The capital administration caved in to the demands of the Lal Masjid management on Thursday and allotted them a prized plot they had “desired” in the H-11 sector. The 20-kanal land has been allotted for rebuilding Jamia Hafsa, a women seminary that was razed to ground after a military operation during the Pervez Musharraf’s government in 2007.
An agreement was inked between the Islamabad administration and the Lal Masjid chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz and his wife Umme Hassan, principal of Jamia Hafsa, in this regard. As per the agreement, the land near Lal Masjid would be reserved for expansion of the mosque in future and no other construction would be made on the site.
“Lal Masjid issue has been resolved forever,” Deputy Commissioner (DC) Amir Ali Ahmad told The Express Tribune.
Maulana Aziz told the Tribune that the capital administration had accepted all of his demands without any ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. He thanked Interior Minister Rehman Malik and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain for their cooperation in resolving the matter. “We are happy because the land was allotted near the graveyard of those killed in the military operation in sector H-11/4,” he said.
The agreement read, “both parties have agreed to use the entire land including 250.56 square yards previously in use of Jamia Hafsa ... as solely prayer ground of Markazi Jamia Masjid (Lal Masjid)... This land shall not be used for any other purpose, institutional or residential.”
“Following the directions of Interior Minister, Capital Development Authority (CDA) has allocated two and half acres land for the purpose in sector H-11/4,” Ahmad said.
The civic agency, however, expressed ignorance about the development.
CDA spokesperson Ramzan Sajid said, “We (CDA) have not been intimated by the city administration or any other quarter of the government.” He said that the vacant plot near Lal Masjid belonged to the education ministry as per the CDA record.
Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner said that CDA’s planning department director-general (DG) was aware of the development and he personally visited the site.
The capital’s Chief Commissioner, Inspector General of police and DC held a series of meetings with Lal Masjid management and finalised the agreement.
“Maulana Aziz wanted to get land in Sector H-8 but the desired plot was not available there,” the DC said.
He said that the mosque management withdrew all other demands after getting the desired plot.
Maulana Aziz said that there was only one demand: to reconstruct Jamia Hafsa, and the administration fulfilled its promise a day before expiration of the deadline set by the cleric last Friday.
Responding to a question, Maulana Aziz said the interior ministry allocated land and CDA has no issue with it.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