Countrywide protests held against Rawalpindi carnage

Countrywide protests held against Rawalpindi carnage

ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Protest demonstrations, mainly peaceful, were held on Friday across the country on the call of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat and Wafaqul Madaris al-Arabia against the Rawalpindi tragedy.

Rallies were taken out in all major cities of the country including, Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar and Karachi after Friday prayers; however, police did not allow a rally in Rawalpindi due to security reasons.

The Ulema addressing the protesters warned against not bringing the culprits to justice, saying the dream of peace could only be fulfilled by bring the culprits of the Rawalpindi tragedy taking to task.

The Ulema demanded that the government should ban the gatherings which cause tension. The Ulema said they have played their role for maintaining peace in country and now the government should play its role for brining culprits to justice.

Mualana Salimullah Khan, Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani, Mulana Dr Badul Razzaq Sikandar, Maulana Muhammad Hanif Jullandhri, Maulana Hafiz Fazal Rahim, Maulaan Pir Saifullah Khalid, Maulana Anwarul Haq, Maulana Qazi Abdul Rashid, Maulana Ashraf Ali, Maulana Orangzeb Farroqui, Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi and others addressed the protest rallies in different cities.

Mualana Ahmed Ludhianvi addressed the gathering at the site of the Rawalpindi tragedy. He asked the participants of the gathering to disperse peacefully.

All educational institutes in the garrison city remain closed and the entry points in Islamabad were closed by erecting containers. The commuters faced severe problems in reaching their offices due to the closure of the roads leading towards Islamabad.

A rally was taken out in Islamabad. It started from Lal Mosque and culminated at the Islamabad’s National Press Club.

Security was boosted on Friday in wake of the protest of the religious groups.

Religious parties in Pindi staged a rally amid tight security, which started from Markazi Jamia Masjid Block 1 after Friday prayers in which a large number of people participated.

In the largest city Karachi, all shops, restaurants and gas stations remained closed and roads were deserted with heavy deployment of police and paramilitary troops.

Authorities also imposed a 24-hour ban on pillion-riding in the city in a preemptive move ‘to tackle any untoward situation’.

Security was on high alert in Lahore as well. DIG Rana Jabbar told news reporters that around 10,000 policemen had been deployed in the city and that all entry and exit points were being manned. Jabbar said that army contingents were also put on call to respond in case of any untoward event.

The call for protests had come from different organisations, including the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat (ASWJ) and the Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM).

The protest call was initially given by the ASWJ and later supported by Wafaqul Madaris, which runs seminaries along with other religious groups including the Pakistan Ulema Council. The Jamaatud Dawa and the Jamaat-i-Islami also backed the call.

Difa-e-Pakistan Council and traders bodies announced their support to a ‘peaceful protest’.

Police and army had been deployed in several areas of Multan and private educational institutions remain closed. Pillion riding had been banned in Faisalabad where over 500 mosques and 25 Imambargahs hd been declared sensitive.

The services of the Frontier Constabulary had been sought to thwart any untoward incident in Peshawar.

The federal capital’s Red Zone was also sealed to prevent access of protest rallies scheduled to be taken out today by religious groups.

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