Thursday, September 27, 2007, Ramzan 14, 1428 A.H. Editor-in-Chief: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman 
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 Lal Masjid to reopen in time for Friday prayers
Demolition of Jamia Hafsa’s damaged residential quarters begins
ISLAMABAD: Despite the lack of a new Imam, Lal Masjid will reopen in time for Friday prayer, an official said on Monday.

Capital Development Authority Chairman Kamran Lashari said repair work was in full swing. “The mosque was being renovated and we hope to re-open it on Friday in time for Friday prayer,” he told The Associated Press.

However, authorities have yet to announce who will replace Maulana Abdul Aziz as the Imam of the mosque, which according to reports will be repainted green under the ongoing renovation scheme.

Lashari said the residential quarters of the Jamia Hafsa and other parts badly damaged in the fighting were being torn down. “The demolition of the living quarters used by Abdul Aziz and his brother Abdul Rashid Ghazi was already under way.”

The Jamia Hafsa, which authorities said was built illegally in the first place, is to be knocked down because the fierce clashes on July 10-11 and the preceding week-long siege rendered it unsafe.

“Our engineering experts have declared the building dangerous and it will be demolished,” Lashari told AFP. “The building is badly damaged as a result of the massive action,” he added.

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