In defiance of the writ of the government, Hizb-ut-Tehrir, a banned outfit, had planned to hold a seminar at the National Press Club on Thursday to rally for a Khilafat system in the country.
This was among numerous other attempts by the organisation to challenge a government ban on its activities.
The capital police, however, foiled the attempt. Attired in riot gear, the police laid siege to the National Press Club where an exhibition was to be held to promote and rally for “Khilafah - the alternative system the world is waiting for”. The police stormed the press club and confiscated books, charts, CDs and other material.
The organisation has successfully held numerous protests and rallies in recent days, attracting attention and media coverage. However, by holding a planned seminar and that too at the National Press Club, the organisation demonstrated how organised and well-funded it is despite a several year ban on its activities.
When contacted on phone, workers of the organisation termed the police action a “conspiracy of Kuffar (non-muslim) against the Khilafat”. The text message read, “This [police action] proved that the [present] Kuffar regime does not want the Ummah to know about the system of the Khilafah.” Another text message sent by the organisation members said, “We urge media not to be a silent spectator.”
An official of Interior Ministry raised questions as to why the banned outfit was allowed to hold a seminar at the National Press Club. To this, the president of the National Press Club, Afzal Butt, responded, “That was a mistake of some of my friends.” He added, “It is against our policy to allow such organisations to hold functions at the club.” However, invitation cards of the seminar, also sent to all major news agencies, bore signatures of the National Press Club Secretary.
According to sources, the banned outfit is planning countrywide rallies with the slogan “Eject America, remove the treacherous rulers and bring back the Khilafah”. A pamphlet of the outfit read, “A huge wave of change has spread throughout the Ummah. Muslim youth have taken to the streets against tyrant and treacherous Muslim rulers.”
A recent gathering outside the National Press Club on Monday raised concerns when, Hafiz Saeed, the chief of another banned outfit Jamaatud Dawa, addressed a gathering while being provided security protocol from the city police.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2011.
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