Protesters ask JI to condemn terrorism

Human rights activists, joined by PPP leader Sherry Rehman, on Tuesday afternoon stage a protest demonstration outside the Karachi office of the Jamaat-i-Islami. They blamed the religio-political party for not condemning terrorism in all its forms.— Online


KARACHI: Dozens of activists from civil society organisations on Tuesday staged a joint protest demonstration outside the Karachi office of the Jamaat-i-Islami, criticising the party for not condemning ‘terrorism in all its forms’.

The demonstration mainly organised by the Joint Action Committee — an umbrella organisation of 50 civil society and rights organisations — was attended by activists representing the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Women Action Forum, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) and the other bodies.

The protesters converged outside Idara Noor-i-Haq, the Karachi JI’s head office, off New M.A. Jinnah Road, in the afternoon and chanted slogans against terrorism and those supporting militancy one way or the other.

The protesters were later joined by Pakistan Peoples Party leader Sherry Rehman and other senior leaders of the party.

While addressing the protesters Anis Haroon of the Aurat Foundation condemned the Peshawar terror attack and called the reaction from a segment of religious organisations apologetic. The protesters were also addressed by Karamat Ali of Piler.

Later, a group of demonstrators moved to the JI office to present a letter from the Women Action Forum to its party chief Siraj-ul-Haq but they said that no one in the party office opened the door to receive the document.

“We demand that the Jamaat-i-Islami condemn terrorism in all forms and not defend groups or individuals in it. We recognise that the JI is a legitimate party and as such it has a responsibility to stand by the people of the country against bloodshed and terror,” stated the letter.

A spokesman for the JI said some ‘so-called secular extremists’ were trying to sabotage the positive image of the JI. He called it a ‘pro-American lobby’ and said it was levelling baseless allegations against his party.

“The Jamaat-i-Islami has never ever supported terrorist activities and terrorism in the country. The party not only condemned the terrorist attacks but also the workers of the JI and Al-Khidmat voluntarily reached at terrorism sites if required and took part in relief activities,” he added.

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