ISLAMABAD              -             After weeks of tense situation, Lal Masjid is returning to normalcy and has been opened for worshipers.

The mosque situated in the heart of the capital city has been under siege of the law enforcement agencies since weeks after former cleric Abdul Aziz entered the mosque along with hundreds of female students of Jamia Hafsa to press the government for his demands.

His main demands included resolution of Jamia Hafsa plot in sector H-11 which was cancelled on the orders of Supreme Court and his re-appointment as Khateeb of the mosque.

The mosque remained closed for the worshipers for weeks except for Friday prayers and that too under extreme pressure, however, now the district administration has relaxed the siege and opened the premises for worshippers.

The development followed an understanding between Maulana Abdul Aziz and the district administration to resolve the issue amicably.

Aziz wants resolution of Jamia Hafsa plot in sector H-11 which was cancelled on the orders of Supreme Court. Until it is resolved, he wants to stay in Lal Masjid, said an official at the ICT administration.

The administration is busy in negotiating with Maulana Abdul Aziz as some of the ulema are also mediating in the process.

The officials hoped that the issue will be resolved within the boundaries of law and limitations of the Supreme Court.

The federal government has been closely monitoring the situation as tension mounted in and around the premises. The officials hoped that the issue would be sorted out soon.

The government has agreed to an alternate land in lieu of the cancelled plot so as to resolve the issue.

On the question of whether Maulana Abdul Aziz would be given re-appointment as Khateeb Lal Masjid, the officials said it is yet not under consideration as prime issue.

Earlier reports suggested that the government had agreed to give a piece of 20 kanal land to former cleric of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz for the construction of Jamia Hafsa in Islamabad.

Maulana Abdul Aziz had agreed to vacate Jamia Hafsa situated in sector H-11 in response to the administration’s promise to provide an alternate piece of land in Islamabad.

Maulana Abdul Aziz is expected to leave the mosque in next few days as the district administration has assured the former that the government was sincerely making efforts to meet his demands while remaining within the ambit of law and the SC decision.