Some 25,000 supporters of Islamic parties rallied in Pakistan yesterday to protest against the passage of a bill amending the country's rape laws that precluded rape and adultery cases from being heard under Pakistan's harsh religious laws. The protest was organized by the six-party religious alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal in Karachi.
Students from Islamic seminaries holding banners and placards chanted slogans against President Pervez Musharraf and the U.S. "Death to America and its stooges", "Stop joking with Islam in the name of women's liberation", "We reject women protection bill" read banners and placards amid shouts of "Death to Bush-Blair nexus".
Islamist leaders delivered fiery speeches and vowed to intensify protests across Pakistan. "The women protection bill is part of Western agenda that Musharraf is following," the chief of the parliamentary opposition, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, said addressing the protesters. "There will be complete strike on Friday in Pakistan and we will continue our struggle to safeguard Islamic laws."