CDA, IIUI tug of war on Faisal Mosque custodianship turns ugly


–University management hurling threats to CDA official, tagging him “Qadiani”

–CDA officer seeks help from FIA, IGP

ISLAMABAD: The tug of war between Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Islamic International University Islamabad (IIUI) over the custodianship of Faisal Mosque has taken an ugly turn as the management and students of the university targeted a CDA official, alleging him for being an Ahmadi.

According to sources in the CDA and documentary evidence available with Pakistan Today, the management of IIU is using a religious student group to target CDA Deputy Director Mohammad Tahir and he is being threatened with dire consequences.

The CDA official, hence, has sought assistance from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA); Inspector General of Police, Islamabad; CDA chairman and Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat Chairman Senator Talha Mahmood.

Both the CDA and IIUI have locked horns over the custody of the Faisal Mosque.

Recently, the matter was also taken up by the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat chaired by Senator Talha Mahmood. Mohammad Tahir informed the committee that the IIUI administration had forcefully occupied the mosque’s premises even though they were allotted the land for a limited period.

He further said that the IIUI had refused to vacate the mosque’s premises even though university administration was allotted over 700 acres by CDA in sector H-10, where a campus has already been built. The committee was briefed that still, the university management was not ready to vacate its offices and the academy from the old campus.

The university administration has established its offices in what was the mosque’s cafeteria and opened a store in the space reserved for Aitakaaf, he said. IIUI has also opened a hostel in the premises too besides overtaking a bookshop of the mosque.

In a meeting, during a discussion on sanitation and maintenance of the mosque, the CDA official admitted that the janitorial condition was not up to the mark for some period. He blamed the situation for non-payment dues of six months to the contractor, owing to the delays in the release of funds by the federal government.

The members of the Senate expressed their displeasure and inquired from CDA officials to look into the matter, asking why the IIUI was not forced to vacate the mosque’s premises after they had been allotted a land of their own choice.

It is pertinent to mention here that according to documents available with Pakistan Today, CDA Deputy Director Muhammad Tahir wrote a “Grievance Letter” No.CDA/DD/(FMP)/1(6)/2017/ to the CDA chairman, copied it to I.G Police Islamabad and Supreme Courts Human Rights Cell, Islamabad, seeking personal security in the wake of threats being hurled at him.

Tahir alleged that Zaheer Behram, an assistant professor at IIUI, has launched a campaign of disinformation and character assassination on social media against him and without confirming the truths and facts about his religious faith and declared him a “Qadiani”.

Zaheer also passed on the false information to students and teachers of the university to incite religious sentiments in a bid to exploit the situation to achieve his malicious and ulterior motives, Tahir added.

A visit to Faisal Mosque by Pakistan Today reflected a sorry state of affairs at the mosque. With no one to receive and brief the guests, the CDA keeps public toilets locked and opens them during the prayers timings only.

When asked to explain the situation, Mohammad Tahir said that according to the PC-I, the CDA has been assigned only with the responsibility of construction and maintenance.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Sohail Hassan, the director general of Dawa Academy at the IIUI, said that the Senate committee ruled against the university management without listening to their viewpoint.

He further said that according to International Islamic University Ordinance 1985 chapter-II, clause IV, the university shall be the custodian of the Faisal Mosque, Islamabad, as well as the buildings attached to the mosque and it shall be responsible for its supervision, control and maintenance.

About an agreement of land provided in sector H-10, Hassan said there was no mention of vacating the old campus after allotment of land for the new campus.



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