KARACHI: Several religious parties, including the Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, staged a massive rally on Sunday to express solidarity with the leadership of the outlawed Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Several arteries leading to M. A. Jinnah Road and the Karachi Press Club (KPC) were closed for vehicular traffic due to security reasons, causing inconveniences to commuters.
A large number of protesters arrived at Tibet Centre on M.A. Jinnah Road in the afternoon where they offered Asr prayer. Later, they converged on Deen Muhammad Wafai Road in front of the KPC where a stage was set up.
Several religious scholars and party leaders including Mufti Abid Mubarak, Shabbir Abu Talib, Mufti Abdullah Noorani, Mohammed Ali Shah, Altaf Qadri, Allama Ahmed Raza, PST leader Shahid Ghauri, Allama Shakir Madani and Ahmed Raza Amjadi led the protest.
Addressing the protesters, the speakers appreciated Mufti Munib Rehman for showing the mirror to the rulers on Saturday while speaking at the a conference arranged by the Sindh chief minister here at the CM House.
They said they wanted to tell Prime Minister Imran Khan that he himself had led a sit-in for 126 days in Islamabad in the past and he should be ashamed of subjecting TLP workers and leaders to “high-handedness”.
In an apparent reference to former PM Nawaz Sharif, the speakers said that the person now sitting in London had once termed Mumtaz Qadri (the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer) a ‘criminal’ but he was now himself living “a life of humiliation” in the United Kingdom.
The clerics alleged that the prime minister was holding religious gatherings just for political gains “while killing” those who were ready to sacrifice their life for the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
They said they supported all the demands of the central leadership of the banned TLP.
In a veiled reference to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders, the leaders and religious scholars said that those who attacked the Supreme Court and PTV headquarters were now sitting in parliament. They urged the government to remove names of all scholars affiliated with the outlawed TLP from the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997.
They also strongly criticised the federal religious affairs and interior ministers.
They said that TLP chief Saad Razvi had been incarcerated for the past six months and their struggle would continue until the government release him.
The TLP leaders appreciated the Sindh government for giving them a no-objection certificate to hold the rally.
They recalled that their late party founder Khadim Husain Razvi used to call policemen as their brethren.
Later, they dispersed peacefully.
Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2021