The Islamabad police have surrounded the Laal Masjid in Sector G-6 after Maulana Abdul Aziz, who headed the mosque at the time of the 2007 Lal Masjid siege, reentered the mosque.
Aziz has been in the mosque for two weeks, despite being deposed at the time of the 2007 siege. Talks between him and the government have been under way for the past two weeks.
According to a source close to Aziz, he wants a plot for the construction of Jamia Hafsa. He said that the Islamabad administration had allotted him and his wife Umme Hassan a 20-kanal plot in Sector H-11 in 2012. The allotment was cancelled by the Supreme Court last year.
Dawn reports that he also wants to be reinstated as the prayer leader at the mosque and Rs250 million. “They have given us a deadline to vacate Jamia Hafsa in H-11 with the threat to launch an operation again. Food supply too has been stopped but we are determined to remain steadfast for the sake of Islam,” Aziz told Dawn.
Hafiz Ehtesham, the spokesperson for the Shuahada Foundation who was once very close to Aziz, said that he entered the mosque two weeks ago despite warnings that his presence would make things difficult.
He said the police have surrounded the area and unidentified people are not allowed to enter the mosque. Ehtesham said that Haroon Rashid, Maulana Abdul Rashid’s nephew, has threatened him after he warned them of the consequences. “Haroon Rashid wants a clash,” he said. Abdul Rashid was Aziz’s brother who was killed during the 2007 siege.
A security official, requesting anonymity, said that the Islamabad administration had been talking to Aziz and his wife but the process halted on Friday after Umme Hassan delivered a threatening speech.
Forty people were killed in the 2007 siege. It ended with a 35-hour military assault on the mosque. Aziz tried to escape wearing a burqa but was caught.
This is a developing story and will be updated.