KARACHI: A number of Shia organisations took to the streets after their leader and scholar, Allama Mirza Yousuf Hussain, was arrested by the law enforcement agencies in the early hours of Sunday.
According to Allama Mubashir Hasan, a prominent leader of the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), Hussain was arrested by the Rangers from Noor-e-Eemaan Masjid, where he is a prayer leader while the imambargah in Rizvia Society was also raided Sunday morning.
Hasan told The Express Tribune that in reaction to the arrest of innocent people who are the ‘actual victims of terrorism’, the MWM decided to carry out a central protest at Numaish Chowrangi, MA Jinnah Road.
A protest was also carried out by the residents of Rizvia Society against the raid at the imambargah, which lasted for several hours after the protesters blocked the Golimar Road.
Hasan added that these arrests are just a display of ‘balance policy’ while the real faces behind these killings are still roaming freely in the city.
Responding to the claims of alleged desecration of holy books at the imambargah, a press release was issued by the Sindh Rangers, in which they stated that no such desecration took place. It added that the sanctity of mosques and imambargahs is always maintained during raids.
MWM central deputy secretary-general Syed Nasir Shirazi, Sunni Ittehad Council chief Sahabzada Hamid Raza and the brother of Faisal Raza Abidi, Mustafa Abidi, also held a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Sunday. They announced that if Faisal Raza Abidi is not released, a country-wide protest movement will be initiated.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), Omar Muavia, claimed that the arrest of Allama Taj Hanfi, the general secretary of the banned outfit, was related to the upcoming by-elections in Malir, which is a stronghold of the group, and not to the recent sectarian killings in the city. Muavia said that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party developed doubts on its strength in the constituency, which is why they side-lined Hanfi through arrest.
Responding to a question about any possible protests against the arrest of their leader, Muavia said that they have no such plans and that meetings are going on after which next plan of action will be decided.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2016.