Religio-political parties and organisations have called for a countrywide shutter down strike on Friday, December 31, to protest against perceived moves to amend the blasphemy law.
Addressing an Ulema Convention in Karachi organised by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Amir JI Sindh Assadullah Bhutto called upon traders and transporters to join the strike in their efforts to protest against what he termed ‘the conspiracy to amend or repel the blasphemy law.’
The strike call was supported by Karachi Transport Action Committee (KTAC), which announced to keep all public vehicles off the road on Friday. Mohammad Ashraf Baglori, president association of bus owners, Karachi claimed that KTAC, following a meeting with office-bearers of rickshaw, taxi and yellow cab owners, has decided to support the strike call. Baglori added that all mini-buses, coaches, taxis and rickshaws will participate in the strike.
A joint communiqué in this regard was also published by president Khatam-e-Nabowat Sialkot district Syed Shabir Gilani, Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Sialkot district Hafiz Tahir Aslam, Mufti Alam of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Advocate Naeem Amjad of Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid. The communiqué outlined various episodes of disrespect shown to Muslims across the world including caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and bans against veils in European countries, and urged people to support the call for strike.
With additional input from Junaid Aftab
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2010.