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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
By Shamim Bano
In an unprecedented move, all religious parties belonging to different sects have joined hands against calls for the repeal of the blasphemy law, supporting the countrywide shutter-down strike call of the Tehreek-e-Namoos-e-Risalat on December 31.
During a joint press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, leaders of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Paksitan, Jamat Ahle Sunnat and Shia leaders announced their multi-phase campaign against the proposed repeal of the blasphemy law.
On December 24, protests will be staged outside different mosques of the city after Friday prayers. On December 31, a shutter-down strike will be observed while a public rally will be taken out on January 9.
Religious groups have approached different political parties, including those sitting in the corridors of power, to support their drive.
They have appealed to transporters, industrialists and shopkeepers to shut their businesses to make the strike call a success and to “show the entire anti-Islamic world that any change in the law is not tolerable”.
The leaders also demanded immediate sacking of the Punjab governor and withdrawal of the bill presented in parliament by former information minister Sherry Rehman.
Those who spoke during the press conference included Qari Mohammed Usman of the JUI-F, Shabbir Abu Talib of the JUP, Mufti Mohammed Usman Yar Khan of the JUI-S, Nasrullah Shaji of the JI and Qazi Ahmed Noorani.