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Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat calls for nationwide calm, peaceful protests

Updated November 02, 2018

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Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat Chairman Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi addresses a press conference at the Lahore Press Club. ─ DawnNewsTV
Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat Chairman Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi addresses a press conference at the Lahore Press Club. ─ DawnNewsTV

Lahore-based Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat Chairman Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi, while addressing a press conference on Friday, called for nationwide calm and urged protest leaders to ask their followers to desist from hurting people or damaging personal property.

The head of the religious organisation appealed to the nation in a press conference accompanied by other religious leaders at Lahore Press Club.

"This is not a time to fight each other, it is a time to be peaceful, to have courage. Are we trying to tell the world that we [religious leaders] are politically inclined? That we are extremists and want to harm our own people?" he asked.

"We request protesters and their leadership that they tell their followers... That they can protest, but don't take people's lives or damage private property. Take care of minorities. All citizens in Pakistan have equal rights."

Other religious leaders also spoke at the press conference, urging demonstrators to remain peaceful.

They maintained that peaceful protests are the democratic right of every Pakistani citizen, but that no one had the right to damage public or private property of their fellow citizens.

They asked central leaders of protesting religio-political parties to keep "extremist elements" away from their sit-ins and called for resolution of all issues through dialogue.

The press conference comes as protests spearheaded by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) against the Supreme Court's judgement in the Aasia Bibi case run into their third day.

Photos and videos from various protest sites across the country have shown protesters damaging private and public property and issuing inciteful statements against the country's leadership, and members of the judiciary and army.