KARACHI: JI demo against raids on Madaris

June 29, 2002

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KARACHI, June 28: The Jamaat-i-Islami on Friday organized several small demonstrations in the city to protest against reported raids by law-enforcement agencies on different religious schools in the country and the recently-promulgated Religious Schools Ordinance.

Scores of the party supporters, waving placards and banners, chanted slogans against the government outside several mosques after the Friday prayers.

“The entire nation will stand against the government if it doesn’t stop raids and crackdowns on the religious schools,” JI deputy chief Ghafoor Ahmed told his supporters in Shah Faisal Colony.

The government has announced plans to regulate and monitor thousands of religious schools, which are being accused of fanning extremism and violence. Security forces, helped by US investigators, are also arresting suspected Al Qaeda members and militants belonging to the outlawed religious groups in connection with the recent series of bombings, he maintained.

Ghafoor Ahmed said the United States wanted to attack “Islamic values and traditions” in the name of war against terrorism. Pakistani soldiers, who “pledge to give their lives in the name of Allah and the country, are now dying” in the American war, he said, referring to the killing of ten Pakistani soldiers by suspected members of Al Qaeda in the tribal region recently.—PPI