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Citizens gather against the twin bombings attack in Quetta, at a rally in Lahore on January 12, 2013. — Photo by AFP

KARACHI: A strike was observed on Sunday in most parts of the country including Karachi, Multan, Hyderabad, Lahore, Islamabad and Quetta against Thursday's blasts in Balochistan's provincial capital.

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf flew to Quetta on Sunday to meet locals holding a protest alongside the bodies of family members killed in one of the country's worst sectarian attacks.

Ashraf was was accompanied by Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira and Sardar Mohammad Umar Gorgage.

Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi on Sunday summoned a meeting of the the Balochistan provincial assembly for Jan 15 to discuss the situation over the attacks on the Hazara community in the province. The decision was taken on the advice of the province's Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.

So far, the government has not made any public statement about the attacks, which were claimed by banned militant Sunni group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Earlier during the day, Pakistan-Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan along with the party's senior leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi reached Quetta's Alamdar road to express solidarity with the protestors staging a sit-in  against Thursday's carnage.

A day of mourning was being observed in Karachi on a call given by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). All markets and businesses were shut as petrol and CNG filling sations also remained closed in many areas of the city and vehicular traffic remained sparse on the roads. The Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) had also taken rallies in various parts of the city.

Pakistan People's Party-Shaheed Bhutto chairperson, Ghinwa Bhutto also joined the  protests being held in Karachi's Numaish area.

Protests were also held outside Bilawal house, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari's residence in Clifton area of Karachi.

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 victims of the Quetta blasts and said that lawyers would not appear in the courts.

A view of a sit-in being observed in Multan against the killing of Hazaras in the country. —Photographs by Mariam Ajmal Khan and Muhammad Zahid.

Shops and markets in  Badin, Tando Bago, Matli, Golarchi, Talhar and other towns of Badin district were closed on the joint call of different political and religious parties against the Quetta blasts.

Members of the MWM staged a sit-in in Imamia colony of Lahore, expressing solidarity with the victims of the killings in Quetta.

A sit-in staged by the relatives of Thursday's blast victims in Quetta continued into its third day as talks between the government and the Hazara community failed to reach a settlement.

Shia leaders are demanding that the provincial government be dismissed and that the army take over Quetta to guarantee their security.

