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March 12, 2019

Auqaf department takes control of several JuD, JeM madrasas in Karachi


March 12, 2019

As part of an ongoing crackdown against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) after the two groups were listed among the proscribed outfits by the interior ministry recently, authorities in Karachi have taken control of a number of madrasas associated with them over the past few days.

Sindh’s Auqaf department has taken control of at least 18 seminaries and mosques for their links with the JuD, the JeM and the Tehreek-e-Ghalba Islam, a JeM’s splinter group, in various parts of the city.

Mufti Munir Ahmed Tariq, an official of the provincial Auqaf department, who has been given responsibilities in this regard, said they had taken control of 18 seminaries without facing any resistance in the past two days.

“Ten among them were associated with the JuD and the remaining were linked with the JeM and its splinter group, Tehreek-e-Ghalba Islam,” Tariq told The News on Monday. The JuD’s associated madrasas include: Mardasa Huzaifa Bin Yameen (Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Phase 2), Madrasa Maaz bin Jabal (Quaidabad), Madrasa Riaz Ul Jannat (Anda Morr), Madrasa Umul Qura (Korangi), Madrasa Mughira Bin Shuba (Korangi), Madrasa Allah Wali (Korangi), Jamia Darasat (Gulshan-e-Iqbal), Jamia Ul Iman (Gulshan-e-Iqbal), Madrasa Umul Qura (Korangi Industrial Area) and Madrasa Khalid Bin Waleed (Shah Latif Town). Besides it, the Auqaf department has taken control of two more seminaries – Madrasa Shuhada-e-Islam (Shah Latif Town) and Madrasa Bilal (Bilal Colony, Korangi) -- that are managed by the JuD.

The Auqaf department has also taken control of several Deobandi madrasas and mosques for their alleged links with the JeM. Prominent among them are Jamia Ashraful Madaris (Pehalwan Goth) administrated by Maulana Hakeem Azhar, Jamia Anwarul Uloom and Masjid Qubba (Gulshen-e-Iqbal) administrated by Maulana Abdullah Shah Mazhar, and Jamia Masjid Batha (Buffer Zone).

The seminary used to run a charity called ‘Al-Akhter Trust’, named after the seminary founder Maulana Hakeem Akther. However, in compliance with a United Nations Security Council resolution banning the Al-Akhter Trust for their alleged links with terrorist networks, the Pakistani government put their names in the list of proscribed outfits in March 2007 sealed their offices to stop it from working.

Law enforcement officials believe that the Jamia Ashraful Madaris had old links with the JeM and its leadership, especially its founder, Maulana Masood Azhar.

Maulana Abdullah Mazhar, administrator of the Jamia Anwarul Uloom & Masjid Qubba, is head of the Tehreek-e-Ghalba Islam, a JeM’s splinter group.

Jamia Masjid Batha has been used as the JeM Karachi office. Other madrasas and mosques included Jamia Masjid Al-Fatah (Surjani Town) and Madrasa Hasnain (Gulshen-e-Iqbal).

Sindh’s Aufaq department has formed a three- member committee under the head of Tariq for taking control of seminaries. The other two members are Mehtab Khan and Naseem Khan, two district circle managers at the department.

“The provincial home department is in fact making a list of seminaries and the Auqaf department after receiving letters from it is taking control of the seminaries and mosques,” Tariq said.

He said that after taking control of the madrasas and mosques and putting the signboards of the Auqaf department outside, the next step would be appointments of administrators and prayer leaders to replace the former ones to run their affairs.

Although the JuD has not yet issued any statement, the Wifaqul Madaris al Arabia (WMAA), a board of Deodandi madrasas, has shown its concern over the taking control of the Jamia Ashraful Madaris.

Maulana Talha Rehmani, the WMAA’s spokesperson, said that the body’s members had contacted Maulana Azhar, Jamia Ashraful Madaris’s principal. “The WMAA is convening a meeting today (Tuesday) to discuss the ongoing situation and chalk out its strategy against the government policy,” Rehmani told The News.

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