PESHAWAR: The elders of Khalil Tribe as well as the city mayor and religious leaders on Tuesday rejected the district administration’s plan to demolish Speen Jumaat and warned to go to any extent to protect the mosque.
They also condemned the unbecoming attitude of the district administration especially Commissioner Riaz Mehsud with the elders of the area and announced that they would never visit any government office for talks with the administration.
“If the administration wants to hold talks with the elders and settle the issue in an amicable manner, the officials should better come to the mosque. We will not visit the office of the commissioner, deputy commissioner or any other official for any kind of talks,” Amanullah Haqqani, convener of the committee for protection of Speen Jumaat, told a news conference here.
District Mayor Zubair Ali, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Arbab Khizar Hayat Khan, former minister and leader of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashif Azam, Awami National Party leader Arbab Tahir and others were also present on the occasion.
Zubair Ali said that the area came under his domain and he would not allow any such act, which is against Islam and Pakhtun tradition. The elders were shown the video design of the proposed rebuilding of the mosque in the shape of a shopping plaza and they rejected any such alteration in the name of rebuilding of the mosque.
They alleged that the statements of the district administration were totally misleading and false. The administration wanted to demolish the building on an unfounded pretext, they said, adding, the deputy commissioner in his earlier video message claimed that the condition of the building was old and rundown which may result in serious eventuality.
Maulana Amanllah said that if the deputy commissioner was true in his claim, he should constitute a committee comprising unbiased experts and structure engineers and they would support retrofitting of the mosque. “We will not allow anyone to harm even a single break of the mosque,” said Arbab Khizer Hayat.
The elders said the designs of the commissioner and deputy commissioner were not fair. They wanted to seal the mosque first and then demolish it, they said, adding, then they would go ahead with their plan to cut a major part of the land in the name of encroachment and construct a plaza on the remaining part with a floor specified for the mosque.
“Let me make it clear that we will not allow any such plan to be accomplished. The map and design of the mosque had already been approved by the then municipal corporations several decades ago. Therefore, the pretext of encroachment was out of the question,” Kashif Azam told The News.
“Once a mosque is constructed on any land, no one is allowed to demolish it for any purpose,” Amanullah Haqqani said.
The elders said that the land belonged to the Khalil Tribe, who had donated it for the mosque. This commission and deputy commissioner are posted here today and they will go somewhere else tomorrow. “We cannot allow them to play with the sentiments of our people,” Arbab Khizer said.
One leader present on the occasion warned the district administration to stay out of this issue or they may face serious repercussions.
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