Peshawar admin's plan to demolish major mosque stirs controversy.

PESHAWAR -- The district administration's plan to demolish the Speen Jumat, a major mosque in the provincial capital, over 'dilapidated condition' has stirred up controversy.

Residents of the University Road, where the mosque stands next to the Khyber Teaching Hospital, including clerics, have announced that they will resist the proposed move insisting it is meant to put up a shopping plaza.

However, deputy commissioner Shafiullah Khan rejected the assertion as 'rumour' and said that the mosque would be reconstructed in line with the Islamic law.

He told reporters here that the administration was working to address the 'concerns' of the residents about the mosque demolition plan.

DC insists Speen Jumat in bad shape, to be reconstructed

'People should not listen to rumours,' he said.

The DC said that the mosque building was in really bad shape and could collapse anytime.

Without naming names, he accused vested interests of creating hurdles to the mosque's reconstruction.

He asked the people not to fall for rumours and said that the mosque was constructed in 1966 and didn't fall among 'protected buildings'.

Mr Shah also said that the district administration had issued a notice to the mosque's management for the demolition of the dilapidated structure.

He said that the mosque to be rebuilt would have three floors with a parking space.

Earlier in a video message, the deputy commissioner said that the administration was going to seal the Speen Jumat due to its bad condition.

'We got the [mosque's] building checked through the engineers of the Peshawar Development Authority and communication and works department, who declared the structure ramshackle,' he said.

Mr Shah said that 60 seminarians stayed in the mosque, so the administration had made arrangements for their lodging in a private building.

He said that some people falsely claimed that the mosque was built on the property owned by them.

'This [mosque] land was acquired for the University Town in 1956 and later reserved for the construction of the mosque, which was notified by the then auqaf administrator,' he said.

The deputy commissioner said that outer portion of the mosque...

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