Saturday, October 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Protesters teargassed in Pak
Army out; pro-Taliban leaders detained


A Pakistani policeman watches as protesters gather during an anti-US protest in Peshawar on Friday. 
— Reuters photo

Karachi, October 12
Three policemen were among five persons injured in an overnight grenade attack here as Pakistani Islamic radicals launched a day of protest over US attacks on neighbouring Afghanistan, the police said today.

Islamist political parties had called for a strike and shutdown of businesses in Karachi, Pakistan’s most populous city and biggest business centre.

Three police officers and two others were injured when an unidentified man threw a grenade at a police van in the port city’s central district near midnight yesterday, the police said.

Opponents of the US strikes called for nationwide protests against the strike after prayers today.

The police fired tear gas in an attempt to quell anti-US protests in which cars were torched and demonstrators hurled stones at two restaurants of the US chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken.(KFC) outlets.

Demonstrators shouting anti-US slogans tried to damage banks and government offices. One mob entered a government office in lyari district of Karachi and set afire two government-owned cars.

The police arrested at least 15 youths from three volatile areas. They fired tear gas to break up the protests.

Streets were almost deserted with many people staying home after the Afghanistan-Pakistan Defence Council called for a strike throughout the southern Sindh province.

Security was tight at the US consulate and other diplomatic offices as well as at airports, railway stations and the sea port.

The violence came despite the authorities detaining three pro-Taliban religious leaders to prevent them from leading demonstrations, religious leader Maulana Abdul Karim of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) said.

Meanwhile Islamic clerics across Afghanistan have announced jehad against the USA during fiery sermons to thousands of worshippers.

“Now it’s proved that (President George W. Bush) is the biggest terrorist in the world and it’s our duty to teach him a lesson as we have to the British and the Soviets,” one cleric told a congregation in Jalalabad, according to a the report from Islamabad.

In Quetta, in the volatile region near the Afghan city of Kandahar where the Taliban leadership is based, the police took up positions on rooftops and army trucks were posted by UN buildings to prevent another riot in which UN offices were torched on Monday.

In the city’s crowded Pashtunabad district, where many Afghan and Pakistani opposition supporters live, grey armoured cars armed with long-barrelled cannon led convoys of troops clutching automatic rifles.

In Peshawar, nearest Pakistani city to Kabul and capital of North West Frontier Province, a spokesman for a branch of the JUI said the police had stopped a large procession of protesters from the tribal areas from reaching Peshawar.

But inside the city, steel and barbed wire barricades were erected. Witnesses said one protest march swelled to 5,000 persons, but without any violence.

The protesters burned the effigies of US President George W. Bush.

Pakistan’s religious parties issued a joint statement today calling for a nation-wide strike next Monday in protest against the planned visit of US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“The nation will not tolerate his unclean feet on our clean land,” said a statement issued in Islamabad by a dozen heads of religious parties.

Witnesses said small protests were held outside several mosques in Lahore, where the central executive body of the main Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, was due to meet tomorrow to plan protest rallies in major cities of the country. Agencies
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Christians flee Quetta

Islamabad, October 12
Terror has been let loose on minority Christians in Quetta, the troubled capital of Balochistan, ever since pro-Taliban activists have launched violent demonstrations against non-Islamic institutions in Pakistan.

Muslim hardliners across Pakistan have vowed to wage a war against the “infidels” following the US-led strikes against the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, the demonstrators went on the rampage in Quetta burning vehicles, ransacking banks and torching UN and other buildings. Subsequently, the Christians started fleeing the city.

During Monday’s riots, protesters rampaged through the city. Several Christians were attacked and bricks thrown at their houses. ANI
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USA, UK ban JeM, freeze assets

Washington, October 12
In a coordinated action, the USA and Britain tonight banned Pakistan-based militant outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and froze its assets.

US Treasury Secretary Paul O’ Neill signed the “blocking order”, naming 39 individuals and organisation, suspected to be supporting terrorism. Almost simultaneously in London, Britain also announced the freezing of assets of the JeM and 37 other individuals and organisations on similar grounds.

Also hit by the US order is Mufti Rashid Ahmed Ladehyanoy “who may be in Karachi, Pakistan” besides the JeM, Britain, in coordination with the USA has frozen the assets of another Pakistan-based organisation Rabita Trust of Lahore.

In New Delhi, India welcomed the freeze of assets of the JeM, terming it as a positive step towards eliminating global terrorism.

“We know that the JeM, has been indulging in terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and also that it was changing its name. We welcome the decision,” External Affairs and Defence Minister Jaswant Singh told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee.

The JeM had claimed responsibility for the recent terrorist attack on Jammu and Kashmir assembly which left at least 40 persons dead and several others injured.

Announcing the expanded list, Paul O’Neill said he, together with Secretary of State Colin Powell, had notified all financial institutions in the USA to block the assets of these individual and entities who were either wanted terrorists or known to financially support terrorism. AgenciesBack

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