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Pakistan: No burials until army ensures our security, say Shi'a Muslims
QUETTA, (The News): Amid countrywide protests against the bombing in Quetta, which killed above 80 Hazara Shias Saturday, the community leaders on Sunday announced they would not bury their dead until Pakistan Army was in control of Quetta, the capital of restive Balochistan province.
Quetta city wore a gloomy look as the Hazara people staged a sit-in in Hazara Town and demanded the government to protect them from bombings and shootings. “We will continue the sit-in unless Quetta is handed over to the army for security,” said a spokesman for the Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM).
The protesters vowed to continue their sit-in unless their demand is met.
Meanwhile, the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) gave an ultimatum of 48 hours for the arrest of those involved in the Kirani road carnage.
Quetta city presented a deserted look on Sunday as a complete shutter-down strike was observed in the provincial capital to condemn the Hazara town bombing on the call of the HDP, endorsed by nearly all the politico-nationalists parties.
All markets and business centres at Liaquat Bazaar, Prince Road, Jinnah Road, Shahra-e-Iqbal, Mission Road, Shawak Sha Road, Masjid Road, Hazara town, Alamdar Road and Abdul Sattar Road remained closed throughout the day.
Traffic was thin on the city’s roads compared to the routine rush. Heavy contingents of the police and law enforcement agencies were deployed to maintain law and order. However, no unpleasant incident was reported.
“If the culprits involved in the incident were not apprehended then the protest would be lodged in front of the high court on a daily basis,” vice chairman HDP Azizullah Hazara announced in a press conference. He vowed to intensify the protest movement, staging demonstrations worldwide, particularly in European countries, Australia, America as well as in front of the offices of the United Nations to condemn the killings of Hazaras in Quetta.
Regarding the injured of Saturday’s blast, the HDP leader demanded of the concerned authorities to make immediate arrangements for shifting them to Karachi and abroad.
Leader of the Millat-e-Jafria, Allama Sajid Naqvi while talking to media persons in Quetta said the tragic incidents were happening just because of lack of effective action against the elements involved in terrorism. He regretted that the state could not protect them so they are thinking to taking steps for their protection on their own.
“Our state institutions have all the resources to take action against the culprits and as such they should ensure protection of the masses,” he said. He demanded that Quetta be cleansed of arms and ammunition immediately.
President Balochistan Shia Conference Syed Dawood Agha in a news conference said the blood of our own people is being shed unfairly, which is tantamount to playing with the stability of the country. “We have become a community of gravediggers. We are so used to death now that we always have shrouds ready,” he said.
Chairman of the Quetta Yakjehti Council Qayum Changezi strongly criticised the performance of the police and other law enforcement agencies in curbing terrorism in the province. He charged that the law enforcers have just failed to protect the life and property of the common man including the Hazaras.
On the other hand, Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi visited the CMH and inquired about the health of the Hazara Town blast injured. He expressed displeasure over the performance of the intelligence agencies. The governor directed the chief secretary Balochistan and CCPO Quetta to prepare a comprehensive security plan for Quetta.
The governor directed to review the reshuffle in the police and administrative set-up of Quetta. He also directed to kick off a targeted operation against the miscreants and warned that the government would not tolerate any negligence in this regard.
Our Islamabad correspondent adds: The Punjab lawyers’ fraternity and Karachi traders also announced to join the protest to condemn the killing of innocent Hazaras in the terrorist attack.
There was a complete strike in Balochistan. Protest demonstrations were also held in the federal capital, Karachi, Lahore, many cities of Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to condemn the killing of the innocent people in a bomb blast in Quetta and to express solidarity with the Hazara community.
Our Lahore correspondents add: Leaders of the MWM Punjab and Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) have said that the enemies want to weaken the country to fulfil their nefarious designs by promoting sectarian hatred.
A large number of people, belonging to the MWM Punjab and ISO on Sunday staged a sit-in on The Mall in front of the Governor House against the spate of killings of Hazara community.
The protest started in the afternoon in which a large number of people of Shia community, including women and children, participated. The protest later tuned into a sit-in and the protesters announced that it would not end until demands of the Hazara community were met.
A protest was also held at Liberty roundabout to condemn the Quetta incident.
The Shia Ulema Council took out a procession in Chakwal on Sunday to protest the killing of Hazaras in a massive explosion in Quetta.
The rally started from Imambargah Sadaat. The protesters were carrying banners and placards. The procession turned into a big public meeting at Bhaun Chowk.
APP adds from Karachi: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has called upon the government to arrest the culprits responsible for the blast on Kirani Road in Quetta.
Altaf also expressed sympathies with the families of the people killed in the blast.
He said the law enforcing agencies should move against the terrorists and flush them out of their hideouts.
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