islamabad - A standoff was witnessed ahead of the press conference announced by the wife of Maulana Abdul Aziz, the chief cleric of Lal Masjid Islamabad, as the district administration tried to prevent them from addressing the media. Umme Hassan, Principal of Jamia Syeda Hafsa, an offshoot of Lal Masjid had announced to hold a press conference at 3pm at Lal Masjid on Thursday, reportedly in the wake of alleged detention of the persons linked to Lal Masjid and Maulana Abdul Aziz’ family.

Both gates of the Masjid were closed by the police as media reached there. Haroon ur Rasheed, the son of Allama Abdur Rashid Ghazi who was killed during Lal Masjid siege in 2007, reached Lal Masjid while the female members of Maulana Abdul Aziz’ family failed to make their way to the mosque. Media men were also barred from entering the premises.

Keeping in view the mounting tension, the district administration contacted the Lal Masjid administration after which the latter decided to postpone the press conference for two days. According to the sources, the district administration has assured the Lal Masjid administration to help resolve their grievances within two days.

The sources said that the law-enforcing agencies had picked around 10 persons linked to Lal Masjid and Aziz’ family. They said that Khateeb Jamia Masjid Ameer Hamza Margalla Town, Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob was picked by Margalla Town, Muhammad Mir Hassan from Karachi, and Muhammd Yousaf, Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Hamza, Muhammad Haroon, Muhammad Ali, Habibullah, Kaleemullah, and Safiullah were picked from the area of Rojhan Ghazi in district Rajan Pur, native town of Maulana Abdul Aziz. The state institutions have yet not confirmed arrest of the persons. Some of the detainees are relatives of Maulana Abdul Aziz, said the sources.