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Religious parties call strike for today
By Our Staff Reporter

This article was published in the
Dawn The Internet Edition on
21 Sept  2001
Religious parties call strike for today
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 design".

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 martyrs.

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 Islamic Forum.