As of writing this editorial in late evening we observe with deepest concern the mayhem perpetrated and continued by a section of demonstrators, a massive extremist action engineered, spearheaded and mounted by Jamaat-Shibir elements. We strongly condemn the widespread eruption of violence.
We were assured of a peaceful blockade and rally programme by Hefajat-e Islam which the government had permitted them to carry out as such. But as the day rolled on a determined group of Jamaat-Shibir extremists taking advantage of Hefajat's programme incited a section from amongst the demonstrators to launch acts of violence. There were running battles between the law enforcers and the demonstrators. They blasted bombs, cocktails, grenades and set ablaze different places spreading disturbances in various parts of the city. Some deaths have also occurred and property vandalised and looted as it happens in a context of lawlessness that we saw last evening. The police firing may have added fuel to the fire.
Several journalists came under assault in the line of duty. This is another reprehensible feature of the riotous behaviour of a determined group who don't want the public to know the truth; they are oblivious of the simple fact that journalists of electronic and print media were there for collecting information and reporting faithfully for building informed public opinion. They should not be any target of violence from any quarters.
The message we would like to convey to Hefajat-e Islam is that they had engaged with the government and were negotiating their demands with it. Why they allowed their platform to be so blatantly used by Jamaat-Shibir elements, and why a section of them would be resorting to such a level of violence at the instigation of the extremists?
The Prime Minister has offered talks to the opposition and the latter has given its 48-hour ultimatum. In the best interest of the nation the major parties and other political players should get their act together and take the path of discussion. However we urge the government to provide an agenda for discussion as it was they who unilaterally did away with the CTG system. In dialogue lies the ultimate solution of the crisis. Rather than fuelling it more all must try to put out the fire.