After Lal Masjid initiated unauthorised construction on a plot adjacent to it in Sector G-6, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) took decisive action. On Wednesday, the CDA directed the mosque administration to immediately halt the construction and remove the erected structure within the next 15 days.
Lal Masjid Administration
The land in question, which currently faces encroachment, was once home to Jamia Hafsa and the Children’s Library. These structures were demolished following a military operation in 2007. Subsequently, an agreement was reached between the government and the mosque administration, led by Maulana Abdul Aziz. The CDA provided an alternative site in H-11 for the reconstruction of Jamia Hafsa, and adjustments were made to the G-6 civic centre’s master plan, leaving the area around the mosque vacant.
However, despite this agreement, the mosque administration has now undertaken construction on the same piece of land. The CDA has issued a notice citing violations of building control regulations, demanding that the construction be stopped within 15 days. The notice warned of potential enforcement action by the CDA, stating, “The CDA will take action regarding removal of above-mentioned violations forcefully through Enforcement Directorate, CDA at your risk and cost.”
A CDA official confirmed the unauthorised construction and revealed that the mosque administration had been given 15 days to rectify the violation. The notice also highlighted the installation of a board claiming ownership of the land in 2018, which the CDA had previously instructed to be removed.
Speaking on behalf of Maulana Aziz, Mufti Tehseen claimed that the PPP government had decided to incorporate the plot, where Jamia Hafsa once stood, into Lal Masjid. He alleged that obstructions were created by various departments during the construction at the allocated H-11 site, where the mosque administration spent Rs40 million.
Expressing frustration, Mufti Tehseen questioned, “We are not allowed to construct Jamia Hafsa in H-11 nor are we allowed to construct it in Sector G-6. Where are we supposed to go?” He urged the government to adhere to the Supreme Court decision and honour commitments made to the mosque administration.
Lal Masjid, established in 1965, has a significant history, and the current dispute adds another chapter to its complex relationship with authorities in Islamabad.