Protests, rallies mark first anniversary
The first anniversary of the May 12 carnage in Karachi was marked by protests, demonstrations and rallies by various quarters on Monday. The Karachi Bar Association (KBA) staged a peaceful rally amidst tight security from City Courts to Karachi Press Club, while the All Pakistan Democratic Movement (APDM) also held a ‘black day’ demonstration at Regal Chowk. Another demonstration was held by the Labour Party of Pakistan (LPP) at the KPC where activists lit oil lamps in remembrance of those who fell victim to the violence that gripped the entire city on May 12, 2007.
Prior to the KBA rally, DIG South Iqbal Mehmood had a detailed meeting with KBA office-bearers regarding security arrangements made around city courts. Unusual security was in place all around the City Courts and all entry and exit points being cordoned off, while lanes adjacent to the courts were also barricaded by containers and no vehicular traffic was allowed to move within the vicinity. Even the vehicles of journalists covering the event were barred from entering by-lanes near the courts.
When the DIG South was asked about the extra security arrangements, he replied, “We do not want May 12 last and April 9 this year be repeated, as it is the right of every citizen to register his/her voice by taking out rally or by any other means.”
Lawyers from the city courts proceeded to the Karachi Press Club (KPC) via the Sindh High Court (SHC), where SHC lawyers joined them. The legal fraternity from Malir Courts also assembled at the KPC.
The legal representatives chanted slogans against President Musharaf demanding that he step down as he had pushed country totally into the dark. Speaking to the participants of rally outside Karachi Press Club, Rasheed Razvi President, Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) reminded the Federal Information Minister, Sherry Rahman that last year her car was also hit by a stray bullet, adding, Â“we would neither forget May 12 nor April 9 when the legal representatives braved the brutality of the miscreants. The only difference is that last year it was the ‘gundas’ who besieged the entire city. This year, lawyers were burnt alive, with law-enforcing agencies complacently looking on.”
“We have no hidden interest as lawyers are struggling for rule of law and against injustice,” he said and asked lawyers to remain united and prepare for a more crucial struggle to be started by May 16, 2008. A black flag was hoisted and lawyers wore black wristbands.
PPI adds: Central leader of the All Pakistan Democratic Movement (APDM) and Naib Amir Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Liaquat Baloch, has said that the PPP has shared power with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) which is involved in the bloodshed of May 12, 2007, April 9 and killings of political and social personalities.
He said this on Monday while addressing a protest rally in connection with the ‘black day’ at Regal Chowk, to mark the killing of 50 political activists on the arrival of the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudry on May 12, 2007 in Karachi.
The rally started from the Empress Market and ended at the Regal Chowk. Baloch said that a million of people had come to show solidarity with lawyers’ fraternity and for giving reception to the deposed chief justice on Sharah-e-Faisal, but, he alleged, President Pervez Musharraf used a militant wing in Karachi.
Baloch demanded that the government to break the coalition with the MQM and award death sentences to those responsible for the May 12 carnage. The JI leader said that workers of JI, PPP, PML-N, PTI and ANP were killed on May 12, adding media watched the workers of MQM with their party flag, who were freely moving and firing on innocent people, but not a single FIR had been lodged in this regard. –PPI
MQM holds Qur’aan Khwani for May 12 victims: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) held Qur’aan Khwani for the martyrs of May 12 mayhem at Lal Qila ground Azizabad on Monday. The first death anniversary was held for the 14 martyrs of MQM who lost their lives on May 1, 2007.
The MQM Rabita Committee members attended the Qur’aan Khwani and prayed almighty Allah to place the departed soul in eternal peace and give courage to the families to bear the tragic losses.
Source: The News