ATTOCK / SWAT / MIRPUR: Unlike other parts of the country, peaceful rallies were held in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Swat and Attock on Friday against an anti-Islam film and sacriligious cartoons.
In Mirpur, a big protest rally was taken out from the residence of AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed.
While addressing the participants at the municipal corporation, the PM called for a ban on the film and action against the culprits.
In line with the federal government, the state government had also officially declared a public holiday throughout the state.
Various programmes were organised by social, political, and religious organisation representing all segments and schools of thought.
Complete shutter down and wheel-jam strike was observed in all major towns of the state.
Processions were taken out from mosques in all towns after Friday prayers. Speakers called upon the Muslims to rally and stand united to seek a permanent solution to such incidents, so that no one could dare to desecrate Islam and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in future. The rallies later dispersed peacefully.
Similar rallies were held in Barikot, Khwaza Khela, Matta, Kabbal, Bahrain, Kalam and Mingora tehsils of Swat. All fuel stations and markets remained closed. A large protest rally started from Allah-O-Akbar Mosque soon after Friday prayers.
People gathered at Saidu-Mingora Road and started marching towards Nishat Square in Mingora. The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and against the producers of the film.
In Attock, religious scholars and political leaders, in a large procession criticised the blasphemous content of the film. They also burnt the American flag and effigies of the filmmakers.
A complete shutter-down and wheel-jam strike was observed in all tehsils of the district. All the shops, hotels, private hospitals remained closed.
No public transport was available, causing inconvenience to people.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2012.
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