Religious leaders on Sunday criticised the government and law enforcement agencies for their failure in rooting out terrorism and for toeing the US imperialist policies. They also condemned the some elements in the government for “supporting the Taliban”, who are killing innocent Muslims.
They were speaking at the Istiqlal-i-Pakistan convention, which was held at D Chowk near parliament house on Sunday.
Perominet among those who spoke on the occasion were Haider Alvi, Allama Amin Shahidi, Inayatullah Shakir, Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Rizvi, Allama Hassan Zafar Naqvi and Allama Rahat Hussaini.
The convention was attended by a large number of people from all parts of the country. A rally was also organised from Markazi Imam Bargah in Sector G-6 to the Parade Avanue, which was also attended by women and children. The participants were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the US, Israel and the Taliban.
The rally was taken out to support the victims of Kurram Agency, Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Libya who were suffering from war for several years now.
The protesters staged a sit-in for almost three hours against the decision of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) suspending live coverage of the rally and a caravan which left for Parachinar with relief goods and medicines for the militancy-hit people.
During the protest, the police fired teargas shells when the protesters tried to cross barricades and march towards the Parliament House.
Later, the sit-in ended when PEMRA withdrew its decision on the directives of the Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
The speakers criticised the authorities for supporting the Taliban. They said the government had adopted policies based on their vested interests, and held them responsible for the prevailing conditions of the country.
They also condemned the courts for releasing criminals who had confessed to killing innocent people in various cases.
The speakers criticised the Punjab government for promoting extremism in the province and patronising the Taliban.
The convention also issued a memorandum which said corrupt leaders, military dictators and industrialists had destroyed the country with their anti-people policies. The memorandum said that the vested interests of the rulers had compromised on the sovereignty and integrity of the country. It further said that Pakistan’s defence, economy and sovereignty were in the hands of the US, and the country cannot progress as long as its policies
were dictated by the US and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The speakers urged the government to stop following US dictations and urged all political and religious leaders to stand united in the challenges being faced by the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2011.