We'll protest if Rangers not taken out: Shias
17 October 2005
The Daily Times
Lahore: Leading Shia clerics of various seminaries and organisations have threatened the government with a nationwide campaign of agitation if Rangers are not removed from Gilgit and action is not action against those who killed civilians during a recent curfew and clashes in the area. Addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club on Monday, representatives of the Mujma-e-Ahle Bait, Jamiatul Muntazir, Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), Imamia Organisation (IO), Imamia Alliance, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and other organisations blamed government agencies for rooting such incidents of sectarian violence in the area. They alleged that the government was not serious about resolving the Gilgit issue and demanded deployment of Army troops in the area instead of Rangers. They demanded the government release Shia clerics who were arrested in Gilgit and take action against Rangers. They said around 15 people were killed in a recent curfew and clashes between Rangers and civilians in Gilgit. According to reports, the clash occurred when people including students, who were returning home after protesting the student's death, were stopped at a Rangers picket. At least 67 people have been killed in sectarian violence in Gilgit this year.