Country mourns Shia killings


A complete shutter-down strike was observed in Quetta on Sunday against Quetta bombings, as protesters took to streets in other cities, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Multan, Islamabad, interior Sindh, Gilgit and Skardu to mourn the killing of 115 Shias.
The Shia Ulema Council also announced a countrywide protest on Monday (today).
The Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) had given the strike call to condemn the bombings at Bacha Khan Chowk and Alamdar Road, Quetta. The strike was also supported by other political and religious parties.
Shopping plazas, business centres, markets and shops on Jinnah Road, Shahra-e-Iqbal, Liaqat Bazaar, Prince Road, Abdul Sattar Road, Brewery Road, Double Road, Sirki Road and other areas remained closed throughout the day.
Traffic flow remained thin on the roads while police and FC patrolled the city to avert any untoward incident. However, no untoward incident was reported from any part of the city.
Hazara community members are protesting for the past 43 hours against twin bombings that killed over 100 people on Alamdar Road. Families of victims of the blasts refused to bury the dead and continued protest along with coffins for the third consecutive day.
Separately, leaders of different political parties visited the Hazara Democratic Party’s (HDP) strike camp in Quetta and expressed their solidarity with the party leaders.
HDP President Abdul Khaliq Hazara scolded the Balochistan government and law enforcers for what he termed their incompetency to arrest terrorists involved in Shia killing.
He said that 900 Hazara community members had been killed and thousands were wounded in sectarian attacks in the city over the past four years. He said that the government and law-enforcement agencies were not serious in arresting terrorists.
The HDP chief regretted that attacks on Hazara community were being committed everyday but none of culprits had been arrested so far.
Separately, National Party (NP) President Dr Abdul Malik Baloch visited the strike camps of the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen and the HDP and expressed solidarity with the Hazara community.
Dr Baloch expressed his sympathies with the aggrieved families and strongly condemned the Shia killing.
Earlier, Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan along with party’s senior leaders Javed Hashmi and Jahangir Tareen reached Quetta’s Alamdar Road to express solidarity with the protesters.
A day of mourning was observed in Karachi on a call given by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). All markets and businesses were closed in several areas of the city and traffic remained sparse on the roads. The Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) had also taken rallies in various parts of the city.
Pakistan People`s Party-Shaheed Bhutto Chairwoman Ghinwa Bhutto also joined the protests in Karachi’s Numaish area.
Protests were also held outside Bilawal House in Clifton.
The Shia Ulema Council held protests in Karachi’s Malir, Drigh Road and Star Gate areas near the railway tracks causing the suspension of railway traffic to and from the city.
The Pakistan Bar Council announced a nation-wide strike for Monday in solidarity with the protesters and said that lawyers would not appear in the courts.
Shops and markets in Badin, Tando Bago, Matli, Golarchi, Talhar and other towns were closed on the joint call of different political and religious parties.
In Lahore, PML-N leaders Sardar Zulfikar Khosa, Saad Rafique and Zaeem Qadri were forced out of the sit- in by protesters when they arrived outside the Punjab Governor’s House to join the protests.
The PML-N leaders were forced into their cars and ejected out of the sit
in area.


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