In Wana Bazaar, South Waziristan, nearly 5,000 people took to the streets and expressed their anger over the blasphemous film.
Protesters marched from Angoor Adda bus stand and gathered at the Shah Alam Market where tribal elders, religious clerics and leaders of political parties addressed them.
Tribesmen, holding banners and placards, chanted slogans against the US and Israel, while severely lashing out against the American-Pashto radio channels aired in the tribal belt.
Demands to cease diplomatic relations with the US and expelling its ambassador were made and effigies of US President Barack Obama and former president George Bush were burnt. However, the protest remained peaceful.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) held a rally from Chuggalla Bazzar via Khyber Market to Chutta Bazzar in DI Khan city.
Addressing the crowd, district president of the PML-N, Rehan Advocate said: “America is the biggest terrorist in the world, which plays with the sentiments of Muslims and maligns them.”
Separately, local leaders and workers of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) held a rally from Tehjarath Ganj to Haq Nawaz Park. Ahmad Ali Sairaj, in his speech, claimed that the US had begun a newer form of religious terrorism, of which the blasphemous movie is one example.
Around 5,000 people walked from the Spin Jamah Mosque and gathered at the Kashmir Chowk on the call of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman. The party’s district chief, Maulana Ameer Muhammad Jan, provincial parliamentarian, Ghulllam Qadar Bittani, and former candidate from South Waziristan, Maulana Asamuddin, addressed the protesters.
“The film will unite the Muslims as all Muslims speak with one voice on the matter,” Jan said. Freedom of expression in the West should not be used against us, he added.
Meanwhile, another rally was held in Gomel village of District Tank, where nearly 2,500 people participated. Both rallies were peaceful and there was no loss to life or property.
Around 10,000 people marched from Chowk Bazaar, passing through the Bannu Press Club, Qasaban Bazzar and Bannu Miramshah Road. The number of participants increased at Milatt Park, where the leaders of political parties made speeches. Around 3,000 people protested in another rally at Bacha Khan Chowk.
Rallies were organised by political parties here too, in which 5,000 people in Karak city, 4,000 in Terai village, 600 in Latamber, and about 3,500 people in Sabir Abad participated.
Following Friday prayers, 6,000 protestors gathered in Lakki city, 9,000 in Sarai Nawrang and 5,500 in Darra Pezo.
The rally in Miramshah was addressed by PML-N’s chief in North Waziristan, Haji Syed Ayub, who strongly condemned the blasphemous film and demanded punishment for those responsible.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2012.
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