Comments (31) Closed

MSH Jan 13, 2013 08:55am
Shame on the rulers. Each and every one should be held accountable and exemplary punishment meted out to them, for their failures and possible connivance. Where are they and their princes, hiding behind high walls. They should remember, they stand condemned not only in the eyes of the people, but in God Almighty's eyes as well. Justice may be delayed, but it will be delivered. May Allah Almighty give solace to the bereaved.
raymond Jan 13, 2013 10:10pm
Mr or Miss M. I appreciate that you have hope. But don't you think this is day dreaming as your people are still sleeping. Indian Muslims are much happier to be in India
raymond Jan 13, 2013 10:07pm
Agree with Umair. Wake up and change the face of Pakistan so you all can leave there peacefully and happily.
nayyar51 Jan 13, 2013 09:27am
I love democracy, but if someone wraps up this democracy which is not even able to console the families of those more than 7 dozen unburied corpses in Quetta, I will never shed a single tear, for this sham democracy. This callousness has never ever been witnessed by the sky from the so called human beings.
Muhammad Asad Jan 13, 2013 07:30pm
Everybody forgot to call out "shame on lashkar e jhnagvi" for killing innocent pakistanis and most importantly muslims who believe in Allah and Rasool S.A.W, This lashkar e jhangvi has put on a religious outfit and started killing innocent people who do not belong to their club of extremists, wake up pakistan they're killing hazara now, you could be next!, very soon, as they are working on the same George Bush Agenda "either you are with us or without us".
Indian Brother Jan 13, 2013 02:49pm
It is very disheartening to see being a Shia myself on how our fellow brothers are treated in a country whose founder and father of nation also happens to be a Shia himself By seeing the present situation, I believe I'm truly blessed to be born in India where we have freedom with no threats to any other group or sect.
Ek Insaan Jan 13, 2013 06:28pm
what makes you think that everyone commenting online doesn't join protests? Many folks who comment online also join the protests and perhaps you should do the same.
Haji Umar Ali Jan 13, 2013 12:45pm
Do we want selective justice or absolute justice? Why were there no national protests after the May 28 2010 carnage at the two ahmadiyya place of worship in Lahore? The secular Zulfikar Ali Bhutto listened to the mullahs and sowed the seed of hatred through the anti ahmadiyya resolution in 1974. Unless the Parliament undo its wrong this country will never start in the direction of peace and prosperity
Truth Jan 13, 2013 06:17pm
There will be more drone attacks and bomb lasts in a failed country like Pakistan!! Still they interfere in other countries instead of fixing their problems.
DGK Jan 13, 2013 10:20am
See how these Govt peoples are senseless. Our nation is sheding tearing but our chief minister are in Dubai. May Allah forgive the shaheeds
gangadin Jan 13, 2013 05:38pm
What has Raisani got to do with? How is he supposed to predict that a bomb will explode and hazaras will be killed? Every time some one is killed, we should replace the government? Offcourse its easy to blame the government or the army. The real issue here is for the government to sit with these so-called terror groups and hash it out. It can be done. Start by vacating their land.
Mohammed K Jan 13, 2013 05:13pm
As someone very aptly said....."Even the dead are protesting in front of a morally dead government". Shame on us Pakistanis...
Saeed Jan 13, 2013 05:33pm
This is the FIRST TIME that PPP's Prime Minister dared fly to Quetta. After numerous hearings in MISSING PERSONS CASE and TARGET KILLINGS Case, the Supreme Court had observed in October 2012 that the provincial government of Balochistan has Lost its right of Governance. But the Government kept burried it's head in sand!!
Rashid Manzur Jan 13, 2013 02:29pm
Our rulers are eating into the vitals and very trails of our beloved country. Their ruthlessness has crossed all limits.May Allah be with the bereaved families !
Mehdi Jan 13, 2013 09:03pm
Pakistan government is a total failure. Shame on these leaders. People must not rely on them and learn to protect and defend themselves. May Allah give patience to the martyrs' families.
M Jan 13, 2013 04:36pm
Dear Indian Brother, thank you for consoling with us. Being a shia myself I am proud that my father took part in the freedom movement and we have our beloved homeland: Pakistan. Although we do have difficult time now living in Pakistan, but I am pretty sure that we will overcome. After all we have been raised to stand against in-justice!
Voice of D.I.Khan Jan 13, 2013 12:12pm
For Pak Government and people, "Callousness at its Peak"......
Ali Jan 13, 2013 04:42pm
I highly appreciate your genuine emotions my friend.
Shanzay Jan 13, 2013 03:03pm
Still this is not enough to wake this nation up!!! Why blame or abuse government! We, ourselves are responsible for our miseries. Keep sleeping, keep dreaming. Shame on us.
Agha Ata (USA) Jan 13, 2013 03:08pm
Shame on our leaders and above all SHAME ON OUR ARMY! Who caused all this to happen in this country, in the wild deadly obsession of fighting for Kashmir (which we certainly don
MFH Jan 13, 2013 12:04pm
Shame on our leaders!!
danial tariq Jan 13, 2013 12:18pm
finally pm goes in their...i think governor rule is the best option..
Ankahi Baatein Jan 13, 2013 03:12pm
Instead of going out to meet the bereaved and consoling them for the loss of the precious lives of their loved ones, our (un) popular Prime Minister is being shown on TV footages, comfortably seated on lavish sofas of the Governor House, the heaters on to protect him from the intense cold, while the protestors are braving it out in freezing temperatures! Insult added to Injury! Shame on You, Pakistan Government!
kash Jan 13, 2013 04:07pm
This insanity against shias must stop. They are human beings, pakistanis, and don't deserve this treatment. Shame on the rulers for allowing this carnage over and over again.
Saida Haider Jan 14, 2013 09:47am
Truly revolting and shameful .Maybe the only country in the world where leaders are relaxing and enjoying holidays after such gruesome carnage .May they receive what they are sowing for others and specially for the people they are supposed to protect
Adil Jadoon Jan 14, 2013 04:08am
Actually shame on all of us for voting not only for the central government but also the Baluchistan government. You get what you vote for.
sspb Jan 13, 2013 01:30pm
We are witnessing the "Pakistan Spring" just like the "Arab Spring". The politicians sitting comfortably in their palaces should come down and show some solidarity with the victims of the carnage, otherwise they do not deserve to be the rulers of this unfortunate country. I hope that not only Shias but every decent human being in Pakistan will join the protest the atrocities taking place against innocents.
HonestMan Jan 14, 2013 03:33am
Sunni rulers of Pakistan, two different communities can live in peace with each other.
karim Jan 14, 2013 03:25am
How you Indians love to see Pakistanis in pain.
Umair Yousuf Jan 13, 2013 05:57pm
And you and I are equally responsible my friend. We argue here online. Why arent we in the midst of the protesters?
skeptic Jan 13, 2013 02:01pm
Stand up and be counted or at least heard. We need to condemn this at every level. God bless Hazaras community, these peaceful simple people. They need to be cared for. This country needs healing.