LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan on Friday held countrywide protests against death sentence of Bangladesh chief Motiur Rahman Nizami.

The JI media cell reported that thousands of people all over the country joined the protest rallies organised by the party to condemn the death sentence announced by a Bangladesh war crimes tribunal to the JI Bangladesh chief.

As per Bangladesh media reports, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 in Dhaka found 71-year-old JI leader guilty of leading the execution of intellectuals, mass killings and other charges during the 1971 war and announced death penalty to him on October 29. The announcement by the tribunal provoked protests and shutter down strike across Bangladesh along with strictly rejection of the court verdict by JI Bangladesh. It stated: "Charges which have been brought against Nizami are totally false, fabricated and politically motivated."

Late Syed Abulala Maududi founded JI in British India in 1941, which after the formation Pakistan became JI Pakistan and later with the separation of Bangladesh in 1971, it split into JI Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, both parties have a deep routed religio-political link with each other and are great advocate of Pan-Islamism.

The call for Friday’s protest against the death sentence to JI chief was given by the JI Pakistan chief Sirajul Haq.

A JI spokesperson said that protest rallies and processions were taken out in the federal and the provincial capitals besides different cities and towns. “Scholars in their Friday addresses also slated the oppression of the Bangladeshi government against the JI leaders and workers.”

Addressing a large rally at Multan Road near Mansoora, senior JI leaders said that it was the legal and moral duty of the Pakistani government to present before the world community the tripartite agreement signed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indian Premier Indira Gandhi, after the 1971 war, also endorsed by the US, Britain and some other states, which read that India and Pakistan would release all prisoners of war and that nobody would be punished for war crimes.

JI deputy chief Hafiz Idrees said that the Dhaka government was violating the pact in punishing the JI leaders. He said that the JI leaders had offered sacrifices for foiling the Indian plans to breakup Pakistan as was their moral and lawful duty. Therefore, the Bangladeshi government’s allegation that the JI leaders had violated the Bangladeshi constitution was false and baseless, he added.

Hafiz Idrees said that Prof Ghulam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami and Abdul Qadir Mullah had sided with the Pakistan army, and now it was the duty of the rulers in Islamabad to raise their voice against the injustice being done with these patriotic Pakistanis. He deplored that the world conscience and the so called human rights bodies had shut their eyes to the state terrorism going on in Bangladesh. JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch also led a large rally in Vehari. He said that the JI leaders in Bangladesh were being victimized for their love for Islam and Pakistan and for their refusal to accept India’s supremacy. He said the Bangladeshi government did not have unilateral right to undo the historic agreement, adding that it must quash the death sentence of Nizami and release all the jailed JI workers.

JI deputy chief Asadullah Bhutto, Dy secretary general Dr Farid Piracha and Maulana Abdul Maalik also spoke on the occasion.