KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Tuesday retracted their earlier call to observe a country-wide day of mourning in the aftermath of the killing of Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) supporters in Lahore.
The party had taken the decision after at least seven PAT supporters were reportedly killed in a clash with police.
A statement, issued to the media, said that after going through the requests of transporters, traders and shop keepers, the party has decided to take back their call. “We appeal to the public to go about their businesses as usual,” it added.
The MQM’s Rabita Committee also appealed to the public to record their protest peacefully against the incident in Lahore by hoisting black flags and pray for the ‘departed’.
Following MQM's call for mourning, petrol pumps in Karachi had started to shut down whereas examinations scheduled for tomorrow were also postponed.
PAT's sister organistion Tehreek-i-Minhaj-ul-Quran protested against the clashes in Lahore outside the Karachi Press Club.
The Sunni Tehreek has also announced a day of mourning while declaring the skirmish in Lahore as dictatorship on part of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.
MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi had earlier said the transporters and traders fraternity should adhere to the call of mourning.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain said he showed solidarity with PAT leader Tahirul Qadri and questioned as to what was the reason behind raiding Qadri’s house in Lahore.
Separately, MQM leader Farooq Sattar said the issue was not of tear gas or baton charging, but rather the protesters were being fired upon.
Opposition stages walkout from National Assembly to protest Lahore killings
Opposition parties staged walkout from National Assembly to protest the killings of several persons in Lahore.
Speaking on a Point of Order in National Assembly Syed Khursdeed announced walkout from the House.
Legislators of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) also followed the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Syed Khurshid Shah said the brutal killings of people in Lahore was a conspiracy against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He urged the government to resolve issues through dialogue.
PPP offers consistent support to the government policies.
Makhdoom Javed Hashmi of PTI strongly protested what he called the brutal murder of workers of PAT. The murder of workers must be stopped forthwith.
Senior leader of MQM Dr Farooq Sattar said the killings of protesting workers must be avoided.
Speaking on a Point of Order Shah Jee Gul Afridi, a legislator from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) announced a walkout from the National Assembly to protest the opposition's behaviour.
He strongly protested the behaviour of the opposition for never staging a walkout over Fata killings.
Meanwhile, opposition members of the Punjab Assembly also staged a walkout in protest of the killings that took place in Lahore's Model Town area.
Railways Minister calls for judicial probe into Lahore incident
Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique expressed sorrow over the clashes in Lahore and called for a judicial probe into the incident.
Speaking to media representatives in the federal capital, Rafique also lashed out at Qadri.
Rafique moreover criticised the MQM over its call for a country-wide day of mourning tomorrow.