The threat of sectarian clashes is increasing at the University of Karachi (KU) due to greater than ever intolerance among the students of various sects studying at the varsity, an investigation into KUâ€™s affairs revealed on Sunday. Sectarian unrest has peaked among KU students as the university management has yet to allow construction of a separate place of worship for students of the Shia sect.
The KU administration has been trying to deal with serious troubles after the followers of the Ahle Hadith sect have also started demanding a separate mosque for them in the varsity.
University officials told Pakistan Today that Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) activists have arranged separate azaan and prayers at the Jamia Masjid Ibrahim.
They said that an ISO delegation had met with KU Registrar Kaleem Raza Khan and demanded a separate mosque for them.
The students are of the view that the ISO stand has become an insecure place after the recent blast during prayer.
They demanded the registrar to allow construction of an imambargah in the centre of the campus to facilitate students of the Shia sect.
The registrar patiently listened to them and responded that there are already four mosques, a church and an imambargah in the varsity premises, and that there is no need of another imambargah at the university.
â€œA mosque is for everyone and nobody can stop anyone from praying there,â€ the registrar told the ISO activists.
However, the delegation left the registrarâ€™s office after an exchange of heated words, and then decided arranging separate Zuhr prayers at the Jamia Masjid Ibrahim.
The Jamia Masjid Ibrahim naib khatib said that recently, some 80 students affiliated with the ISO held a separate azaan and Zuhr prayer at the mosque and left before the prayer of the Sunni sect began.
The purpose of this move was to press the varsity management to accept their demand. However, the university management has taken no action in this regard thus far and the ISO activists are going to continue this practice until their demand is met.
ISO-affiliated students enter the mosque and offer azaan at 1:00 pm every day and hold separate prayers, but leave the mosque before the Sunni sectâ€™s prayer starts at 1:30 pm.
More recently, the ISO activists started praying with the members of the Sunni sect, which has been causing a lot of problems. Following this, the attendance of worshippers has also started dwindling.
KU Masjid Committee Convener Tahir Masood told Pakistan Today that the management is looking into the matter. â€œThe vice chancellor (VC) has directed me to resolve this issue at the earliest,â€ he added.
He said that the varsity is considering all feasible options and the committee would meet with the people concerned in a few days for a detailed deliberation over the issue.
The university is facing new challenges as an Ahle Hadith delegation has also moved an application for constructing a separate mosque for them, Masood said, adding that it is impractical for allowing construction of more places of worship for different sects.
KU VC Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui told Pakistan Today that a committee has been formed to look into the options for resolving this issue.
The committee would discuss the issue with the representatives of the ISO and other stakeholders and come up with a solution soon, he added.
He said that the issue of construction of the imambargah has been presented before the syndicate of the varsity twice, but the resolution was dismissed by the syndicate after a detailed discussion between the members.
The varsity has written a letter to KU Chancellor/Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan regarding this issue and waiting for a response from the Chancellorâ€™s Secretariat, he added.Back to top button
Source : Pakistan Today
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