quetta-sit-in-AP-670
People chant slogans next to the bodies of their relatives awaiting burial, who were killed in Thursday's deadly bombings in Quetta. — Photo by AP

QUETTA: After braving three nights in Quetta’s freezing temperatures next to their slain loved ones, the families of dozens of bombing victims ended their protest and buried the bodies amid strict security measures in a Hazara graveyard on Monday.

Relatives, friends and members of Hazara community had camped out at major intersections of the provincial capital for last four days to protest killings of more than 100 persons in twin suicide attacks.

A total of 83 dead bodies were buried on Monday. A large number of people participated in the funeral while strict security measures were adopted during the burial. Protesters also chanted slogans against law enforcement agencies for their failure to provide protection to them.

The community ended their almost four-day demonstration Monday after the federal government accepted their demands for protection by sacking the provincial government.

Following talks by the Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf with Shia leaders in the wee hours of Sunday, President Asif Ali Zardari invoked Article 234 of the Constitution, dismissing the provincial assembly and instating Governor Zulfikar Ali Magsi as the Chief Executive of the province.

“After holding consultations with all the stakeholders, we have decided to invoke Article 234 of the Constitution. Governor’s rule is being imposed in the province and the provincial government is being dismissed,” the premier had announced in front of the Hazara representatives.

A leader of the Qaumi Yakjehti Council (QYC) told DawnNews that since the government had agreed to accept the demands, the council had decided to end the sit-in.

“The protest has been called off, burials will be after Zuhr (afternoon) prayers,” Shia leader Sadat Ali Khan had earlier announced at the protest.

Furthermore, the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) also ended its hunger strike which it had been holding in front of the office of Inspector General (IG) Balochistan Police in Quetta.

The minority Hazara Shia community has been targeted several times by banned extremist militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, with the organisation also claiming Thursday’s deadly blasts.

The Hazaras have repeatedly asked the government and security agencies for more protection.

Although Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan geographically, analysts and locals have criticised the federal government for neglecting it, leading to its instability. Oil and gas rich Balochistan suffers from a separatist Baloch insurgency, while religious extremism is also said to be on the rise in the troubled province.

(Additional reporting by Syed Ali Shah from Quetta)

