rawalpindi - Scores of protest rallies were taken out by the activists of different religious parties including Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) across the district on Friday to protest the acquittal of Asia Bibi in blasphemy case by Supreme Court of Pakistan. The charged activists of TLP also staged protest demonstrations in Rawat and Gujar Khan and blocked roads for traffic movement. In almost every town and village, the clerics have requested the devotees during Friday prayers to participate in rallies to denounce the decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan of dropping blasphemy charges against Asia Bibi.

On instructions of Regional Police Officer (RPO) Muhammad Fayyaz Dev and City Police Officer (CPO) Abbas Ahsan, police made tight security arrangements to protect the public property during rallies of TLP protestors.

According to details, a protest rally was taken out in Bank Colony, within limits of Police Station Saddar Bairooni, under the supervision of Qari Navid. Hundreds of students of seminaries and general public participated in the protest rally. The participants of rally were holding banners and chanting slogans against the rulers and judges for releasing Asia Bibi, a Christian lady convicted in blasphemy case.

Addressing the protestors, Qari Navid and other speakers condemned the decision of SCP of releasing Asia Bibi instead of hanging her for committing blasphemy. They said the judges’ decision was not based on merit. They demanded the government to file review petition with SCP and to put the name of convicted Asia Bibi on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The rally later on joined another big rally carried out by Qari Abdul Rasheed. The participants marched towards Faizabad to join the main protest demo being staged by TLP at Faizabad Interchange. A rally was also carried out at Adiala Road by scores of members of civil society and the activists of TLP. “Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah, Labbaik,”, “We will not accept SCP decision in favour of Asia Bibi,’ and “Hang Asia Bibi Immediately,” were the slogans most of the protestors were bellowing while marching towards Faizabad. Quaid Shabab-e-Milli Mufti Muhammad Hanif Qureshi has taken out a big protest rally “Tahafuz Namoos Risalat March” from Jamia Masjid Syeda Amna Dhoke Ali Akbar to Faizabad after Friday prayer.

The participants of the rally were chanting slogans against rulers and judges. Addressing the rally, Mufti Muhammad Hanif Qureshi said we are out on roads to defend the Namoos of Prophet (PBUH) and would render any kind of sacrifice for the purpose. He said Mumtaz Qadri was hanged for a crime he never committed but a convicted lady Asia Bibi was released by top court of country despite she confessed committing blasphemy.

TLP Saddar chapter also brought out a rally from Jamia Muhammadia Zia-ul-Aloom after Nimaz-e-Juma. The rally was led by Pir Syed Zia Ul Haq Shah and Sahibzada Ahsan Ul Haq and attended by a good numbers of seminary students, traders and members of civil society. The rally marched on Murree Road to reach Faizabad with emerging small and big rallies in it. Similarly, rallies were also taken out in areas of Chakra, Misrial Road, Saddar, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Dhoke Syedan, Bakra Mandi, Morgah, Katcheri, Jhanda Cheechi, Raja Bazaar, Dhoke Kashmirian, Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Ehali Bux, Sadiqabad and Shakrial.

In Gujar Khan, the TLP continued its protest on third consecutive day by blocking GT Road for vehicular movement. The irate protestors of TLP delivered speeches while condemning top court order of releasing Asia Bibi. Scores of TLP activists and leaders also gathered at Rawat where they demonstrated against the verdict of SCP. Due to closure of roads, the commuters and the pedestrians faced difficulties.  A senior police officer told The Nation that police have received directions from bosses to not take action against the peaceful rallies in the city. He said action only would be taken against those found involved in damaging public property or burning vehicles or motorcycles. On the other hand, the authorities had suspended cellular service in the city causing trouble for mobile users.

All the government-run and private educational institutions remained closed. The public transport remained off the roads. Metro Bus Service was also remained suspended by the authorities.