LAHORE, Nov 17: Religious and political parties on Sunday continued with their criticism of the Punjab government for its failure in controlling the law and order situation and delay in having normalcy in Rawalpindi and other cities facing sectarian clashes.

SIC: Sunni Ittehad Council Chief Sahibzada Hamid Raza said the government would have to take a bold decision immediately to take action against those religious groups that were creating a war-like situation in the country.

In a meeting, Raza asked the government to immediately call a meeting of leading religious leaders in order to reach a consensus for ending sectarianism. He also criticised JI head Syed Munawar Hasan for giving a statement against the army people that were defending the country by offering their lives. He said the SIC would support the move for stopping Nato supplies.

PST: Pakistan Sunni Tehreek’s Ulema Board has termed the incident a bid of the banned militant outfit to disrupt peace in the country by using the name of Ahle Sunnat.

In a statement the PST clerics said some countries were backing the banned organisation for their vested interests through creating a wave of sectarian killing in Pakistan. “There is no fight between Ahle Tasheeh and Ahle Sunnat, as it is the fight against Pakistan that was sparked by the banned organisation in the name of sectarianism,” a joint statement of the clerics reads.

They demanded of the government to impose a ban on a religious group using name of Ahle Sunnat.

JI: Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Syed Munawar Hasan says the Rawalpindi incident has exposed claims of foolproof security.

He said the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi had been turned into centres of CIA, Black Water and RAW.

He appealed to religious and political parties to realise the gravity of the situation and make every effort to create mutual harmony and national unity.

JUI-F: JUI Secretary-General Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri held the government and the local administration responsible for the incident.

In a statement, he asked the government to tell the nation facts.

MWM: In a joint press conference held by MWM, Ahle Sunnat (Brailvi sect) and Milli Yakjehti Council, clerics accused the anti-state elements of bringing the Shia and Sunni community head-on during Muharram 10 procession in Rawalpindi.

“The history is itself a witness that the Sunni people always welcomed the Tazia and Zuljinnah processions on their routes by arranging water for the participants,” MYJC Punjab Chief Peer Usman Noori said while speaking on the occasion.

He termed the incident a revenge taken by the pro-Taliban group against killing of Hakeemullah Mehsood.

JUP: Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan Secretary-General Qari Zawar Bahadur urged the government to make efforts in reaching a patch-up between the two religious groups.

In a statement he expressed sorrow and grief over the tragedy, calling for creating religious harmony and national unity.

PPP & PTI: Condemning the loss of lives and property, PPP Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo termed the incident a failure of the Rawalpindi administration and a reflection of the insensitivity of provincial government and police.

He demanded that the incident should be thoroughly investigated by a High Court judge.

He hoped that unity of the masses would foil attempts of evil forces to fan sectarianism.

PTI Punjab President Ijaz Chaudhry and General-Secretary Dr Yasmin Rashid said in a joint statement that the tragedy exposed apathy of the administration and ineptness of the government.

They demanded formation of a judicial commission to probe the incident.

They urged the people to be patient and tolerant and that the government should pay compensation to those affected in the incident.

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