Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) activists in Rawalpindi cancelled a planned funeral in absentia for Osama bin Laden, after contingents of police were deployed at the proposed site.
Claiming the government was pressurised by the US to stop them from holding the funeral, the activists claimed they dropped the plans to avoid any untoward incident since they were requested by the local administration.
‘Besides, we have already observed proper funeral in-absentia for [Osama bin Laden] in Lahore,” said an official of JuD while talking to The Express Tribune.
“[Bin Laden] deserved a proper burial, even if he was a terrorist for US,” said the official.
Even Indian soldiers in Kashmir used to hand over bodies of Mujahideen, who were terrorists to Indians, to their families for proper burial, he added.
The official, however, contended that Bin Laden’s grave would have turned into a shrine.
“Regardless of the fact that [Bin Laden] was against visiting shrines, followers were bound to give his grave conventional respect like they gave to his ideological predecessors,” said the official.
Sources told The Express Tribune that JuD’s second-in-command Abdur Rehman Makki had to lead the funeral prayers, a claim denied by JuD officials.
Meanwhile, scores of Bin Laden supporters attended his funeral prayers in Karachi, vowing to continue his mission against ‘foreign elements’ for ‘the sake of Islam’.
For the first time since the US claimed to have killed the al Qaeda chief on Monday, bin Laden’s funeral prayers in-absentia were offered in Karachi Tuesday evening.
The prayers were held by JuD activists on Gulshane Iqbal’s Main University road. Several other religious parties were also in attendance.
Waving their organisations’ flags, Bin Laden supporters took part in the special prayers and then shouted slogans against the US, and other Western countries, that have declared war against al Qaeda.
“Osama is a mindset. You can kill the person but cannot kill his mindset,” said a participant at the gathering.
The leaders addressed the participants after the prayers.
“Martyrdom is not a loss, but a matter of pride for Muslims,” said one of the leaders during the address, declaring the al Qaeda kingpin as ‘shaheed-e-inqilab’.
They vowed to not just continue Bin Laden’s mission but also accelerate it.
“[The US] has made a major mistake by killing him, because now more Osamas will be born,” said one of the speakers.
The JuD leaders added it was regrettable that Pakistan’s rulers expressed pleasure at Bin Laden’s death to please their “masters in America”, adding that they “should not invite the wrath of God” and that Bin Laden acted as a “spokesman of the people of Pakistan”.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2011.
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