Shias protest 'denial' of rights
13 November 2005
The Daily Times
Karachi: Supporters of the Northern Areas Shia Action Committee staged a demonstration Sunday to protest against 'denial of genuine rights' to the majority Shia population of Gilgit and Baltistan. The protesters, mostly youths, raised slogans against the arrest of Gilgit Friday prayer leader Allama Rahat Hussaini and his colleagues and demanded their immediate release. They also condemned the non-arrest of killers of Allama Ziauddin Rizvi, Gilgit-based Shia leader. The demonstrators raised slogans against Federal Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao. 'We reject the so-called peace jirga because it is a ploy to cover up the killers, criminals and terrorists,' said Maulana Mirza Yousuf Hussain, speaking to the demonstrators. He rejected the arrest of four people in Rawalpindi nine months ago on charges of involvement in the murder of Allama Ziauddin Rizvi, saying that 'real' culprits had not been brought to book yet. He alleged that top government officials and terrorists were involved in the murder. He also rejected the deployment of what he called 'biased forces belonging to the NWFP.' Maulana Hussain said former chief secretary of the Northern Areas belonging to the NWFP got 1,300 kanaals of land of Northern Areas allotted to himself. He said people of Northern Areas had completely rejected the posting of biased officials. He demanded that the government should implement the agreement reached with Allama Ziauddin Rizvi.