Pakistan: Shias warn Presidency of siege
Lahore: A new Shia party launched in Pakistan has warned that it will besiege the Army`s General Headquarters and the residences of the President and Premier if killings of members of the minority sect continue.
The Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen held a rally at the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore yesterday and announced plans for protests if the killings of Shias continued.
Leaders said at least 60 Shias have been killed during the past three months, mostly in the restive Balochistan province.
They said they will besiege the Army`s General Headquarters and the residences of the President and Premier if violence against them was not contained.
Addressing the gathering, the new party`s head, Allama Nasir Abbas Jafri, said the Shias of Pakistan had now converged on one platform for their religious and political rights.
They will counter "terrorists and killers" themselves if security agencies failed to act against such elements, he warned.
Jafri alleged that the US embassy and consulates were the "real centres of terrorism in Pakistan".
As long as they are not closed down, terrorism and target killings will continue in Pakistan, he claimed.
"If the rulers do not expel Americans from Pakistan, then the Shias will do this job themselves," Jafri said.
He contended that Shias had defeated the US and Israel in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, and now they would so in Pakistan.
The rally was the second largest gathering of Shias at the Minar-e-Pakistan ground, since a gathering chaired in 1987 by Allama Arif Hussain Al Hussaini, who was shot dead the following year.
The charged crowd of men, women and children, who had come from all parts of the country, displayed rare discipline by sitting in the scorching temperature of 45 degrees Celsius all day long.
Some of them fainted while a few were taken away to be given medical aid.
Shia leader Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri claimed the MWM was now the unanimous voice of the sect in Pakistan.
He warned all political parties, including the ruling Pakistan People`s Party, that they should not deceive the Shias anymore.
Every party had cheated Shias after seeking their votes, he alleged.
"This (MWM) will emerge as one of the biggest political parties in the country," he said.
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