Updated Jan 14, 2013 04:40pm

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S. Ali
Jan 14, 2013 05:58pm
Once again this peaceful community has shown that how to love their land and remain patient and peaceful through hard times. May God save Pakistan from the cruel and radical elements living in Pakistan.
Nida Nawaz
Jan 14, 2013 02:23pm
HOW THE NUDE FACE OF TERROR/SECTARIAN TERROR BECOMES THE IDENTITY OF A NATION ---nothing more or less than SHAME .
Imran
Jan 14, 2013 06:45pm
"Oil and Gas rich Balochistan" and yet a Province in misery. No development, scarce education and corrupt government. This is the state of Pakistan and yet some people say all is well. Shia folks have every right to live and observe their religious days in peace and security. Any organization that plants bombs to kill innocent people should be hunted down and made extinct. But alas! the dream we have to expect law to rule the land. As I share my utmost sadness and sorrow on the loss of life, I do commend my Shia friends that they at least succeeded to rid of corrupt officials. Please join this movement and let it spread throughout Pakistan to once and for all, forever destroy the chains of evil government officials and bring in peace, harmony, love and respect between all religious groups.
ali
Jan 14, 2013 09:29am
Chief Minister of Balochistan was still reluctant to resign from assemblies. how shameless that he was issuing statements from abroad and he doesnt have courage to come to his elected constituency and condole amongst his people. Pak has most shameful and corrupt Leaders in the world. May God help and provide courage to families of deceased.
Anony
Jan 14, 2013 05:12pm
That's all what Cyrus does on all his posts. Criticize and negative remarks. SHame on him.
Anony
Jan 14, 2013 05:10pm
I feel for my hazara and shia brothers and sisters. The government (no matter how much corrupt it has become) should provide 100% securities to the minorities. They lives are as important and precious as all of ours.
isoparty
Jan 14, 2013 05:08pm
LABAIK YA HUSSAIN
alien
Jan 14, 2013 05:07pm
Is this the PAKISTAN and in the name of Islam? What kind of faith is this and what for you need this kind of faith to cause pain to someone. Please stand together as human beings against this and voilence in the name of religion. Live and let live EVERYONE.
HaqParast
Jan 15, 2013 01:05am
True, did you see his body language while sitting next to PM during the Press Conf.
HaqParast
Jan 15, 2013 01:03am
Has anyone seen the body language of Gov Magsi while sitting next to PM. He looks the least interested in the proceedings.
HaqParast
Jan 15, 2013 01:01am
People who gave a thumbs down, you have a problem with path of peace, you bigots.
Agha Ata (USA)
Jan 15, 2013 12:39am
What if the honest people are not good administrators? What if good administrators are not honest people? That is not very easy, my friend!
Abrar
Jan 14, 2013 02:14pm
Throughout the history and even today, shia protests have always been peaceful..but media is always interested in focussiong on showing violence to create sensasionalism
indian
Jan 14, 2013 11:21pm
Why are you crying when you have felt the same pain which you were trying to inflict on others. All the misdeeds you have been doing to others especially india is coming back to you. This was bound to happen. And this will happen everyday now. Now you will see ur brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children getting killed everyday. You brainless creatures thought it would be very nice to spread terrorism in name of your religion but never thought of repercussions. Still there is a chance. You muslims, plz stop being maniac in name of religion and learn to live in peace. Or else be ready to get wiped off from the face of the earth. I see your end coming. Its just a matter of time.
Akil Akhtar
Jan 14, 2013 10:48pm
Why do we highlight that they are shia and hazaras, why can't they be called Pakistanis. Are we all trying to divide this nation further. Thousands of Pakistanis have been killed by terrorists but their cast or sect is not highlighted until there is an opportunity to inflame the so called minority. Or the Hazars do nto consider themselves Pakistani.
Cyrus Howell
Jan 14, 2013 08:20am
What's the point of a government if it doesn't do anything to protect the lives of its people, or the point of generals who cannot win wars?
Pakistani
Jan 14, 2013 07:42am
May peace be bestowed on the people of Pakistan..may wrath be upon the culprits and terrorist who take away innocent lives everyday. Long live the people who endangered their lives, who sat with the bodies of their loved ones in freezing cold and all those who supported them nationwide to expose the denial of justice in the country of pure people..
Masood Ahmed
Jan 14, 2013 07:30am
"" Governor Rule "" The same gentleman will rule who himself announced his failure 3 days ago?? Now what action plan he has to implement??? May Almighty save our country!!!!!!
Adil
Jan 14, 2013 03:03pm
What positive development are you talking about???
Saleem
Jan 14, 2013 06:54am
Whats the point of a government if it doesnt do anything to protect the lives of its people. I am hoping and praying the governor's rule brings peace to Balochistan and attempts to catch the culprits of the murdered Hazara people and all others who have been killed on one pretext or the other.
A Shah
Jan 14, 2013 01:07pm
Unfortunately we cant blame anybody else but ourselves for what is happening in our country. We have nurtured terrorists who were supposed to attack our enemies but these very terrorists have turned on us and though we train, sponsor and encourage terrorists they are supposed to attack other peoples brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, not ours!
Cyrus Howell
Jan 14, 2013 08:25am
After holding consultations with all the stakeholders, we have decided to invoke Article 4,432,652 of the Constitution.
salma hasan
Jan 14, 2013 09:10pm
whenever I read comments about different situations there are some people who are giving thumbs down even to the most positive comments for example in this case Mr Ali's comments are very positive but still some people have given thumbs down. why i don not know may be they do not understand english or they are the companions of taliban. so we can easily say that these people are the real culprits who are supporting negative things.
Goga Nalaik
Jan 14, 2013 03:04pm
My sufferings and my sympathies are for all those who got killed in that barbaric carnage in Quetta. My hatred and utter disgust for Taliban have attained such a degree that I can't even write my sentiments. Deeply impressed by the peaceful demonstration of families of victims who kept calm after having lost 86 lives … maybe a new tradition in this country! My respects
Ali
Jan 14, 2013 09:56am
Once again Shias have showed the real lesson to be learned from Karabla, and that is to win even if it takes suffering, loss of lives & pain. But never leave the path of peace. May Allah damn those terrorists and save us all from this apathy of Terrorism.
alqudos
Jan 14, 2013 03:20pm
I really don't know what kind of people living in Pakistan, hundreds of people protested and stayed at the sub zero temperature with the body of their loved one for three nights and the pakistani people didn't even care!!! here in Tunisia the government killed one person and because of that we brought the whole system down, we changed the regime... but in pakistan people are really stone heart
ahsan
Jan 15, 2013 08:34am
i too feel that it was a great tragedy that the Hazaras of Balochistan went thru ,but its not just the minorities who suffer....rather many others hve been killed in blasts in previous years,in Pakistan, who suffered just because they were pakistani :( our country is in a sad state.......we all pakistanis need peace, harmony n security!!!!
B.Khan
Jan 14, 2013 03:23pm
RIP for the Martyred Innocent people. The Steadfastness and courage of the People is really astonishing. People Unity and presence on the scene is the Key to victory. Exemplary and Impressive move by the People of Pakistan. GOD bless All momineen. People can achieve more victories thru Unity.
Adnan
Jan 14, 2013 09:34am
I understand this incident has left a lot of heartaches and frustration, but this doesn't mean that you should criticise and insult every action taken by the government. no too mention this is exactly what people wanted. so Cyrus please stop the criticism and applaude the positive developments.
Adnan
Jan 14, 2013 02:02pm
where is this so called POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT...we are hearing about this positive development since 70's...havnt seen it anywhere!
shahid
Jan 14, 2013 02:01pm
This shows that situation is out of control. Do elections as soon as possible or Army take over the country and select honest people from the country to rule. I don't know whether current situation is created by rulers to extend their rule or external forces want current crippled government to continue their tenure.
Abrar
Jan 14, 2013 02:09pm
Aameen
foulmouthed
Jan 14, 2013 09:07am
1. Thank you for showing the way on a peaceful manner. 2. Where is Mr Zardari? 3. What is Mr Sharif saying about the developing situation in the country?
Tabish Bilgrami
Jan 14, 2013 09:03am
Respect..... The most peaceful protest ever seen in this region.....
Naseer
Jan 15, 2013 04:47pm
They are being killed because they are Shia. Hazara's are easily identified as Shia because of their distinct features. It is important to identify who is being killed and why he or she is being killed. Then a coordinated action taken by all parts of the society to root out the terrorists.
kapur
Jan 16, 2013 04:16pm
it is very sad and tragic to note the killing of so many innocent people day in day out. The entire population of Pakistan is paying a very heavy price. It is high time that people of Pakistan realize the futility of this bigotry. countries with diverse cultures are uniting for mutual growth On the contrary we are killing our own brothers. what for?.firstly, it was Hindus v/s Muslims, now it is Muslim v/s Muslims. A lot needs to be learned from the history. We need to identify the real enemy and kill them namely-illiteracy, poverty, corruption,religious hatred. I across the border feel equally sad and hurt over the loss of so many people who were (and are our own brothers,sisters). If you go 3 or 4 generations back ,you have same great-2 grand parents. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Wake up , arise and act.