KARACHI - Political and religious organisations representing the Shia community said on Monday that rulers were sheltering banned outfits in Karachi and “victimizing” Shias under the National Action Plan (NAP).

Ruling out a conflict between Shias and Sunnis in the city, they said that federal and provincial governments were destabilising the country by implement “wrong policies”. They expressed these views at a press conference at Azakhana-e-Zahra Khorasan Road, Numaish Chowrangi, where representatives of the Jaffer Alliance, MWM, ISO and other organisations were present.

Speaking on the occasion, Allama Hassan Zafar Naqvi, Allama Abbad Kumaili, Salman Mujtaba, Shabbir Raza and Ali Hassan said the federal government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the provincial government led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were pursuing policies that could produce “awful results”. They said that biased elements in the Sindh establishment were inciting peaceful people to violence. They said that banned outfits had been given a free hand to target the members of a certain community in Karachi. They said that terrorists affiliated with banned outfits were targeting Shia congregations. They said that law enforcement agencies had also initiated action against the Shia community. They said the PPP should come forward to stop “victimisation of the Shia community”. They said that PPP’s indifference to this problem could affect the party’s vote bank in Karachi.

Condemning the arrest of people who staged demonstrations for the release of MWM leaders and former senator Faisal Raza Abidi at Malir 15, they said it was a democratic right of the people to protest against injustices. They said that police charged the protesters with batons and used teargas on them. They said that a large number of women and children were taking part in the protest demonstration.

They demanded that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah order a crackdown on the banned outfits and arrest of the police personnel who used force against peaceful Shia protesters. They said that Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan should order an investigation into the incident and take strict action against the black sheep in the security agencies instead of defending “wrongdoings” of the law enforcement agencies.