ISLAMABAD: Maulana Abdul Aziz, former khateeb of the Lal Masjid, has made no secret of his vision regarding the complete enforcement of Sharia in the country.

After failing to whip up a popular movement that would demand the imposition of Sharia law, the cleric turned to the Supreme Court on Thursday, submitting a petition asking the government to furnish reports listing the steps taken in this regard.

Maulana Aziz, who has a penchant for stirring up controversy, had also made an impassioned appeal before a Supreme Court bench headed by then-Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on March 27, 2012, asking him to invoke suo motu jurisdiction and order parliament to enforce Sharia and shun English law.

“Otherwise, Allah Almighty will initiate a suo motu,” Maulana Aziz had cautioned the court when he appeared before it during the hearing of petitions moved against the alleged extra-judicial killings of innocent people in the wake of the Lal Masjid operation in 2007.

Maulana Abdul Aziz wants steps taken to enforce Islamic laws discussed in parliament

The latest petition asks the top court to order the federal and provincial governments to take steps under the constitution that will enable Muslims to live in accordance with the teachings and the requirements of Islam, as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

The petition names President Mamnoon Hussain, the four governors, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the federal government and the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), as respondents.

The petition also asked the court to direct the president and the four governors to order that reports on the observance of Sharia be placed before the national and provincial assemblies, and that provisions be made in the rules of these legislatures to provide for discussion on such reports.

The petition also sought directions for the CII to make recommendations to parliament for adopting laws that would enable and encourage Muslims to bring their lives, individually as well as collectively, in accordance with the principles and concepts of Islam.

The petition contended that the court should direct respondents to take proper steps under Article 31(1, 2a and b) of the Constitution to make the teachings of the Holy Quran and Islamiat compulsory; enable and facilitate the learning of Arabic language; ensure the correct and exact printing and publication of the Holy Quran and promote unity and the observance of the Islamic moral standards in the country.

The petition also seek a declaration for the provision of free and compulsory education to all children aged five to sixteen, as well directions to obey Article 5 of the constitution and the their oath that asks for strive to preserve Islamic Ideology, which is the basis of the creation of Pakistan.

Maulana Abdul Aziz is not the official khabteeb of Lal Masjid, despite having been associated with the mosque for many years now. The title of khateeb was withdrawn by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration in 2004.

Earlier in April 2014. the Islamabad High Court was told by the Islamabad administration that Maulana Aziz was still under the fourth schedule of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) and was a security risk. Schedule IV of the ATA is a section which asks that terror suspects be kept under observation and be required to register themselves regularly with local police.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2015


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