KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) observed a day of mourning on Saturday to protest against the killings of its lawmaker Sajid Qureshi and his young son.
Schools, businesses, shops and petrol stations were closed in the city and public transport was scarce.
Earlier, MQM coordination call and ‘appealed’ to the traders and transporters to keep their businesses closed on Saturday.
“Condemning the incidents as a big tragedy the Co-ordination Committee announced to observe three days of mourning throughout the country. The decision was taken in a joint meeting of the committee in London and Pakistan,” said an MQM statement.
“The committee appealed to traders, industrialists, shopkeepers, transporters and people belonging to different spheres of life to observe the day of mourning and suspend business activities and keep transport vehicles off the road on Saturday.”
The associations of key business segments announced to stay away from their regular work on Saturday on the MQM appeal. They showed the same gesture on MQM’s appeal only last week when the party called for a ‘day of mourning’ and ‘appealed’ them to keep their businesses closed against killing of its workers.
“We strongly condemn the killing of MPA Qureshi and his young son and hold government responsible for failing to protect the lives of citizens,” said Ismail Lapuria, secretary of the Sindh Tajir Ittehad — a common platform of wholesale and retail markets across the province.
“We’ve responded to their [MQM] appeal and decided to keep business closed on Friday. It’s only to keep the protest peaceful and support the cause to condemn the brutality.”
Same were the thoughts from the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers’ Association and Karachi Transport Ittehad, who ‘supported’ the MQM protest and announced to keep fuel stations closed and buses off the road.
The situation forced educational institutions to postpone the exams scheduled for Saturday. The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, the University of Karachi and the Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi announced that the exams scheduled for June 22 had been postponed. They announced that the date for the postponed papers would be notified later.
The Urdu university also announced postponement of the Anjuman-i-Asatiza programme that was supposed to be held at its Gulshan-i-Iqbal Campus on Saturday. The BIEK, meanwhile, advised students to approach their respective colleges to get a new schedule of their technical exams.