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- Monday, December 17, 2012 - From Print Edition




The Shia Ulema Council (SUC) has announced ending their 40-hour sit-in at Purani Numaish Chowrangi against sectarian killings after successful talks with the Sindh governor early Sunday morning.


A spokesperson for the Shia community, Ali Ahmer, said Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan had asked to talk to a Shia delegation at around 5am.


The meeting that lasted for more than an hour was also attended by the Sindh inspector general of police and officials of the Pakistan Rangers-Sindh.


The governor had invited the Shia delegation for talks, following which representatives of the Shia community visited the Governor’s House.


The SUC delegation was headed by Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen’s (MWM) Maulana Sajid Raza Taqvi who presented the demands of the Shia community before the governor.


After hearing the demands, the governor accepted them around 6:00 am, following which the sit-in was ended.


Taqvi had demanded immediate stop to sectarian killings in Karachi and action against the killers.


He also demanded sealing the offices of all the banned organisations and confiscating all their possessions.


The sit-in at the MA Jinnah Road was withdrawn only after the assurance of the governor.


Taqvi said the main objective of the protest was to express concerns about sectarian killings in the metropolitan.


He said the Shia delegation had also demanded that the family members of the victims of sectarian killings be provided compensation by the government.


He also demanded that the government provide medical treatment for those injured in acts of terrorism.


The governor accepted all of the demands made by the delegation of the Shia community in the meeting.


The governor also assured the delegation that he would provide the killers’ footages to the SUC so that cases could be registered against the culprits.


The delegation also demanded that Shia and Sunni Ulema be taken into confidence over the issue of death sentence, as being discussed these days by non-governmental organisations in particular.


The governor assured the delegation that he would discuss the issue with President Asif Ali Zardari.


The delegation comprised members of the SUC, the MWM, the Millat-e-Jafria and the Imamia Students Organisation.


The sit-in being staged by the Shia community included men and women, and children and the old.


The MA Jinnah Road remained closed for 40 hours and traffic jams were reported across the city as a result.


The sit-in had started at 3:00 pm on Friday and the SUC had titled it as the ‘kafan-posh dharna’ (shroud-wearing sit-in).


A heavy contingent of police and Rangers personnel were deployed to avert any untoward incident.


Incidents of aerial firing at Purani Numaish Chowrangi were also reported, but the sit-in continued regardless, and ended in a peaceful manner.