Thousands attend anti-America rally in Karachi

Scores of people, including children, took to the streets on Sunday in Karachi, to participate in a rally organised in condemnation of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani’s killing in a US military strike.

The rally was led by prominent Shia leaders like Allama Hasan Zafar Naqvi, Allama Shahenshah Hussain Naqvi, Allama Ahmed Iqbal, Allama Baqar Abbas Zaidi, Allama Nazir Abbas Taqvi, Allama Mirza Yousuf Hussain, Allama Amin Shaheedi, Allama Nisar Qalandari and others.

Members of Shia organisations, including Majlis-e-Wahdat Muslmin, Imamia Students Organisation, Jafferia Alliance, Shia Ulema Council, and others assembled at Fawara Chowk near the Karachi Press Club as the rally commenced around 3pm and began marching towards the US consulate, located on Mai Kolachi Road. The rally crossed the Native Jetty Bridge to reach its destination, the route to which was blocked by containers placed by law enforcement agencies.

En route to the consulate, the participants of the rally shouted slogan against Soleimani’s killing, holding banners displaying the general’s portrait and emblazoned with slogans like ‘Down with USA.’ As the air resounded with the participants’ shouts, different leaders addressed the rally, condemning the fatal strike by the US. They said that the US had challenged the sovereignty of Iraq by launching an attack in its territory.

The leaders said that the huge turnout at Soleimani’s funeral made it evident that he was considered a hero by the people of Iran and Iraq. The US considers Soleimani’s killing a triumph when it is a failure, they stated.

Addressing the rally, Allama Shehanshah Hussain Naqvi said that Soleimani not only defeated Israel and America in the Middle East, he also wiped out terrorist organisation like ISIS from the region. He termed the killing of Soleimani an “act of terrorism” and said that the attack was a “proof of the US’ failure in the region.”

Speaking of the attack in which the Iranian general was killed, he said, “it was an attack on the state’s sovereignty [and] it is condemnable.”

Expressing solidarity with the “aggrieved people of Iran”, other leaders attending the rally said that Pakistan is with Iran in this difficult time.

The rally was peacefully dispersed near the US Consulate. Some of its participants attempted to cross the containers and reach the Consulate but were stopped by the leaders attending the rally.

Besides, rallies protesting Soleimani’s killing were carried out in other districts on Sindh, including Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Thatta, Bhitt Shah, Jhudo, Shikarpur, Jam Nawaz Ali.

Meanwhile, all three roads leading to the US Consulate were blocked on Sunday morning by the police and traffic was diverted to other routes. A large number of officials from Sindh Rangers, Sindh Police and traffic police were deployed along the routes leading to the US consulate.

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