SEVERAL weeks ago, a residential premises on main Khayaban-i-Nishat, DHA Phase VI, in Karachi, seemingly overnight got converted into a ‘mosque’. Signboards bearing the name of the mosque and prayer timings were initially put up on the external wall of the house, but have now been removed.
The by-laws of DHA, Karachi, strictly state that “residential buildings will not be used as regular place of assembly/worship, including masjid, jamaat khana, imam baargah, azza khana, church, temple, marriage or other social ceremonies, concerts, etc”.
Letters of complaint were sent by the undersigned to the offices of DHA and the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC), after which two notices were issued by the DHA to the occupant of the premises to stop the unauthorised activity.
However, only written notices have been issued and no action has been taken against them till date and the mosque has been operating with impunity.
The operation of a mosque has resulted in disturbance to the neighbouring residents due to unwanted congestion of cars, haphazard parking of bikes in and around the residences’ gates, and there is an increased and undesirable footfall of people in the neighbourhood.
Furthermore, it may also be noted that there is already a large mosque at a distance of approximately 400 metres from the unauthorised mosque in question.
The DHA administration must take appropriate measures before their omission/inaction sets an unwanted precedent for future abuse of by-laws.
Mazhar Imtiaz Lari
Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2021