Relatives and mourners of  Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AP Photo
Relatives and mourners of Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AP Photo
A large number of women and children were also part of the demonstration.—AFP Photo
A large number of women and children were also part of the demonstration.—AFP Photo
Relatives and mourners of  Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AFP Photo
Relatives and mourners of Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AFP Photo
Protestors chant slogans and burn tires, during a protest in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AP Photo
Protestors chant slogans and burn tires, during a protest in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AP Photo
Relatives and mourners of  Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AP Photo
Relatives and mourners of Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AP Photo
Protestors chant slogans and burn tires, during a protest in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AP Photo
Protestors chant slogans and burn tires, during a protest in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AP Photo
Relatives and mourners of  Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AFP Photo
Relatives and mourners of Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AFP Photo
Relatives and mourners of  Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AFP Photo
Relatives and mourners of Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AFP Photo
Quetta_protest_Shia_bus_bombing_AP_2_800
Quetta_protest_Shia_bus_bombing_AP_2_800
Relatives and mourners of  Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AFP Photo
Relatives and mourners of Shia pilgrims who were killed on Tuesday by a bomb blast, protest sitting next to their bodies, in Quetta, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.—AFP Photo

QUETTA: The protests against the killing of Shia pilgrims in a bombing in Balochistan's Mastung district were observed across the nation on Thursday including Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Islamabad, and Hyderabad, DawnNews reported.

The Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) staged protests in-front of the Governor House in Lahore and in Faizabad area of Islamabad.

Moreover, members of civil society staged a vigil outside the Press Club in the federal capital city earlier on Wednesday night.

Shia organisations also arranged protests at several locations of Karachi whereas the flow of traffic was blocked in Ancholi, Malir, Shah Faisal, Qayyumabad, Hino Chowk Flyover and Numaish Chowrangi areas.

Karachi’s chairman of the Private Schools Management Association, Sharaf uz Zaman, said that schools would remain closed today in those areas where roads were blocked.

Alamdar road protests

Despite freezing temperatures, thousands of members of the Hazara Shia community staged an ongoing sit-in in Quetta to protest against the killing of Shia pilgrims in a bombing in Balochistan's Mastung district.

The demonstrators gathered Wednesday morning at Alamdar road, vowing to continue their protests until authorities arrested the perpetrators of the attack.

A large number of women and children were also part of the demonstration.

The mourners have brought 26 dead bodies along with them and kept them on the road to press the authorities to launch a crackdown against the perpetrators of attack on Shia pilgrims in Balochistan's Mastung district.

“We will continue our protest until perpetrators of the blast are brought to book,” said Syed Ahmed Raza, a member of the Balochistan Assembly and leader of the Hazara Community.

He lamented that the killing of members of the Hazara community had become the ‘order of the day’ and that the Balochistan government had completely failed to protect the Shia pilgrims coming from Iran to Pakistan.

The banned militant organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack, which it described as a suicide bombing, and warned of more such attacks.

Officials said Wednesday that three more injured succumbed to their wounds from Tuesday’s blast on the bus bringing Shia pilgrims from Iran to Quetta. The deaths have raised the toll from 26 to 29.

An official at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), requesting not to be named, said 26 bodies had been identified while one corpse was yet to be identified. He said 35 injured were under treatment at the CMH in Quetta. “The condition of seven injured is serious,” he said.

It was the second attack on Shia pilgrims in this part of Balochistan over the past three weeks; the first attack took place near Quetta on the eve of New Year.

Last year, thousands of mourners staged a three-day sit-in from January 10 to 13 in the aftermath of twin-bombings that had left over 100 people dead.

The minority community's protest had prompted the former Pakistan Peoples’ Party-led government to remove Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and impose governor's rule in Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch visited Alamdar Road on Wednesday and expressed his concern over the Mastung incident. He held a long meeting with members of the community to end their protest.

“We are all victims of terrorism and I stand by you in this hour of grief,” Baloch told the grief-stricken mourners.

Speaking to reporters, the chief minister pointed towards the presence of foreign militants in Balochistan. “The killing of Uzbek militants in Mastung shows that foreign militants have reached Balochistan,” he said.

Baloch claimed that his government was determined to wipe out terrorism despite all odds. Speaker Balochistan Assembly, Jan Muhammad Jamali, provincial ministers Dr. Hamid Khan Achakzai, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal and others accompanied the chief minister.

But despite the assurances, the protesters appeared to be in no mood to leave the Shuhada Chowk till late at night. They had set up camps and collected firewood to brave the chilling Siberian winds.

