‘Defence of Pakistan’ Conference: Jamaatud Dawa violates rules for rally

Published: December 18, 2011
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Banners, posters 
put up around city 
despite admin’s ban 
on advertising
. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS

Banners, posters put up around city despite admin’s ban on advertising . PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS

LAHORE: 

The Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) is violating rules issued by the district administration for the ‘Difa-i-Pakistan Conference’, which is to be held at Minar-i-Pakistan today in protest at “America and Nato’s terrorism”.

Banners and posters advertising the conference and flags of Lashkar-i-Taiba, an outfit thought responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 2008, have been put up around the city. The group has also set up reception camps. All of these actions are in violation of a code of conduct issued by the administration, according to an intelligence agency report. It said the code was being “violated openly, particularly regarding display of flags and posters of a proscribed organisation”.

The United Nations Security Council declared JD an alias of Lashkar-i-Taiba and banned it on December 10, 2008. The federal government announced a ban on the group in Pakistan the next day, though it later emerged during a hearing in the Lahore High Court that the ban had never been officially notified. The JD denies any links with LT, insisting that it is a charity organisation. The JD has regularly arranged rallies in Lahore in recent months with no resistance from the authorities.

According to the code of conduct for Sunday’s rally issued by the district administration, there must be no wall-chalking, banners, streamers, posters or flags advertising the conference in the city. This rule has been openly violated, most spectacularly by a massive banner on Chauburji, a historic building overseen by the Archaeology Department.

The code of conduct states that no reception desk be set up, and that the speakers at the rally must not say anything likely to incite hatred against any religious party or sect. No speeches against constitutional offices, the armed forces or the judiciary are allowed. “No banned, proscribed organisation or their members will be allowed to address the participants,” it states.

It also states that “disputed affairs” must not be “touched/discussed”. The code bans the public display of arms. Organisers are not allowed to make announcements concerning the conference via a van or other vehicle.

“No one will be forced to attend the public gathering. No shop or business activities will be closed forcibly. There shall be no political slogans/hooting of any political/religious party,” says the code.

According to the intelligence agency’s report, more than 15,000 chairs have been set up in Minar-i-Pakistan for the rally. JD spokesman Yahya Mujahid said the number of chairs for the rally was double the number placed there for the Tehreek-i-Insaf rally held at the same venue on October 30.

The intelligence report said that about 3,000 volunteers would be deployed at the venue for security. JD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has said that a lot of people will participate in the conference.

In a press release issued earlier, organisers urged religious leaders to make contacts in mosques, schools and the streets to inform people about “American and Nato aggression” against Pakistan and to convince them to attend the rally.

Capital City Police Officer Ahmed Raza Tahir and Deputy Inspector General Ghulam Mehmood Dogar were asked to comment on the violation of the code of conduct for the rally, but did not reply to questions from this correspondent.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Sachin Arora
    Dec 18, 2011 - 1:26PM

    ” Banners and posters advertising the conference and flags of Lashkar-i-Taiba, an outfit thought responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 2008, have been put up around the city.”

    Still Mr Rahman Malik wants proof / evidence from India.

    God Bless Pakistan.

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  • Ajdua
    Dec 18, 2011 - 7:14PM

    @sachin there ia s hell of a difference between thought responsible and is responsible. when will you investigate samjhota express and get hold of culprits(read hindu extremists)

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  • RajX
    Dec 18, 2011 - 11:09PM

    @Ajdua: I am sure you know that the people responsible for samjhota express bombing are in jail while the people responsible for Mumbai attack are roaming freely in Pakistan and holding rallies attended by thousands of people. Groups like these will end up being responsible for Pakistan loosing its freedom as a soverign country. The drone strikes have already started that process. If Pakistan does not respect the soverignity of other countries when it allows groups based in Pakistan to attack other countries, it’s just a matter time before it looses it’s own soverignity to foreign forces.

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  • Ali Imran
    Dec 18, 2011 - 11:18PM

    Its totally biased and one sided report. The reported did not bother to ask JuD’s spokesman about the violation of the code of conduct. Express Tribune claims to be of international standards but unfortunately its ‘pre occupied’ reporters will make it ‘Khabrain’ Akhbar.

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  • Ali Imran
    Dec 18, 2011 - 11:25PM

    @RajX. Can you update your information please? Do you want whole of the Pakistani nation behind bars regarding Mumbai Attacks…? As for as the accused persons are concerned you must know that Almost top operational leadership of Lashkar-e-Taiba including Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, Zrar Shah, Abu Al Qama and other commanders are kept in jail for previous three years. Although they have not been convicted by the court but still they are in Jail and facing anti-terrorism charges. You like it or not but its reality that Jamat-ud-Dawah is one of the most popular political force in Pakistan. People do follow Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and they have right to do so. So please instead of pointing fingers towards Pakistan put your own house in order. Lashakr-e-Taiba is ever spreading in India and your government is not doing anything to stop it except blaming Pakistan. When you will give rights to Indian Muslims groups like Lashkar will find no space for their games. So plz once again I request you and ur countrymen that put your house in order first and then blame someone else.

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  • Ajdua
    Dec 19, 2011 - 1:09AM

    well said ali imran. and @Rajx keeping in jail is no solution. the culprits of samjhota express confessed then why is it that they have not been hanged?
    and as for culprits of mumbai attack, they are in jail and cases are ongoing, they have neither confessed nor they have been proved guilty.

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  • Chootiya
    Dec 19, 2011 - 7:02PM

    @ Adjua – Stop living in denial. Americans are punishing pakistan like never before – Abbottabad and recent NATO strikes are a classic example

    As far as domestic problems go, please control the TTP . Hakeemullah Mehsud may become your PM one day

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