ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: Hundreds of supporters of Tehreek-i-Tahafuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat (TTNS) rallied amid a complete shutter down in the twin cities to demonstrate their ‘pledge’ against attempts to amend blasphemy laws.
Leading a rally held in Rawalpindi on Friday, General Secretary of Jamiat-e-Ullema-e-Islam (Fazl) Maulana Ghafoor Haideri threatened of more protests and even a “long march and civil disobedience if the government attempted any amendments in the blasphemy laws.”
Hundreds of supporters of TTNS, a consortium of all religious parties, gathered at Dar-ul-Uloom, Taaleemul Quran in Raja Bazar from where they marched to the Committee Chowk.
Holding banners and placards in favour of blasphemy law, the TTNS supporters vowed to protect what they called ‘Namoos-e-Risalat’ at every cost.
Addressing the gathering, Haideri demanded assurances from the prime minister that the government would not touch the blasphemy laws.
“We do not believe in the words of the federal ministers Sumsam Bukhari and Khurshid Shah. The PM should himself confirm that the government would not amend the blasphemy laws,” said the JUI-F General Secretary.
Haideri said that the protection of Namoos-e-Risalat was the responsibility of every Muslim. He claimed that the religious parties enjoyed the support of all major political parties of the country except of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), who were towing a different line.
Moreover, the traders’ community in the twin cities demonstrated support to the ‘defiant clerics’ and observed a complete shutter down in the two cities. Markets in the cantonment area, including Saddar Bazar and others on Murree Road, remained closed on the call of TTNS.
In the federal capital, shutter down strike was also observed in all major markets of the city including Super and Jinnah Super markets which remained partially closed.
The traders from Aabpara market held a small demonstration in Aabpara Chowk along with the members of TTNS. Speaking at the occasion, different traders’ leaders vowed their support for the movement to protect blasphemy laws.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2011.