LAHORE - The religious parties will stage demonstrations today across the country to protest the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, killer of Salmaan Taseer.

The leaders of the parties including Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F and JUI-P yesterday issued secret directions to their supporters to reach in big cities to record their protest over the hanging of Qadri who killed the former Punjab governor in broad daylight in Pakistan’s capital.

Around one dozens rallies are expected to be taken out by the supporters of Mumtaz Qadri and activists of religious parties after Friday prayer in different areas of Lahore. The main gathering is expected at Data Darbar where the supporters of religious parties mainly of Brelvi school of thought have already gathered from different cities.

The main markets are likely to remain closed. Metro Bus Service was suspended on Thursday and will remain the same today. Police were put on alert to maintan law and order. A spokesperson said that over 5,000 policemen were deployed in different parts of the metropolis. He said that police patrolling would be intensified. Hundreds of policemen are deployed around the government installations, important buildings, and busy crossings.

The officers would monitor the security situation minute by minute from the high-tech operation rooms activated in the police headquarters. Several CCTV cameras are also installed on the leading roads to check the movement of suspected elements.

Religious parties are going to organise big shows in Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad and other cities. The protest calls were given by Jamiat Ulama-e-Pakistan, Sunni Ittehad Council, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, Aalmi Tehreek-e-Khatam-e-Nabuwat (PBUH), Jammat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulama-e-Pakistan, Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam-F, JUI-S and caretakers of different shrines and heads of religious seminaries.

“We will soon call a multi-parties conference of religio-political parties and a joint alliance of Islamist parties of all schools of thought is expected to be formed in line of Muthidda Majlis-e-Amal,” a leader of religious party told The Nation, seeking anonymity. “It is need of the hour that religious parties get united to form an alliance against secular lobby,” he added.

The other reason behind their protest is the adoption of women protection bill by Punjab Assembly. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman, JI ameer Sirajul Haq and Markzi Jamiat Ehle Hadith ameer Professor Sajid Mir had categorically condemned the bill and termed it against Islam.