SWABI/ MUZAFFARABAD/ HYDERABAD/ LAHORE/ KARACHI/ LAKKI MARWAT:
In an outpouring of anger and grief over Thursday’s execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Qadir Molla in Bangladesh, activists of the party staged fiery protests across the country on Friday and urged Islamabad to take up the issue with the United Nations.
Demonstrations were held in all major cities, including Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Multan and Hyderabad.
Separate rallies were taken out in different places in Lahore, including one organised by Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.
In Karachi, thousands of JI supporters took to the streets following the call of party chief Munawar Hassan and expressed their anguish at Molla’s execution.
Activists of JI and its student wing, Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), also held protests in Swabi and Lakki Marwat, and demanded the government raise the issue with the United Nations and international human rights organisations.
Protests were also held across Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Hundreds of JI and IJT activists gathered outside the Central Press Club in Muzaffarabad and chanted slogans against India and Bangladesh.
JI and other religious parties offered funeral in absentia for Molla in different cities. The JI chief led prayers in Mansoora, Lahore, himself.
In his address at the Mansoora mosque, JI chief Munawar Hassan termed the decision of the war tribunal in Bangladesh ‘the murder of justice’. He said it was shameful that the Pakistan government had termed Molla’s conviction ‘Bangladesh’s internal matter’.
“For the last three years there has been tyranny and injustice in Bangladesh, and elements showing loyalty to Pakistan have been victimised,” Hassan said.
He called upon Islamabad to ask Dhaka to abide by the Bhutto-Mujib pact, adding that “Pakistan should approach the International Court of Justice if Bangladesh does not agree to this.”
The JI chief also lamented that Islamabad was quiet in the face of the serious allegations Dhaka had levelled against Pakistan army.
Addressing a protest rally in Lahore, JI foreign affairs chief Abdul Ghaffar Aziz said it was unfortunate Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not even think of contacting his Bangladeshi counterpart when Molla was being executed ‘for his loyalty to Pakistan’. He said Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan had warned the Bangladeshi premier of ‘severe consequences’ just a few hours before the execution.
At a rally in Karachi, JI Sindh chief Dr Mairajul Huda Siddiqui said that the Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal awarded the death penalty to Molla based on “bogus testimonies”.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2013.
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