SC seeks reports on Jamia Hafsa's occupation of disputed land, missing children

Updated 02 May 2019

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Supreme Court instructs CDA chairman to apprise the court on land's allotment. — Dawn/File
Supreme Court instructs CDA chairman to apprise the court on land's allotment. — Dawn/File

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman to compile a detailed dossier on the disputed 20 kanal land allotted to Jamia Hafsa, and also directed the Islamabad police chief to furnish a separate report on missing children.

A three-member bench under Justice Gulzar Ahmed's stewardship issued the orders during the suo motu case's hearing.

Justice Gulzar expressed his displeasure after CDA attorney showed up in the court late.

"On how much area is Lal Masjid built and who owns its land?" the judge asked, to which the deputy attorney general replied: "Lal Masjid stands on government land."

At this, Justice Gulzar summoned CDA Chairman Amir Ali Ahmed. The CDA chief showed up in the court following a recess and detailed the disputed land's history. "In 1970, CDA allotted 9,533 yards of land, of which 206 yards were allotted to Jamia Hafsa," he said.

CDA chairman told the court that Maulana Abdullah was appointed the mosque's muezzin, and he was succeeded by his son Maulana Abdul Aziz.

"It means that Maulana Abdul Aziz was a government employee," Justice Gulzar remarked.

The CDA chief told the judge that Maulana Abdul Aziz was removed from the position in 2004 but he still held control of the mosque.

"Was it his personal property?" Justice Gulzar wondered, with Justice Ijazul Ahsan questioning the capability of the federal government, "which could not even free up a mosque in the federal capital".

During the hearing, two grief-stricken elderly parents told the court that their children have been missing since 2007.

"We do not need buildings and lands, we need our children," the men said. "Even the Indian spy [Kulbhushan Jadhav] is allowed to meet his family but we are not allowed to meet our children."

The apex court took action on the senior citizens' request and ordered the capital police chief to submit a detailed report on missing children.

Subsequently, the case was adjourned for four weeks.

Rebuilding of Jamia Hafsa

The Jamia Hafsa building and the library were demolished by the government following the military operation in 2007 against Lal Masjid.

Examine: Report cites Lal Masjid, Jamia Hafsa ‘waging war’ against state

After the operation, the government and the mosque administration, led by Maulana Aziz, reached an agreement under which the CDA would provide an alternative site for the reconstruction of Jamia Hafsa.

The CDA allotted 20 kanals of land for this in H-11, where the Lal Masjid administration is said by the CDA to have begun construction work without getting plans approved in advance.

Last month, the CDA's Building Control Directorate had sent a notification to the seminary's khateeb, Maulana Abdul Aziz, highlighting the violations.

The deputy director of the directorate's building control section (BCS) had directed Aziz, identified as the "owner/occupant" in the notification, to "stop construction work within 24 hours from the date of issuance of this notice and apply for approval along with relevant documents, i.e. architectural and structural drawings".