ISLAMABAD                    -                 Former cleric Lal Masjid is likely to flout the ban imposed by the city administration on religious gatherings in mosques again this Friday, according to the sources privy to Lal Masjid management.

The sources while talking to The Nation said that unlike rest of the religious seminaries in the country,the Lal Masjid and some madrassahs affiliated with it are not being closed despite the government directives to close the madrassahs.

He further stated that since the outbreak they had decided not to close the mosque or any madrassah because it was against the norms of Islam; adding that they will never close the mosques even if the government uses force against them.

While commenting on the today’s prayer (Friday prayer), he said that they have been asking their followers to come to mosques for all five prayers, adding that they are likely to hold huge gathering as usual in today’s Friday prayer.

Meanwhile, commenting on the matter a senior official from Islamabad administration said that the government wanted to deal with them with tactic, adding that they did not want to create any chaos by conducting a raid on them.

He further added that the issue with the Lal Masjid would soon be resolved along with maintaining a peaceful environment in the capital because the Islamabad administration will never use an option which would further create any rift between both the sides.

The Lal Masjid administration has received great criticism on social media after the videos of huge gatherings were doing circles on social media despite the government directives to avoid the gatherings in order to contain the spread of virus.

A critical rift has surfaced between the religious parties and the government side over the restrictions on the gatherings at mosques when both the sides had their own opinion regarding the ban on the gatherings at mosques.

In a statement, Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri said that the decision regarding the Aetekaaf and prayers at mosques will be taken by the government after consultation with the religious clerics of the country on April 18. He said that the government was committed to providing safe mosques for the worshipers in Ramazan.

Meanwhile, in a joint meeting followed by a presser all the religious parties and scholars from different schools of thought including JI and JUI-F, it was decided that the government should not impose anymore sanctions on gatherings at mosques.