|Religious parties call strike for
By Our Staff Reporter
KARACHI, Sept 20: The city braced itself on Thursday for a strike called
by the Defence Council of Pakistan and Afghanistan against an imminent US
attack on Afghanistan amid great uncertainty compounded by the decision of
the transporters of keeping their vehicles off the road on Friday.
The city administration, as expected, remained tightlipped and spelled out
no security measures they may have taken to handle any untoward incident.
Both the home secretary and the DIG (Karachi) made themselves unavailable.
Talking to Dawn, the chairman of the Karachi Transport Federation, Salim
Khan Bangash, said that the government had not taken the transporters into
confidence as to what security measures it had taken to protect them
against possible acts of vandalism. They, he added, had accordingly
decided that all buses, mini-buses, special coaches, trucks, rickshaws,
taxis, yellow cabs, etc would remain off the roads on Friday.
When it was pointed out to him that the leaders of religious parties had
assured the government on Thursday of a peaceful strike, he said that
other "disgruntled elements may take the advantage of the situation,
set a few vehicles on fire and lay the blame at the Ulema's door".
Meanwhile, a large number of private schools, particularly in
Gulshan-i-Iqbal where most Madaris are situated, announced on Thursday
that they would be closed on Friday in view of the strike.
Mohammad Askari, a student of the school which has several branches in the
city, told Dawn that his teacher had informed them about the strike,
asking them to absent themselves from school on Friday.
The student added that the operator of his school van service had also
told them that he would keep his vehicles off the roads.
MYC: The Milli Yekjehti Council, Sindh, has endorsed the peaceful strike
call for Friday against possible US attack on Afghanistan.
The MYC, which met here on Thursday with Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani in the
chair, rejected the US instance involving Osama bin Laden in the terrorist
attacks and demanded of the President of Pakistan not to facilitate US
action against Afghanistan as "the US has nefarious designs of
getting a foothold on Pakistan soil to monitor its nuclear programme and
to carry out espionage activities against neighbouring countries to make
Pakistan suspicious in their eyes."
Expressing its deep sorrow over the tragedy of World Trade Centre, the
meeting condemned the act of terrorism, and also state-sponsored terrorism
in Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia and Chechnya. The meeting also condemned
"backup support to India by the US and Israel." It also
condemned the continuing and uncalled-for bombing of Iraq by the US and
Britain and the economic sanctions on Iraq.
The meeting was of the unanimous opinion that neither any Muslim country
nor any Muslim had a hand in the terrorist attacks in the US. And no
religion or law allows to declare anyone guilty without concrete proof.
In another resolution, the meeting demanded of "President Bush to
apologize to the Muslim world for, reportedly, threatening to launch a
crusade against Afghanistan."
The meeting appealed to the Muslims and Christians all over the world to
demonstrate religious tolerance, respect places of worship of each other
and foil "the designs of President Bush and the Jewish lobby to
spread religious hatred."
APC: The All-Parties Conference has announced its support to the
strike-call for Friday to express solidarity with the people of
Afghanistan and against the possible US attacks and "Zionists
The APC, held under the auspices of the Jamaat-i-Islami at Idara
Noor-i-Haq on Thursday with Syed Munawwar Hasan in the chair, by a
consensus resolution pointed out to the government that any cooperation to
facilitate US aggression against Afghanistan would amount to sacrificing
the national interest and hurting the sentiments of Ummah.
The APC moot also warned the US government not to attack Osama bin Laden
or Afghanistan merely on the basis of its suspicion.
The meeting was of the opinion that the Western media and the Zionist
lobby had been misguiding the world opinion against the Muslims and Indian
intentions equally dangerous.
The resolution condemned attacks on the Muslim population and their
centres and mosques in the western world, particularly in the US in the
aftermath of the September 11 incidents and offered prayers for the
The participants of the moot pledged that in view of the grave threats
faced by the nation they would maintain unity over and above their mutual
differences and would not hesitate to offer any sacrifice for the security
and survival of the country.
The parties that participated in the conference include JUI, JA, PDP,
PML(Qayyum and Nawaz) PPI, MRC, NAP, JIU, SAA, TI, MKP, NPP, MJUP and