Islamabad/rawalpindi - Like other parts of the country, the religious organisations and parties staged protest rallies against the execution of Malik Mumtaz Qadri across the twin cities.

The workers of the religio-political parties and religious organisations, after Friday prayers protested against the hanging of former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer’s killer, Mumtaz Qadri in different parts of the capital, causing nuisance for the road-users as well.

The pro-Qadri elements assembled at Lal Masjid in sector G-6, Faizabad and Kurri Road along the Express Highway and Bhara Kahu along Murree Road to protest the execution of Qadri. Long queues of vehicles were seen stuck on the roads due to gridlocks. The traffic police and contingents of the local police were deputed at the points in advance to tackle the situation.

The roads leading to the Red Zone were closed down by putting containers to contain pro-Qadri protestors in post-Friday processions.

Hundreds of protesters marched from Lal Masjid towards Aabpara Chowk to vent their resentment against the execution of whom they believed was a hero.

The local leadership of religious parties addressed the participants as they stepped towards Aabpara Chowk.

The leaders, on one hand, paid rich tributes to the ‘martyr’ while on the other condemned the statements of former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer demanding amendments in blasphemy laws which, they believed, led Qadri to take the extreme step.

Mufti Abdullah of JUI-F Islamabad warned the government of extending the protest in case the government did not do the needful to implement Sharia in the country. “Our struggle is for the implementation of Islamic system in the country,” he said as the protestors chanted slogans against the government. He was of the view that the government hanged Qadri to appease foreign powers.

The workers were holding banners inscribed with slogans in support of Mumtaz Qadri. Majority of the people had left for homes soon after juma prayers concluded at the Lal Masjid and a few hundred workers of the organisations participated in the rally.

Addressing the participants at Aabpara Chowk, Jamaat-i-Islami leader and former MNA from the capital, Mian Aslam said that the government’s decision to execute Qadri has placed it in the ranks of those had published blasphemous caricatures.

He was of the view that the government was trying to turn the country into a secular state.

The others who addressed the rally include Zubari Farooq, Zahoor Ahmad Alvi, Maulana Sharif Hazarvi, Dr Dost Ali and Arshad Abbasi.

In Rawalpindi, Pakistan Sunni Tehrik, Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Shabab-e-Mili and other organisations staged protest demonstrations. The protestors mostly belonging to religious seminaries were holding portraits of Qadri, placards and banners mentioning slogans against the government and in favour of Qadri. In many areas of the city, traffic remained blocked posing hardships for commuters and pedestrians. Police ramped up security to avoid any untoward incident.

According to details, the main protest rally was taken out by Shabab-e-Mili under the leadership of Mufti Hanif Qureshi from Amna Masjid to Islamabad Expressway. The irate protestors blocked road for traffic and bellowed slogans against PML-N leadership and Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif for executing Qadri.

Addressing the protestors, Mufti Hanif Qureshi and others condemned the hanging of Qadri. They said that Qadri was true lover of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his blood would not go waste.

Carrying placards, banners and portraits of Qadri and green flags, a large number of people took out a rally from IJP Road to Faizabad where they staged a sit-in and demonstrated against the government for sending Malik Mumtaz Qadri to gallows.

At Chuher Chowk, hundreds of protestors marched on Peshawar Road chanting slogans against the federal government. Long queues of traffic could be witnessed on road owing to mess of protestors.

Maulana Tariq Iqbal Chishti, who headed the rally, said that government did wrong by hanging Qadri. He said that they were out to continue the mission of Qadri.

Allama Riaz Hussain Shah of Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan also took out a protest rally from IJP Road to Pirwadhai.

Wafa-i-Rasool (SAWW) rally was taken out by religious scholar and head of Bazm-e-Faroog-e-Taleemat-e-Islam Allama Qari Muhammad Naveed with attendance of dozens of devotees. The rally started from Lala Rukh Colony and culminated at Zafar Plaza on Chakri Road.

In Taxila, a rally was also taken out by Pir Saeed Naqashbandi.

Following the orders of CPO Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi, police made tight security arrangements to guard the rallies.