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Maulana Abdul Aziz to attend 10th anniversary of Lal Masjid operation

16 May, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The deposed cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz is set to stir another controversy as he has decided to preside over a conference to mark the 10th anniversary of Lal Masjid operation.

“Invitations will be sent to the president, prime minister, the director general of the ISI and the federal cabinet along with leaders of like-minded political and religious parties to attend the conference,” said a close aide to the cleric.

The conference, scheduled to be held on July 7, will be organised by Shuhada Foundation at Lal Masjid.

The foundation announced that the conference would not only be a milestone towards the implementation of ‘Sharia’ but would also prove to be a referendum towards the imposition of Islam in the country.

“We will file an application with the capital administration on Tuesday so that there is an ample time for them to clear all queries,” the cleric’s aide added.

“Similarly, invitations will be forwarded to key religious and political personalities and the leadership of the country as well as the head of the intelligence agency this week.”

He said extending invitations to key officials would help the organisers put pressure on the local administration to grant permission for the conference besides facilitating the guests to set their schedule well on time to attend the event.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Shuhada Foundation said there was no need to obtain any NOC from the government as the conference was being held inside the mosque.

“If they do not give us the NOC we will approach the Islamabad High Court to get out right to hold the conference to highlight the sacrifices rendered by our comrades for the implementation of Islam in the country,” said Hafiz Ehtesham Ahmed, the spokesman.

On the other hand, a senior official of the local administration told Dawn that the government had the right to grant or deny permission as the mosque was a state property and Maulana Aziz had already been deposed of as khateeb of the mosque. Besides, he is a proscribed person under the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), he added.

A similar situation occurred recently when Maulana Aziz announced to hold a conference on March, 24, 2017 (Friday) against the blasphemous content on the social media. But the government not only turned down the application but also blocked all roads leading to Lal Masjid on that day.

The conference to observe the 10th anniversary of the Lal Masjid operation has been planned for Friday (July 7) and the cleric has also issued a warning to the authorities not to stop the conference.

The operation was launched when militant students stationed inside Lal Masjid killed a Pakistan Rangers personnel posted outside the mosque on July, 3, 2007.

After a siege of a few days, images were taken through drone cameras of people inside the mosque. Female students had established themselves at the Children Library under the banner of Jamia Hafsa.

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