Deserted Karachi mourns loss of life: City remains calm but tensions prevails


A majority of commercial and business centres in Karachi remained closed on Friday as residents mourned the loss of life in Thursday’s suicide attacks on the shrine of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi.
Various political and religious parties, including the Ahl-e-Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) announced mourning and appealed to the citizens to remain calm.
The city’s usually jam packed roads wore a deserted look, as people remained indoors and little or no traffic plied the roads.
Police officials said “the situation is calm but tense”.
There were reports that some agitated protesters torched four vehicles in various areas of the city. Fire brigade officials said a car was set on fire near Noorani Kabab House off Khalid Bin Waleed Road, a coach was torched near Lucky Star and two motorcycles were torched near Federal B Area and Yusuf Plaza.
Areas that remained tense included the MA Jinnah Road between Guru Mandir and Capri Cinema and the Sunni Tehreek’s headquarters in Bohrapir.
Police had also taken special measures to beef up security outside mosques on account of Friday prayers.
Addressing a press conference, the leadership of the ASWJ had claimed that there had been a complete strike in the city on Friday.
Sahibzada Fazal Karim, Haji Hanif Tayyab and other ASWJ leaders said citizens of Karachi have proved that they were against terrorism.
They criticised the government for failing to eliminate terrorists.
“The government does not want to end terrorism for its own vested interests,” they said, adding that the government had failed to block the terrorists’ funding.
The ASWJ vowed to continue its struggle against terrorism and demanded foolproof security at shrines and other religious places across the country.
Meanwhile, the Crime Investigation Department has arrested three people in connection with Thursday’s attacks at the shrine of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi.
Official sources said three people, including a woman had arrived at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre to identify a victim, who is believed to be one of the attackers.
The people were arrested and taken for interrogation.
Also on Friday, police stepped up patrols across Karachi to prevent renewed violence.
Police chief Azad Khan said he had increased patrols to maintain peace, while a special team of senior investigators had been sent to the scene of the attack to investigate.