Martyred Khurram Zaki, Protest Outside Lal Masjid Islamabad and Arrest (2015)

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Saturday, 07 May 2016

Pakistan’s top leading civil society activist Syed Khurram Zakki has been shot martyred by takfiri terrorists of Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jamaat (ASWJ) in North Karachi area on Saturday late night.

He was sitting on a tea hotel in 11-B area of North Karachi with his friends, where he was attacked by takfiri terrorists. He was rushed to Aga Khan University, where he died of wounds.

He was born 26 March 1976, was a research scholar, journalist, blogger, human rights and civil rights activist from Karachi.

Martyr Zaki served as an instructor/directing staff in the Defence Services Intelligence Academy, Islamabad, where he taught Technical Intelligence. He joined the BTL (Direct Marketing) division of Interflow Communications as Brand Activation Manager in 2002, then moved to Airwaves Media, working for TV One and News ONE as Director/Producer in the Current Affairs and Infotainment department.
After the journalist Sajjad Mir moved to Waqt News Lahore, Zaki became the Head of Current Affairs and Infotainmen
t for TV One and News ONE. He resigned from Airwaves Media in protest when one of his investigative reports on Osama bin Laden irked officials within sector headquarters of Pakistani security and intelligence agencies. He briefly worked with few other channels, including Good News.
Zaki was currently editor of the Pakistani blog and news website “Let Us Build Pakistan” (LUBP). He is known for his opposition to religious extremism and banned terrorist organisations such as TTP, ASWJ and LeJ. This blog is recently censured and blocked by Pakistan Telecommunication authority for viewers in Pakistan.

Protest Outside Lal Masjid Islamabad and Arrest

On 16th Dec 2015, the first anniversary of Army Public School Peshawar massacre, Khuuram Zaki announced a Civil Society protest outside Lal Masjid Islamabad. District administration and security and intelligence apparatus tried to persuade him to change the location of protest citing intelligence reports and apprehensions that the protest may be targeted by terrorist outfits.

A meeting with the dictrcit administration on the invitation of the DC Islamabad held same day. He reitierated that peaceful protests are constitutional right of every citizen and thus he and other civil society activists would continue with their planned protest.

When he along with his wife, kids and other acitivists reached the Lal Masjid at the given time (2 pm) heavy contingent of police was already deployed there to disperse the protesters. As soon as they started chanting slogans against Molvi Abdul Aziz, Taliban and Extremism, Deputy Suprintendent of Police, supported by number of police consatables, intervened and ordered the arrest of all the protesters. The protesters were holding Pakistani national flag at that time, chanting slogans against Molvi Abdul Aziz and banned outfits including Taliban. They were not disrupting any traffic or public order as such. Police constables grabbed Khurram Zaki and dragged him towards the police van. He continued to ask them for the reasons of arrest as they had not broken any law of the land. The news of the protest and arrest was telecated on major news channels as “breaking news”. Not only Khurram Zaki but his wife, 16-year-old daughter Mariam Fatima and many other women activists were also arrested from the scene and were taken to Abpara Police Station, Islamabad.

They were only released after interior minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan intervened and ordered to release them. Interior minister said that there was no reason to arrest the peaceful protesters. He also ordered the suspension of SHO and Show Cause notice was served to Superintendent of the Police, Islamabad.The arrests caused an uproar on social media and the issue of Lal Masjid and Molvi Abdul Aziz once again came in limelight with parliamentarians raising the issue in National Assembly. Renown Civil Society activists and academicians Farzana Bari and Pervez Hoodbhoy were also part of this protest.

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