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Protests against anti-Islam film continue

September 19, 2012

HYDERABAD, Sept 19: Activists of religious parties and trade unions burnt the US and Israeli flags and effigies of the US president in protest against the anti-Islam film in a number of towns in upper Sindh on Wednesday while the Jamaat-i-Islami demonstrated against the targeted killing of its senior leader Dr Pervez Mehmood in Karachi.

JI district Ameer Sheikh Shaukat Ali and senior party leaders Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, Tahir Majeed Rajput and Awami Tehrik leader Roshan Birhamani who led the protest accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement of turning Karachi into a battleground.

Dr Pervez Mehmood worked sincerely to restore the glory of Karachi, once called a city of lights, but the MQM did not like it and eventually he was gunned down by its terrorists, they alleged.

They said that as long as the party enjoyed the government’s patronage peace could not be restored to the city. “The MQM is a mafia and all target killers nabbed in Karachi belong to the party,” they said.

Meanwhile, all shops owned by the Dawoodi Bohra community remained shuttered in Saddar Bazaar and Cantonment area in protest against the twin bomb blasts in their locality in Hyderi, Karachi, the other day which claimed at least eight lives.

A complete strike was observed in Sukkur and Rohri towns and a partial strike in Ghotki, Daharki, Mirpur Mathelo, Ubauro, Thull, Jacobabad and other areas of upper Sindh in protest against the anti-Islam film. The call for strike was given by the JI and trade unions.

For the first time in the history of Sukkur even shops in localities, bakeries, milk shops, hotels, cigarette cabins, vegetable and fruit markets, medical stores, petrol pumps, service stations and CNG stations remained closed till late evening.

A number of processions were taken out by different trade unions, religious parties including, JI, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and Sunni Tehrik.

The protesters kept marching on different roads throughout the day while chanting slogans against the US, Israel and European countries.

They also burnt the American and Israel flags and an effigy of US president Barack Obama.

Similar protests were held in Jacobabad, Thull, Garhi Khairo, Bakhsha Pur, Tangwani, Kandhkot, Kashmore, Rohri, Pano Akil, Salehpat, Khanpur Mahar, Ghotki, Mirpur Mathelo, Daharki, Ubauro and other small towns.

The Hindu-majority Umerkot town and its adjoining areas also observed a complete shutterdown strike and activists of the JUI and Sunni Tehrik took out processions against the hate film.

Hindu traders who dominate the town’s business kept their shops closed in solidarity with their Muslim brethren.

Public transport remained off the roads and private schools announced a holiday.

Hundreds of protesters in Samaro road, Kunri, Talhi, Dhoronaro towns set on fire the American flag and an effigy of US president Obama.

JUI-F senior leader Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro who led a large procession said that despite repeated attempts by America and Jews to malign Islam and the Holy Prophet (PBUH), not a single Muslim in the world had responded with similar acts of desecration of religious books or holy personalities.

He urged the government to sever diplomatic ties with America and European countries and called for declaring rain-hit areas as calamity-hit so that relief activities could be started there.

Balochistan’s Minister for Health Ainullah Shams and Minister for Minorities Jai Parkash also participated in the rally.