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Shutter down in Peshawar tomorrow

September 19, 2012

PESHAWAR, Sept 19: With protests against the production of an anti-Islam American film continuing in the capital city, local traders on Wednesday announced to observe a shutter down strike tomorrow (Friday).

Trader leaders Abdul Qadir Saraf and Khalid Gul told a news conference at Peshawar Press Club here that the film had hurt religious sentiments of Muslims across the world by insulting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and therefore, it was not possible for them to remain silent.

“We have contacted majority of trader bodies in the city for shutter down strike on Friday and are hopeful that traders will close down shops on the day to condemn the making of the sacrilegious film,” said Mr Saraf.

Flanked by members of different trader bodies, including Subhanullah, Jamil Safi, Mujeebur Rehman and Mohammad Naeem, he urged the government to take the matter to the United Nations, saying it will help halt the making of blasphemous films and cartoons.The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Transport Owners Federation also announced to stage protest tomorrow (Friday) in the city.

President of the federation Zahir Shah asked transporters from across the province to show up in the capital to make the protest a success.

Also in the day, minority wing of Jamaat-i-Islami led by Rashid Masih took out a rally outside Peshawar Press Club against the anti-Islam film, saying the filmmaker had tried in vain to pit Muslims against non-Muslims.

Employees of different government departments also demonstrated against the anti-Islam film on Sher Shah Suri Road.

Also, minority member of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) president Prince Javaid condemned the blasphemous film, saying such stuff caused problems for nations.

In a statement, he said the country’s religious minorities supported Muslims against the said film.

In Timergara town of Lower Dir district, traders and religious minorities took out a joint rally against the sacrilegious film.

Local traders announced Rs150 million bounty on the head of the maker of the said film, saying they would raise money for the purpose.

They briefly closed down shops and staged a demonstration outside the general bus stand.

Dozens of Hindus and Christians led by Sudesh Kumar also joined the rally.

Carrying banners, holding placards and shouting slogans against the US, they marched on the general bus stand road before staging a sit-in outside the press club building.

Traders announced to observe a complete shutter down strike in the district today (Thursday).

In Alpuri and other areas of Shangla district, people from different walks of life protested the making of the anti-Islam film and urged the government to sever diplomatic relations with the US.

Protesters, including schoolchildren, took to the streets shouting slogans against the US and filmmaker, and demanded expulsion of the US ambassador from the country.

In Batkhela, people, including students and political and religious party workers, took out a procession in Thana bazaar to condemn the production of anti-Islam film.

In Swabi, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl workers and Afghan refugees staged separate demonstrations against the sacrilegious film.

Led by former provincial education minister Maulana Fazal Ali, JUI-F workers gathered outside the party’s district offices before marching to Karnal Sher Khan Chowk, where a public meeting was held.

As for Afghan refugees of Gandaf Camp, they assembled at Gadoon Amazai Industrial Estate main market holding placards inscribed with the anti-US slogans.

They demanded that the Muslim world unite to thwart anti-Islam conspiracies.

Islami Jamiat Tulaba blocked Swabi-Mardan Road at Gohati Bridge and demanded that the government end diplomatic relations with the US.

In Mingora, students of Madyan College and other educational institutions took out a rally against the blasphemous film. They marched on the city’s main road blocking traffic on it for a few hours.

Speakers alleged that the sacrilegious film had been produced at the behest of the US government to hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.

They demanded that Muslims across the world unite against the blasphemous act of Americans. They also urged the government to sever diplomatic relations with the US.

In Ghalanai area of Mohmand Agency, protests against the anti-Islam film continued for the fourth consecutive day.

JUI-F Mohmand Agency chief and former MNA Maulana Ghulam Sadiq and general secretary Maulana Mohabat Khan led a demonstration.

Protesters blocked the main Peshawar-Bajaur Road to condemn the sacrilegious act. They urged tribesmen to boycott the US goods.