But they removed the coffins from the road and kept them in Imambargah Nachari.

The provincial government has beefed up security on and around Alamdar Road and deployed there hundreds of policemen and personnel of Anti-Terrorism Force and Frontier Corps.

Roads leading to the Shuhada Chowk had been blocked. No-one was allowed to enter the area without permission of security officials. Hundreds of volunteers of Hazara community were also providing security cover to the area.

CM demands ferry service for pilgrims

Meanwhile speaking to a private TV channel, the Balochistan CM called upon the federal government to provide ferry service for pilgrims from Karachi to Chabahar in Iran.

Dr Baloch said that ferry service would be safe and economical.

The buses of pilgrims returning from Iran to Pakistan are constantly under threat and have been attacked twice this month, he said.

MWM leader's threat to paralyse the whole country on Thursday

Earlier on Wednesday, addressing a sit-in in Islamabad, central leader of Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) Allama Amin Shaheedi vowed to prolong the sit-in till realisation of all their demands.

Besides demanding a military operation against Taliban militants, he threatened to paralyse the whole country on Thursday if their demands were not meet.


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Comments (16) (Closed)


Asghar Rizvi
Jan 22, 2014 10:17pm

This government has pathetically failed to provide the people of their very basic right for the people. Is this called democracy,seems only the privileged are safe and secure.It is a shame.

WA
Jan 22, 2014 10:38pm

Until we go after these munafiqs of LeJ all over Pakistan, and especially arresting their leader in Punjab and holding him responsible for all these murders. They will continue to kill and eventually go after sunnis who do not follow their interpretation.

Khadim
Jan 22, 2014 10:51pm

We condemn the barbaric act of terror and heartfelt condolences to bereaved families, may Allah give them strength to bear this great tragedy. Govt has failed to provide security to its citizens. These terrorists commit crimes where ever they want. The menace of terrorism must be dealt with iron fist, they do not know the language of negotiations. Pakistan army is one of the potent force to defend its integrity and able to thwart conspiracies. This is the time for leadership to take strong actions against barbaric foreign paid agents, using the name of compassionate religion of Islam.

AFAQ
Jan 22, 2014 10:52pm

If some going to do any thing regard to these and other lawlessness in the country as each successive Goverment failed to contain it.

Aamir
Jan 22, 2014 11:10pm

Please treat these people as fellow human beings and not based on their ethnicity.

By killing innocent people, we are not doing any favor to Islam.

Yawar
Jan 23, 2014 12:58am

In any other country, at this time the Prime Minister or President would be visiting the injured and the families of those killed. But in Pakistan, where the killing of minorities has become a normal statistic, the Prime Minister and President prefer to stay in their palatial homes and make meaningless statements.

Agha Ata
Jan 23, 2014 01:59am

Army would retaliate if some of the dead in this blood bath were army officers.

Agha Ata
Jan 23, 2014 02:38am

Don't worry dears, our governemtn has already passed a resolution to take action. Isn't that enough?.

Hamid Ali Tabatabai
Jan 23, 2014 03:07am

The real tragedy is the fact that Pakistanis have become apathetic to this with the situation aggravated by misguided leaders such as Imran Khan and others that they some how feel that you can have a fair peace with those who hold nothing sacred.

Agha Ata
Jan 23, 2014 08:33am

Under what circumstances a powerful government and a powerful army would not take an action against an enemy who has killed thousands of innocents in the country. And under what circumstances the Chief Justice is reluctant to take sou moto action against the government and the army for their inaction. A little while ago suo moto action was a daily feature, and today, when it is needed most, our courts are silent.

jamshed
Jan 23, 2014 09:12am

Hence we prove it that Pakistan is a Fail State

UHG
Jan 23, 2014 11:14am

Who is responsible for the "Gunah" as for the bodies not being buried???

ayaz
Jan 23, 2014 12:07pm

These protest are not doing any good. If you want to live in this failed state you have to raise against your enemies and hurt them hard. Use the same tactics which they are using against you.

Syeda Jafri
Jan 23, 2014 12:36pm

Feeling pathetic for the ongoing situation. Wish we could help this crisis in some way. All my condolesence to the victims of these barbaric acts

Ahmed
Jan 23, 2014 01:00pm

I wonder what the politicians are up to? all they can do is "CONDEMN THE ATTACKS"

sridhar
Jan 23, 2014 03:00pm

Heights of intolerance!!!