Several Taliban flags were spotted on the building of Jamia Hafsa in Islamabad, after which the police and district administration attempted to remove them. However, Maulana Abdul Aziz and his students put up a resistance and the police returned without taking the flags down.
Videos circulating on social media showed Abdul Aziz arguing with policemen inside Jamia Hafsa and telling them to quit their job. “The Pakistan Taliban will teach you all a lesson,” he told them. A large number of female burka clad students of the seminary were present on the rooftop to stop the police from removing the flags.
Abdul Aziz also challenged them to come forward and arrest him and his students, but the cops remained unmoved.
According to sources, the Afghan Taliban flags were hoisted on Jamia Hafsa’s roof on Friday night by students of the seminary on orders of Abdul Aziz. A police contingent including female police officials reached Jamia Hafsa Saturday morning to remove the flags, but they failed to do so after Abdul Aziz and his students strongly resisted the action.
Earlier when Kabul fell to the Taliban last month, Abdul Aziz had hoisted the Taliban flags which were later removed by the police. Abdul Aziz had then stated that he had displayed the flags to congratulate the Afghan Taliban.
Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz’s spokesman told Friday Times that Assistant Commissioner and a senior official of the Islamabad police negotiated with Abdul Aziz at Jamia Hafsa and he presented his demands before them. “The major demand was imposition of Shariah,” he said, adding that the authorities have asked Abdul Aziz to give them three days to work on his demands.
In an audio message, Abdul Aziz claimed that the administration has accepted all his demands and sought three days to fulfil them. According to the audio clip, his demands include lifting of the ban placed on him and reopening of Jamia Hafsa mosque in H-11. “Our main objective is the enforcement of Sharia,” he said.
When asked why Abdul Aziz was holding a Kalashnikov, the spokesman said that the police intended to forcibly remove the flags which is why the students had to resist.
Update: DC Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat told Friday Times that the flags were removed by the administration and a case has been registered against Jamia Hafsa. This claim could not be independently verified.