KARACHI   -   Political parties on Sunday held gatherings in the city to remember victims of May 12, 2007, who fell prey to the one of the worst violent clashes of the city on the arrival of then chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

On May 12, 2007, 48 people were killed and several vehicles burnt on one of the bloodiest days in Karachi’s history. The then deposed Chief Justice (CJ) of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was scheduled to address a rally in Karachi, organised by the PPP, JI and ANP. The MQM, who at the time backed Musharraf, organised a counter-rally, leading eventually to violent clashes between the two sides.

The political parties also demanded the incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the incident and expedite legal proceedings against the culprits.

Addressing a gathering of party workers at Karachi headquarters of the party, ANP Sindh Chief Shahi Syed said that they shed their blood to restore the judiciary but unfortunately justice is not dispensed to them who laid down their lives.

He said that the footages had captured of all those involved in the violence but 12 years had passed no one is brought to justice. He said that the main characters of the 12 May had reached their fate with one being disassociated by his own party and the other, who failed to come to Pakistan due to treason case against him.

“The independent judiciary will always be in debt of the bloodshed by political workers for restoration of the judiciary,” he said, adding that those who carried out the violence on the day are now divided into different parties.

Syed said that they would not remain silent over the massacre and would continue to raise their voice against the injustice. “I have submitted my testimony in the case and will go wherever be called to get justice for the martyrs of 12 May,” he said.

Shahi Syed further said that if culprits would have been arrested then incident like firing on Mohabbat Sindh rally, burning lawyers alive in chambers on April 9 and other violent incidents would have not occurred.

He also demanded the chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of delay in progress of the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Pakistan People’s Party also demanded the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice into delay in May 12 case and bring all the perpetrators of the incident to justice including former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf.

“The families of 45 martyrs are still awaiting justice,” they said during a condolence reference held at People’s Secretariat.

Speaking on the occasion, the provincial minister Saeed Ghani said that the 12th May killings case was not followed in the way it should have been pursued.

“I request the incumbent chief justice to take up the matter and form a special bench that could summon all culprits including General Musharraf,” he said and added that everyone was witness of the brutality on the day.

 “The government writ was totally absent on the day and the political activists were killed in broad day light,” he said.

PPP Sindh General Secretary Waqar Mehdi said that they would not forget this incident unless the culprits are arrested. “Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhter, who was the advisor on provincial home affairs at that time, should also be summoned before courts to probe his role in the incident,” he said.

Mehdi further said that the provincial government led by PPP had taken key measures to curb terrorism and target killings in the city and they would not allow anyone to one again disrupt peace in the city.

“We have taken indiscriminate action against culprits and with the support of the law enforcing authorities were able to bring peace to the city that was once rife with target killing and other militant activities,” he said.

Jamaat-i-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that they had witnessed violence on 12 May twice with one in 2004 when their nine activists were killed during polls while two of their activists were killed in 2007.

He said that those behind the incidents had escaped justice as they had remained parts of different government, who in order to appease them had forget to pursue the case.

“The incumbent PTI government has also made coalition with them,” he said and added PPPP that raises hue and cry over it has also made coalition with MQM-P despite its involvement in killing innocent people.

He said that clear evidence is available over involvement of the culprits but instead of arresting them, they were guarded against any criminal proceedings against them.

“The incumbent Mayor Karachi was hand in hand with the culprits involved in violence at that time and the former military ruler Musharraf also announced victory by raising his fist later in the day after the violence,” he said.

He said that it was necessary to set aside political gains and take strict action against all those elements involved in disturbing law and order of the city in the past.

“The culprits rather than provided political shelter should be brought to justice,” he said.