Peaceful rallies against hate film across Sindh
HYDERABAD, Sept 21: A complete shutdown was observed in all districts of Sindh on a call given by the government of Pakistan to observe ‘Love for the Prophet Day’ across the country on Friday to register a strong protest against an anti-Islam movie made in the United States.
Thousands of people took part in numerous rallies organised by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F, Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, Pakistan Muslim League and its factions, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, Jamaat-i-Islami, Sunni Tehrik and many other parties and groups.
Most rallies converged on the local press club, Hyder Chowk and Pakistan Chowk.
Members of the Christian and Hindu communities also participated in the rallies organised by their respective organisations.
Businessmen and traders of the city took part in the anti-film demonstrations and rallies.
Carrying banners, placards and party flags and wearing armbands, the charged protesters raised slogans against the US and Israel and the hate film.
The rallies were taken out from different parts of the city after Juma prayers. Stick-wielding youths, underage boys and elderly people marched on the main thoroughfares. They lit bonfire all along their routes.At some places, emotionally charged youths hurled stones at shops and damaged signboards and other structures. There were also reports of blank shots fired by some
Participants in all the rallies burnt the American and Israeli flags and effigies of President Barack Obama to vent their anger.
They demanded the death sentence to all those involved in the production of the anti-Islam film.
They urged the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the United Nations to enact a strict law for blasphemers. They also asked Islamabad to sever ties with the United States and expel its ambassador. Jamiat-I Ulema-i-Islam-F leader Maulana Taj Mohammad Nahiyoon said that Muslims would never tolerate any sacrilegious act.
Qari Mohammad Azam Ubaid Hashmi of the Jamaat Ahle Sunnat strongly condemned the hate film and said the US must impose a ban on its exhibition besides taking action against the filmmaker and his team for hurting the feelings of millions of Muslims around the world.
Jamaat-i-Islami leader Asadullah Bhutto urged all Muslim countries to expel US ambassadors from their countries. He alleged that the US had always been patronising things like the hate film and blasphemous sketches.
He also urged the government to release Mumtaz Qadri, who killed former Punjab governor Salman Taseer.
SUKKUR: A complete shutdown was observed in Sukkur, Rohri, Kandhkot-Kashmore and other districts of upper Sindh against the hate film.
All markets, bazaars and small and big shops as well as vending stalls remained shut while vehicular traffic remained off the road throughout the day.
All fuel stations also stayed closed.
Several rallies were taken out across the upper Sindh region under the banners of religious and political parties — including the Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and Sunni Tehrik — as well as traders and civil society
organisations to condemn the anti-Islam film, the United States and European countries.
They burnt the American and Israeli flags and effigies of President Obama, demanding expulsion of all American diplomats and agents from Pakistan.
Big rallies were brought out from Jamia Masjid, Bunder Road and Jamia Ghausia, Cloth Market, after Juma prayers and a huge demonstration was staged at the Clock Tower when the participants in the rallies converged there. Religious scholars from different schools of thought spoke to the protesters and vowed to resist all moves to defame Islam and holy prophets with full force. They said Ummah would never tolerate blasphemy and would not spare anyone committing such things.
No untoward incident took place in Sukkur district as heavy contingents of police and other law-enforcement agencies remained alert throughout the day.
Similar rallies were taken out in Jacobabad, Thull, Garhi Khero, Bakhshapur, Tangwani, Kandhkot, Kashmor, Rohri, Pano Aqil, Salehpat, Khanpur Mehar, Ghotki, Mirpur Mathelo, Daharki, Ubauro and several other small towns.
LARKANA: Reacting to the anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims’, activists of different political and religious organisations took out processions here on Friday.
Public transport remained thin and all trade centres, educational institutions, courts and banks stayed closed in Larkana and Kambar-Shahdadkot districts. Fuel pumps also did not open.
Carrying banners, placards and flags condemning the hate film, the United States and religious extremists, the protesters marched on various roads to register their strong protest.
Strong contingents of police remained present outside the Jinnahbagh gate while protesters torched American flags and effigy of President Obama before dispersing peacefully.
