ISLAMABAD: In view of terror threats and possible telephonic address of Maulana Abdul Aziz, the former Khateeb of Lal Masjid, cellular services remained suspended while Islamabad was put on high security alert on Friday.
Sources said that following the directives of Ministry of Interior cellular companies suspended mobile services for few hours – before and after Friday prayers – aimed at averting the address of Maulana Aziz at the Red Mosque during Friday prayer.
“The decision to suspend mobile services in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpaindi was taken in the light of fresh reports of terror threats and Maulana Abdul Aziz”s possible address via mobile at Lal Masjid”, sources further said. They said that police have conducted a search operation in various areas of the city and also beefed up security especially in the Red Zone and generally across the federal capital.
However, spokesman Shuhada Foundation, when contacted, said that Mualana Abdul Aziz had no plan to address the sermon this Friday but he is likely to address next Friday. Aziz and Umme Hassan on November 13 while violating section II-EE of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 tried to stage a rally from his home to Lal Masjid to start their movement for enforcement of Sharia law.
However, following the request of district administration, he cancelled his rally and he went back home after offering Friday prayers. The district administration had also issued a notice to Aziz and asked him to obey the law otherwise action would be take against him under section II-EE of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 and that he would put under house arrest under the MPO of 1960.
A heavy contingent of police was deployed around the Lal Masjid and in nearby areas during the Friday prayer. Mobile and internet services in the federal capital and Rawalpindi were suspended due to security concerns, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) senior officials confirmed. Sources revealed that Interior Ministry had issued a letter to PTA and asked for suspending mobile and internet services in Islamabad and adjacent areas. Services remained suspended from 11:45am to 2pm.
Source: Business Recorder