Former Lal Masjid khateeb Maulana Aziz moves to Jamia Hafsa

Updated Jun 04 2020

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“Maulana Aziz will designate a khateeb for Lal Masjid as it is his discretion.”  — AFP/File
“Maulana Aziz will designate a khateeb for Lal Masjid as it is his discretion.” — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Former Lal Masjid khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz along with his family moved to Jamia Hafsa from the mosque under an agreement made between him and the government.

Haroon Rasheed, son-in-law and nephew of the cleric, told Dawn that Maulana Aziz and his wife shifted to their house located on the premises of Jamia Hafsa at G-7.

“Maulana Aziz will designate a khateeb for Lal Masjid as it is his discretion,” he said, adding his entry in the mosque has been banned for two months.

However, teachers and students of Jamia Hafsa residing inside the Lal Masjid will remain there and continue their educational activities, Mr Rasheed added.

He said an agreement was made with the capital administration and it would be implemented during the next two months. Maulana Aziz may share the details of the agreement with the media after a couple of days, he added.

Earlier, there was a deadlock between Moulana Aziz and the government and several ulema and religious leaders were mediating between them, sources in the capital administration and police said, adding both had refused to show flexibility in their demands.

But on May 31, police deployed around Lal Masjid detained the elder daughter of Maulana Aziz for over four hours, said the sources. The ulema and religious leaders who were mediating between them approached the police and requested them to release her, but their requests were turned down.

Later, they approached the government and senior officers of the capital administration and showed displeasure over the matter and informed them that under such a situation they would not mediate any more, the sources said. After more than four hours, the woman was released.

Besides, senior officers of the capital administration scolded police officers saying their act may sabotage the peace and the negotiation process with Maulana Aziz.

Later, the same ulema and religious leaders approached Maulana Aziz and the administration officers and asked them to show flexibility to resolve the issue.

On Tuesday, Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi visited Lal Masjid along with Maulana Abdul Rehman Muavia and negotiated with Maulana Aziz, said the sources.

In the meantime, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Operations Waqaruddin Syed also visited the mosque and excused with Maulana Aziz over the detention of his daughter and assured him that action would be taken against those responsible.

When contacted, the DIG said Maulana Aziz left the mosque voluntarily after which the police were withdrawn from the area.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2020