KHAIRPUR: Complete shutter down strike was observed in all the eight talukas of the district – Gambat, Kingri, Sobhodero, Nara, Kot Diji, Faiz Gunj and Mirwah.
The link roads of Khairpur district and the Natinal Highway were deserted as peaceful rallies were organised by various religious and political parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.
MIRPURKHAS: Dozens of rallies were organised by Anjuman Tajiran-e-Mirpurkhas, Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, Jamaat-e-Islami, Sunni Tehreek and others while all businesses and commercial activities were suspended in the city. Police were deployed a different points in the city and also kept an eye on the roads leading in and out of Mirpurkhas. Mirwah Gorchani, Digri, Tando Jan Mohammad, Jhuddo, Naokot, Kot Ghulam Mohammad, Phuladyyoon, Sindhri, Hingorno, Khaan and Jhilori also remained closed.
UMERKOT: Bazaars, shopping centres and petrol and CNG pumps remained closed all day on Friday in Samaro, Kunri, Pithoro, Shadi Palli, Chhor cantonment, Khokhrapar, Dhoronaro and Talhi. Heavy contingents of police were deployed in sensitive areas.
NAWABSHAH: A complete shutter down strike was observed throughout Shaheed Benazirabad district against the blasphemous video release by US filmmaker. All the shops and markets of Nawabshah, including Mohni Bazaar, Lal Building Road, Masjid Road, Hospital Road, Sakrand Road, Mariam Road, Kutchery Road, Phatak Road, Sarafa Bazaar, Cloth Market and others remained closed. There were reports if aerial firing and buring tires by the protesters of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, Jamaat-e-Saleheen, Sunni Tehreek, Dawat-e-Islami and Shia Ulema Council. Other cities, Daur, Bandhi, Qazi Ahmed, Daulatpur, Sakrand, Jam Sahab and other towns also remained closed.
DADU: Around 15 rallies were organised across the city. The biggest gathering was organised by Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, the second biggest by Shia leaders while the third biggest gathering was organised by JUI. All the protestors carried banners and placards and demanded that Pakistan end diplomatic relations with America.
All business activities in Dadu, Johi, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Mehar, Johi, Sehwan, Bhan Syedabad, Jamshoro and Kotri towns were closed while transport was extremely thin on on Hyderabad-Dadu, Hyderabad-Larkana and Dadu-Jihi roads.
MITHI: Rallies and protests were organised by ASWJ, Jafria Students Organisation, PPP, JI, AT, and other parties. Rallies were also organised in Diplo, Chhachhro, Islamkot and Nagarparkar.
SHIKARPUR: Like the rest of the country, Shikarpur, Khanpur, Lakhi Ghulam Shah, Garhiyasin, Chak, Madeji, Dakhan and other parts of the district remained closed on Friday and complete shutter down strike was observed.
Activist of JUI, JI, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Tahreek-e-Insaaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party-Shaheed Bhutto protested and staged demonstrations.
THATTA: Activists and supporters of various political and religious parties along with members of civil society organisations took out rallies across Thatta district on Friday to condemn the anti-Islam film and its filmmaker. The protesters, belonging to JUI, JI, ASWJ, Shia organisations, PTI and PPP, marched on the streets and thoroughfares of Thatta, Makli, Mirpur Bathoro, Sujawal, Sonda, Gharo, Mirpur Sakro, Jati, Chauhar Jamali and other towns and demanded severe punishment to the movie-maker and his team and urged the Pakistan government to sever ties with the United States for patronising blasphemy against Islam.
Protesters blocked the National Highway at Sonda and Gharo for several hours and burnt tyres and garbage on many link roads.
A big procession was taken out from Shaikh Farid Chowk in Thatta city. Raising slogans against the US and the hate film, the protesters led by Maulana Ahmed Soomro, Mithu Shah, Abdul Majeed Samoon and others marched through the main streets and converged at Thatta Press Club, they torched US flag and effigies of Barack Obama. No violence was reported from any area of the district.