City returns to normalcy after ‘mourning’


The country’s financial capital returned to normalcy on Friday after a shut down call was given by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for observing a ‘day of mourning’ against the killings of its party members.

The party had called for a day of mourning in protest against the ‘extrajudicial killing’ of four MQM workers on Wednesday. Associations of transporters and fuel filling stations opened their businesses after 3pm. Due to absence of public transport on roads, it became quite difficult for people to reach their destinations.

Transporters said they would support the party’s call by keeping their vehicles off the roads. Petrol and CNG stations as well as major and minor business centres were shut across the city.

The Private School Management Association Thursday announced that schools operating privately would remain shut.

Moreover, the Matriculation and Intermediate boards also postponed all examinations scheduled and the new schedule would be announced later. The funeral prayer of two of the deceased workers was held on Thursday whereas the funeral prayer of the remaining two, whose bodies were found at Super Highway on Thursday, took place at Numaish Chowrangi on Friday afternoon. Roads from Numaish to Gurumandir were blocked for vehicular traffic along the route of the funeral processions.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has taken notice of the killings of the MQM workers and ordered the formation of a committee headed by DIG Karachi East Munir Ahmed Shaikh to probe the matter.

Hyderabad faces similar shutdown

Usually a holiday is observed in Hyderabad on Friday and mostly big business and commercial centers remain closed with the exception of small bazaars, fruit markets and street shops but those too remained closed on account of the MQM’s mourning day.

The city witnessed troubles on Thursday evening when shops and bazaars closed abruptly following news that the MQM had announced a day of mourning. Later, reports of aerial shooting were also received in isolated incidents but without any casualties. Hyderabad is considered a stronghold of MQM after the provincial metropolis.

Life came to a halt on Friday as all main roads and arteries wore a deserted look in the city. Banks and government offices were open but with thin attendance of staff. Private transport like mini buses, vans and rickshaws remained completely off the roads.

Inter-city vans, transporting passengers to different districts of the province either remained completely closed or did not get commuters. Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) had announced cancellation of first year paper scheduled for Friday in the wake of strike. The new date would be announced later, according to a BISE announcement.