KARACHI: The arrest of former senator Faisal Raza Abidi was welcomed by the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), while the Shia community protested the move.
The ASWJ, which is a proscribed organisation according to the list of banned organisations available on the website of National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta), warned the Sindh government of dire consequences if Abidi is released in any case.
“Abidi has always being involved in the bloodshed of scholars, leaders, students and workers of the Ahle Sunnat,” said ASWJ leader Muhammad Ahmed Ludhiyanvi in a statement. “Abidi has always been receiving directives from Iran for a massive bloodshed in Karachi, which has already caused massive damage to us. We believe that Abidi has also been involved in Shia community members’ killings to spread sectarian violence.” ASWJ leaders also blamed the Sindh government for supporting bloodshed in Karachi and warned of a movement if Abidi is released on ‘external pressure’. On the other hand, Shia organisations strongly condemned the arrest of Abidi and warned of dire consequences. “The Sindh government arrested him [Abidi] only on the demands of banned militant outfits,” said the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) spokesperson. “Where are the killers of the Shia community and why are they not arrested yet? These terrorists are roaming freely under the supervision of the Sindh government.” A protest rally was also carried out on Sharae Pakistan near Ancholi on Saturday evening by the MWM against the arrest of Abidi. Allama Mubashir Hasan, a senior leader of MWM from Karachi, said that they demand his immediate release. Hasan added that the targeted killing that happened on Friday is highly condemnable and that they demand the arrest of all the target killers without any discrimination.
Hasan lamented the swift action taken by law enforcers when they arrested Abidi but no such efficiency was shown when Shia community members were killed in Nazimabad, FC Area and Gulshan-e-Iqbal during the Muharram majalis. He added that such killings are a conspiracy to ignite sectarian violence in the city and the government should root out the people behind it.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2016.