SC seeks CDA’s dossier on disputed land allotted to Jamia Hafsa


–Govt couldn’t even free up a mosque in capital, remarks SC judge

ISLAMABAD: The top court on Tuesday ordered the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to compile a detailed dossier on the disputed 20 kanal land allotted to Jamia Hafsa, directing the Islamabad police separately to furnish a report on the missing children.

The Supreme Court’s (SC) three-member bench, led by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, issued the directives during the hearing of a suo motu case.

Justice Gulzar expressed his displeasure after CDA attorney came in late. He asked, “On how much area is Lal Masjid built and who owns its land?”

At this, the deputy attorney general responded: “Lal Masjid stands on government land.”

Justice Gulzar summoned CDA Chairman Amir Ali Ahmed and detailed the disputed land’s history. He said, “In 1970, CDA allotted 9,533 yards of land, of which 206 yards were allotted to Jamia Hafsa.”

The CDA chairman said Maulana Abdullah was appointed the mosque’s muezzin, and he was succeeded by his son Maulana Abdul Aziz. At this, the SC judge said, “It means that Maulana Abdul Aziz was a government employee.”

The CDA chief told the judge that Maulana Abdul Aziz was removed from the position in 2004 but he still held control of the mosque.

“Was it his personal property?” the judge asked, with Justice Ijazul Ahsan asking the capability of the government, “which could not even free up a mosque in the federal capital”.

During the hearing, two grief-stricken elderly parents told the top court that their children have been missing since 2007.

“We do not need buildings and lands, we need our children,” the men said. “Even the Indian spy [Kulbhushan Jadhav] is allowed to meet his family but we are not allowed to meet our children.”

The SC took action on the senior citizens’ request and directed the capital police chief to submit a detailed report on missing children.

The case was subsequently adjourned for the next four weeks.

The building and library of Jamia Hafsa were demolished by the government following the military operation in 2007 against Lal Masjid.

After the operation, the government and the mosque administration, led by Maulana Aziz, reached an agreement under which the CDA would provide an alternative site for the reconstruction of Jamia Hafsa.

The CDA allotted 20 kanals of land for this in H-11, where the administration of Lal Masjid is said by the CDA to have begun construction work without getting plans approved in advance.

In February, the CDA’s Building Control Directorate had sent a notification the seminary’s khateeb, Maulana Abdul Aziz, highlighting the violations.

The deputy director of the directorate’s building control section (BCS) had directed Aziz, identified as the “owner/occupant” in the notification, to “stop construction work within 24 hours from the date of issuance of this notice and apply for approval along with relevant documents, i.e. architectural and structural drawings”.