ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Tuesday expressed reservations about the restrictions imposed on women for offering prayers and visiting the main hall of the Faisal Mosque, Islamabad, which had religious and tourist value.
Alvi, according to a statement issued by the President's Secretariat, highlighted that women in modest Islamic dress with covered hair were allowed in Mosques all over the world to offer their prayers.
He lamented that there was no enclosure for women in the main hall, and the elderly and unwell women were constrained to climbing stairs to approach the enclosure on the first floor due to the absence of an elevator.
President Alvi expressed concern as to how women would be able to offer their prayers while faced with these restrictions.
The president gave these remarks while taking note of a special report published by Dawn News on September 14 wherein restrictions on women to offer their prayers, poor cleanliness conditions and maintenance, and beggary at the historic mosque was highlighted.
Alvi said that he believed that women should be allowed to pray in an enclosure in the main hall and to visit the main hall to appreciate the architectural beauty of this magnificent mosque.
"This is my opinion which is based upon observation throughout the world including the Harmain Sharifain," he clarified.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA), in its report submitted to the President Secretariat, had informed that it has initiated actions to ensure cleanliness and to carry out the maintenance and rid the area of beggars, whereas, after the construction of the mosque as a policy of Dawah Academy, Islamic University, only one gallery was reserved for ladies and there was no permission for women to enter in the main hall.
The president has desired that the administrator of Faisal Mosque may discuss and brief on these issues.
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