The Islamabad administration has agreed to provide Lal Masjid a plot of 205 square yards in Islamabad for the construction of Jamia Hafsa as per the Supreme Court’s orders, a senior official said Monday.
In 2012, the Islamabad administration had allotted Lal Masjid a 20-kanal plot in Sector H-11. But the allotment was cancelled by the Supreme Court last year.
However, a deadlock persists between the two sides over Maulana Abdul Aziz’s Friday sermon.
Lal Masjid administration has been told that Maulana Aziz would not deliver the Friday sermon in the mosque, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat told Samaa Digital.
Aziz has been in the mosque for the last two weeks, despite being deposed at the time of the 2007 siege. He also delivered a sermon in the mosque last Friday.
Forty people were killed in the 2007 siege. It was ended after a 35-hour military crackdown on the mosque. Aziz tried to escape wearing a burqa but he was caught.
Students have vacated the seminary building in Islamabad’s Sector H-11 after talks with the administration, according to DC Shafqat. The government has withdrawn police personnel deployed around the mosque.
He said there was no need to deploy security around the mosque as long as there was no threat.
Haroon Ghazi, a spokesperson for the Lal Masjid and Maulana Abdul Aziz’s nephew, confirmed students have been called back from the H-11 building and the city administration has withdrawn police from outside the building.
“We came to a verbal understanding last night,” Haroon said. He, however, said that Maulana Aziz would deliver the Friday sermon in the mosque.
Haroon said the Lal Masjid administration didn’t agree to any such demand and neither was it discussed during the talks.
He said they came to know through the media that the government wanted to give them a 10-marla plot for Jamia Hafsa.
“It is ridiculous,” he said, adding that it was not acceptable to them.