel were killed.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2011.

COMMENTS (3)

faraz | 9 years ago | Reply

Beware, he could launch Kamikaze attacks to teach CDA a lesson

alicia | 9 years ago | Reply the government should keep a close eye on this guy
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