ISLAMABAD, May 25: The Lal Masjid administration on Friday announced that its students would attack audio and video shops, massage centres and brothels in Islamabad if their owners did not wind up their businesses immediately.

“Our students can attack these outlets anytime because the deadline given to their owners had already passed,” Lal Masjid khatib Maulana Abdul Aziz said in his Friday sermon.

The deadline ended last month and the owners fear attacks from the mosque brigade anytime. “We are insecure and need government protection,” the owner of a CD shop in Abpara market told Dawn.

He said that a group of 40 to 50 baton-wielding people, some of them covering their faces, had visited different markets two months ago and asked owners of CD, audio and video shops to switch over to other business.

The CD shop-owner said he had been in the business for 30 years and had no expertise to start another business.

When contacted, Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi, deputy in-charge of Lal Masjid, said the one-month ultimatum had ended last month, adding that owners of some of the shops had assured that they would wind up their business.

Two months ago some people went to various markets in the capital and issued notices, signed by slain Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah, to owners of CD and audio/video shops, asking them to wind up their businesses.

However, Maulana Ghazi denied that those who had distributed the notices were students or supporters of Lal Masjid.

Our Correspondent in Kohat adds: In a telephonic address on the occasion of the inauguration of the basement of a mosque in Kohat, Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid asked the Taliban to continue their jihad against obscenity, prostitution, video shops and other social vices and expand it to every nook and corner of the NWFP.

He said the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal secured votes in the name of Islam and Quran but failed to enforce Sharia and curb un-Islamic practices.

“Therefore, it is now the responsibility of all believers to support the activities of the Taliban in the province against CD shops and obscenity.”

He advised the Taliban to also help the weak and helpless segments of society in getting justice. He said the government would have to enforce Islam soon because they could not stop the movement of the Taliban which had got the support of millions of people. “People are fed up with the rulers and want immediate change for which time is ripe.”

He regretted that the MMA government had got involved in purely political matters which resulted in social degradation. “The sale of drugs and liquor has increased and dancing, prostitution and music are on the rise in the NWFP which is being ruled by graduates of seminaries,” he added.

He said: “We have set the example of enforcing Sharia in Islamabad and, therefore, the MMA government cannot justify its inaction this regard.”

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