RAWALPINDI: Following Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral, workers of a religious party tore posters and pictures of Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto displayed at a monument outside Liaquat Bagh. On Wednesday, PPP’s Rawalpindi chapter installed a new poster of Benazir.
On Tuesday, some individuals also tried to destroy a monument of Benazir installed where the former prime minister was assassinated on Dec 27, 2007 at Liaquat Bagh.
The monument, commonly known as Jaye Shahadat, was built by PPP workers, who gather at the site on special events to pay tributes to the former prime minister.
“Some miscreants wanted to disturb the peaceful environment of the country, especially in the garrison city by using these tactics, but PPP decided to remain silent,” PPP Rawalpindi chapter president Amir Fida Paracha told Dawn.
Mr Paracha said the act was condemnable, and exposed the hatred of some people for PPP.
“PPP is the only liberal and progressive voice in the country and always wanted to improve the soft image of the country among the comity of nations for the development of the country,” he said.
He said PPP was not responsible for Qadri’s execution, but hardliners wanted to drag the party into the controversy.
“The PPP Rawalpindi chapter called a meeting of the workers and managed to stop them from staging a protest.”
Diehard PPP activists have asked the government to take measures to avoid such incidents like this in the future, and threatened to protest if it did not.
Ibne Rizvi, a party worker, told Dawn that the PPP city chapter should raise its voice on this matter, otherwise protesters would come to the site and tear up pictures of Benazir and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who served the nation and the Muslim ummah.
“The religious parties should teach their workers how to behave in such situations. PPP and its leaders are not involved in the execution. It is strange that the ruling party leaders’ posters were not torn up by them but PPP leaders’ posters were,” he said.
Nasir Mir said the local administration and police officials ran away from the scene and allowed people to damage the monument.
“The credit goes to religious leaders to control thousands of people, but it was the government’s failure after the funeral prayer congregation,” he said.
Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2016