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Talon

Pakistan bans religious meetings

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Pakistan bans religious meetings

The Pakistani government has banned the holding of political rallies and public meetings by religious groups, a senior minister has said.

The decision follows Thursday's blast in the city of Multan at a public meeting called by an outlawed Shia Muslim group.

Forty people are now known to have died in the blast with 100 injured.

Sectarian attacks on Pakistan's minority Shia community have left more than 100 dead in the past few months.

Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said that only gatherings for prayers inside mosques would be exempt from the ban.

Mr Sherpao said the government had also ordered the provincial administrations to ensure strict implementation of the ban already imposed on a number of extremist religious groups.

He said none of the religious groups would be allowed to hold public meetings unless they were given specific permission by the provincial administration.

Sectarian threat

Mr Sherpao said Pakistan's security forces were on high alert after the blasts.

"The government has directed the entire security apparatus to remain on a high state of alert because of the threat posed by elements trying to destabilise the country through acts of terrorism," he told reporters.

Tensions are high in Multan.

The explosions occurred after an all-night vigil to mark the first anniversary of the killing of militant Sunni leader Azam Tariq.

Supporters of Sunni extremist groups are calling for revenge against the Shias they blame for the deaths.

The army has been called in as a precautionary measure to prevent further violence.

The attack has been condemned by the United Nations and the United States.

"All terrorist acts are utterly unacceptable," UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a statement.

A US State Department spokesman said, "Attacking mourners during a condolence ceremony is a particularly despicable and cowardly act."

Millat-e-Islami, formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba, was banned by the government last year along with a number of other Sunni and Shia groups because of its alleged involvement in sectarian violence.

Sunni Muslims make up about 80% of Pakistan's 150 million people. Most of the rest are Shias.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...sia/3725588.stm

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Posted (edited)

The Pakistani government has banned the holding of political rallies and public meetings by religious groups, a senior minister has said.

Wow do my eyes deceive me? Someone finally is understanding that religion (which is politics) causes massive problems.

Edited by Lottie

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It looks like it doesn`t it Lottie!

They just cause far too much death and destruction, they could realy be clasified as weapons of mass destruction if you really analyse our past!

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Angry Pakistani Sunnis defy ban

Angry Sunni Muslims have protested in the Pakistani city of Multan in defiance of a ban on public meetings imposed after a deadly car bombing.

About 40 people died when a militant Sunni meeting was attacked on Thursday.

Hundreds of protesters in Multan burned tyres, blocked roads and shouted slogans against Shia Muslims.

The chief minister of Punjab province has offered a 10m rupee ($175,000) reward for information leading to the capture of the attackers.

Pakistani police said they had arrested about a dozen Shia activists in Multan and Faisalabad and units were conducting further raids.

Pakistan has a long history of sectarian violence, particularly between majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslims.

Thursday's bombing came after a number of deadly attacks on Shias over the past few months.

Schools closed

Police and the army were put on high alert nationwide for Friday prayers.

The BBC's Shahid Malik in Multan says hundreds of Sunni Muslims protested in the Rashidabad area of the city.

They set tyres on fire and disrupted traffic but were later persuaded to disperse.

A protester at the rally, Mohammed Qasim, told Associated Press: "We are peaceful, but we will not remain so if the killers of our people are not arrested within a week. We know [shias] killed our people."

Schools and businesses remained closed in Multan for a second day.

Schools in the eastern district of Sialkot, where 30 Shias were killed in a mosque bombing on 1 October, have also been closed for the day.

A three-day conference being organised by a religious body has been cancelled.

Banned

After Thursday's attack in Multan, Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao issued a ban on public meetings except for gatherings for prayers inside mosques.

Mr Sherpao said the government had also ordered provincial administrations to ensure strict implementation of the ban already imposed on a number of extremist religious groups.

He said: "The government has directed the entire security apparatus to remain on a high state of alert because of the threat posed by elements trying to destabilise the country through acts of terrorism."

Thursday's explosion occurred after an all-night vigil organised by the militant Millat-e-Islami group, formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba, to mark the first anniversary of the killing of militant Sunni leader Azam Tariq.

Witnesses reported people being torn to pieces and screaming for help. Large patches of blood stained the ground.

Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Ilahi said he would be asking local authorities in Multan to explain why permission had been given for a banned organisation to meet.

Millat-e-Islami was banned by the government last year along with a number of other Sunni and Shia groups because of its alleged involvement in sectarian violence.

Sunni Muslims make up about 80% of Pakistan's 150m people. Most of the rest are Shias.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...sia/3725588.stm

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If we could only do the same here we'd be much better off in the long run. I applaud pakistan. thumbsup.gif

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That's kinda scary.

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That's kinda scary.

What? Them banning religious meetings? Or Fluffy and me wanting too?

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Now that you mention it, yeah that too.

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I'll jump in with Fluffs and Talon and agree that banning religious meetings would solve an AWFUL LOT of worldwide problems.

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Religion is the root of evil, confining it to individuals homes will do the country good.

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Best thing the public schools ever did here was take all religion out of them.

Man, i remember back 10 years ago in junior school i had to sit and pray twice a day!! My mother started giving me notes to get out of it.

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Best thing the public schools ever did here was take all religion out of them.

Religion is dead here, but they're still clinging onto schools disgust.gif

Man, i remember back 10 years ago in junior school i had to sit and pray twice a day!! My mother started giving me notes to get out of it.

In Primary 4 we had a really religious teacher who made us do that, she's be fired if she tried it now.

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Best thing the public schools ever did here was take all religion out of them.

I agree, religion should not be taught is public schools.

If we could only do the same here we'd be much better off in the long run. I applaud pakistan.

Open displays of your religious faith banned, can you imagine the revolution that would start with that. I would be at the head of the line to fight against it. Yes I agree that if the open displays of faith are causing riots or other unrest then yes as a short term solution ban them. But in the United States I see no reason for any such ban. After all you are not forced to join or participate in church are you?

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Open displays of your religious faith banned, can you imagine the revolution that would start with that.

You can still practice it in your homes, and probably churches tongue.gif

But in the United States I see no reason for any such ban.

Oh I don't either of us were thinking of US, we're thinking of countries like Canada and Scotland were science has pretty much dispelled the myth of religion. We'll give America a few more generations until we come back to you guys... especially the Bible Belt thumbsup.gif

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