Peaceful march against hate film after governor relaxes ban
KARACHI: Participants in ‘Tahaffuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat Rally’ filled M.A. Jinnah Road on Saturday a few hours after the Sindh governor accepted a request of the Jamaat Ahl-i-Sunnat Pakistan, Sunni Tehreek and assorted clerics for the march despite a three-day ban placed on Friday by the government on processions and rallies in Karachi.
The rally, which began a little after 10am from Numaish, attracted a large number of people from every city district. They came on buses, trucks, cars, motorbikes and every other transport means, carrying mostly green flags.
Till the late hours of Friday, the religious leaders were in contact with Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad who finally gave a nod for the procession planned only to register a peaceful protest against the anti-Islam film produced in the United States.
“In the early hours of Saturday, we received a formal permission from the security administration after we assured them that the march would be peaceful,” said a Sunni Tehrik spokesman, claiming that more than 100,000 people participated in the march.
He also appreciated the gesture showed by the Sindh governor to ‘encourage the peaceful segment of society’.
People from all age groups started converging on Numaish early in the morning, most of them unaware of the development that the rally had been formally allowed by the security administration after the Friday night ban.
A series of announcements were made by the organisers through fixed and mobile microphones appealing the participants to stay calm and register their ‘legitimate protest in a decent way’.
Led by prominent clerics and senior leaders of the Jamaat Ahl-i-Sunnat Pakistan, Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP-Noorani), Sunni Tehreek and nine other parties who supported and participated in the procession, people marched from Numaish to Tibet Centre, where the leaders addressed them. They raised slogans against the US and the producer of the hate film.
“The western forces were well aware that such kind of an act could spark anger among the Muslims yet they deliberately did it,” said Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rahman, a prominent cleric and chairman of the Ruet-i-Hilal committee.
“But we are here to tell them that their designs would never meet success. Today’s peaceful protest reflects the true spirit of Islam and those who are killing own people in the name of protest in fact are serving those forces’ purpose,” he said.
Earlier on Sept 21, more than 15 lives were lost and police vans, shops, banks and cinema houses were destroyed amid street protests in the city against the hate film.