Police Cordon-Off Lal Masjid As Tensions Between Govt, Abdul Aziz Rise Again

Police Cordon-Off Lal Masjid As Tensions Between Govt, Abdul Aziz Rise Again
The authorities in Islamabad have once again cordoned-off Lal Masjid, as the tensions between the government and Maulana Abdul Aziz have risen following the disappearance of the cleric’s close aide.

DAWN reported that the Special Branch alerted the capital administration and police that the cleric may break a recent agreement with the government and try to return to Lal Masjid. As a result, the mosque was again cordoned off by the police to intercept his entry.

The police officials told the newspaper that Maulana Aziz’s close aide Maulana Idrees disappeared from outside Jamia Fareedia on July 15. Some works were underway at the madressah (seminary) on the direction of Maulana Aziz under the supervision of Maulana Idrees, they added.

After the disappearance of his aide, Maulana Aziz had threatened to break the agreement under which he had left Lal Masjid for two months. The agreement was reached between him and the government through a group of Ulema.

Following the threat, the Special Branch advised the administration and police to take measures so that Maulana Aziz did not move back to Lal Masjid. On Friday, a well-equipped contingent of police, including Counter-Terrorism Force and Anti-Riot Unit, reached Lal Masjid and cordoned it off. Masjid Road and Municipal Road were also blocked by the police.

Maulana Aziz’s nephew Haroon Rashid has claimed that Maulana Idrees was picked by Counter-Terrorism Department when he was returning from Jamia Fareedia.

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