Rallies banned in Karachi for three days
KARACHI: The Sindh government placed a ban on processions and rallies in the metropolis for three days on Friday, hours before a ‘peace rally’ was scheduled to be taken out by religious and political parties and some prominent clerics.
Defending the move, a senior official of the Sindh Home Department said the government wanted to avoid repetition of last week’s violence which marred the officially-announced Yaum-i-Ishq-i-Rasool and killed 20 people, besides inflicting damage to private and public property.
Without going into details, he said the ban would be imposed in Karachi for three days.
“The government has exercised its power in the larger interest of the citizens under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Those violating rules will be dealt with firmly.” However, party leaders and clerics were not convinced and vowed to take out the cancelled procession on Saturday from Numaish to Tibet Centre.
The ‘peace rally’ has been planned in protest against the blasphemous Internet clip produced in the US.
Accusing the administration of indulging in duplicity, they asked why the miscreants were allowed to take the law in their hands last week but the faithful were not even allowed to register their protest peacefully this week.
Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, who was supposed to lead the rally on Friday and address its participants at Tibet Centre, said they had decided to take out the procession on Saturday after holding a series of meetings with concerned security officials and the governor.
The planned rally has the support of Jamaat Ahl-i-Sunnat Pakistan, Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan-Noorani, Sunni Tehrik and nine other parties along with a number of clerics. “We had promised not to defy law and remain away from red zone nor stage a sit-in at any consulate. Traders also supported us because we had planned to culminate the Friday’s protest by 3pm,” he said.
“The administration has adopted double standards by encouraging violent protests and banning the peaceful one.”
“Such tactics won’t deter us from our aim. We’ll try to convince the authorities and they would be held responsible if the situation turned ugly because of their persistent refusal,” Mufti Muneeb said.
“Let me make it loud and clear that we will march from Numaish to Tibet Centre on Saturday without any intention of creating law and order situation,” he added.