ISLAMABAD, April 20: Lal Masjid clerics on Friday vowed to enforce what they called ‘Shariat’ (Islamic system) in the country even if the government does not want to do so.

The in-charge of the mosque, Maulana Abdul Aziz said in his Friday sermon that Shariat will be enforced at any cost for which the whole nation should support the mosque's management. "We don't need the government's help for the enforcement of an Islamic system because we are capable enough to do it without its assistance," he added.

He said the process of dialogue between the government and the mosque’s management will remain suspended unless all the seven demolished mosques in Islamabad were rebuilt by the government.

Recently, the government had provided alternate plots for reconstruction of three mosques.

However, Pakistan Muslim League President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who was negotiating with the hard-line cleric of Lal Masjid on behalf of the government last week, said in a press statement on Friday that most of the matters about reconstruction of demolished mosques had been settled.

The local administration of Islamabad has reportedly demolished seven mosques in different places in the recent past, resulting in confrontation between the management of Lal Masjid and the government.

In protest against the demolition of mosques, girl students of Madressah Hafsa, a seminary being run by the mosque management, had illegally occupied the government's children library located next to the Madressah on January 21. After this, the mosque's management extended its Taliban-like movement in the capital by raiding a brothel, kidnapping three women along with a six-month-old baby and two security officials, threatening video and CD shop owners for closing down their businesses, and announcing enforcement of Shariat.

Chaudhry Shujaat said no one could even think about refusal enforcement of Quran and Sunnah. "We will take more measures for the improvement of the system in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah under legal demands," he said.

The PML chief said it was a good omen that the administration of Lal Masjid wanted to settle issues with dialogue instead of confrontation. He hoped that the issue of the children’s library would also be settled.

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