E-7 seminary in Islamabad becomes site of unexpected conflict.


Byline: Munawer Azeem and Kalbe Ali

ISLAMABAD -- The administration office of Jamia Fareedia, a seminary in E-7, was occupied by Maulana Abdul Aziz in the middle of the night on Monday.

Mr Aziz and his wife Umme Hasaan occupied the seminary office, after which he led morning prayers and announced that the seminary's principal, Maulana Abdul Ghaffar, had been removed.

During this time, Mr Ghaffar stayed in his house on the premises of the seminary.

Maulana Yaqoob Ghazi, a close aide of Mr Aziz, claimed that Mr Ghaffar did not want to leave because he knew he was 'on the wrong side'.

The incident was followed by a protest at noon, leading police to block the road towards the seminary. Police and capital administration officials have ruled out the possibility of violence.

An administration official, on condition of anonymity, said there were only a handful of seminary students and staff at Jamia Fareedia or any other seminary because of the closure of educational institutions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Roads to the seminary cordoned off

The situation has placed the city's administration in a fix, as Mr Aziz' move may have violated an agreement he signed with the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration in June.Mr Ghazi said: 'Maulana Abdul Aziz elevated Maulana Abdul Ghaffar to the post of deputy chief from administrator a few years ago. He removed Maulana Ghaffar as deputy chief around two months ago but he got too close to the authorities and tried to take Jamia Fareedia over.'

The matter of whether Mr Aziz has violated his agreement with the ICT administration is also uncertain. Since the text of the agreement was not made public, both sides have made opposing claims; administration officials say that under the agreement, Mr Aziz cannot participate in any such activity for two months while Mr Aziz' son-in-law Haroon Rasheed said the...

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