KARACHI, June 16: A series of attacks in Quetta and at the Quaid-i-Azam’s Residency in Ziarat on Saturday shocked the governments, political parties, professionals and students who condemned the attacks and took out protest rallies.
A group of youths belonging to the National Students Federation (NSF) staged a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club to condemn the killing of 14 students of a women university in the suicide attack in Quetta.
They blamed sectarian militants for the attack and also suspected a ‘foreign hand’ behind the incidents as part of a conspiracy against the country.
A bus carrying students of the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University was attacked by a suicide bomber killing 14 of them and injuring several others. Later the militants attacked a hospital treating survivors, where they killed another 11 people.
Students from various universities and colleges participated in the protest.
The girls among the protesters led the rally in which they demanded a ‘decisive action’ against the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi , which claimed responsibility of the attack, and other banned sectarian outfits suspected to be involved in a series of such attacks.
“We are born with the right to educate ourselves, and no one, not even our family can take our right from us, let alone these sectarian fundamentalists,” said Fatima Zaidi, one of the participants.
“Why do I not hear anyone condemning the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, the proud owners of the attack?”
The protesters were carrying placards inscribed with slogans against the banned militant groups. “First, they killed Shias and now they have targeted women. Down with the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi,” read a placard.
“Why female education is not acceptable to the so-called custodians of religion?” read another placard.
Bilawal’s reaction Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the ‘barbaric terrorists’ attacks’ on the university bus and the Bolan Medical Complex and called them ‘inhuman and beastly acts’, which the people of Pakistan would never tolerate.
In a statement, he said that such attacks were meant to tear down the civil society and take it hostage at gunpoint to impose darkness.
“Terrorists need to be dealt with an iron hand instead of appeasing them to protect Pakistan and its founding ideology,” he said.
He said schools, hospitals and mosques were being attacked by militants to keep the people illiterate, maimed and spiritually hollow to keep the masses hostage.”
The PPP chief sympathised with the families of the victims of the attacks and expressed solidarity with them. He said special arrangements should be made for treatment of victims.
He also condemned the rocket attack on the Ziarat Residency saying the enemies of Pakistan had mounted those attacks on the very founding assets of the country and its history.
CM’s condemnation Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah termed the attack on the Quaid’s Residency as the greatest tragedy that had shocked every Pakistani.
“It was a condemnable act and the authorities should conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter and expose and punish those involved in it.”
He also lamented over the death of 14 female students and the deputy commissioner of Quetta in the twin blasts in Quetta and condemned the act.
He termed the incidents ‘cowardly’ acts and part of a conspiracy against Pakistan, saying involvement of a ‘foreign hand’ could not be ruled out.
PMA reaction Meanwhile, the Pakistan Medical Association Sindh chapter condemned the attack on Quetta’s Bolan Medical Complex Hospital after attack on the university students.
“They did not spare hospitals this time, which are not even attacked during wars,” said PMA Sindh president Dr Samrina Hashmi.
The twin explosions in Saturday killed at least 26 people.
Tehrik-i-Istiqlal president Rehmat Khan Wardag also condemned the attacks.