Peshawar in mourning after mosque bombing

Published March 6, 2022
(Clockwise) Collective funeral prayers of the victims of the Friday suicide bombing being held in Peshawar on Saturday. Grief has overtaken the relatives of the deceased. People demonstrate outside the press club building. A policeman stands guard in Chitrali Bazaar as the shops are closed against the terrorist attack. — Photos by Shahbaz Butt
(Clockwise) Collective funeral prayers of the victims of the Friday suicide bombing being held in Peshawar on Saturday. Grief has overtaken the relatives of the deceased. People demonstrate outside the press club building. A policeman stands guard in Chitrali Bazaar as the shops are closed against the terrorist attack. — Photos by Shahbaz Butt

PESHAWAR: With the entire city in the mourning, traders closed shops in many bazaars here on Saturday to show solidarity with the Shia community, which buried the victims of the Friday suicide blast in a Koocha Risaldar mosque.

The Qissa Khwani, Kabari Bazaar, Chitrali Bazaar, Kohati Bazaar and Cinema Road markets, which are located near the bombing site, didn’t open all through the day.

Markazi Anjuman-i-Tajiran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president Malik Meher Ilahi told Dawn that the mosque bombing had questioned claims about the restoration of peace and caused a sense of insecurity among the residents, especially traders.

He said Peshawar had suffered the most from terrorist activities and the Friday suicide blast would disturb the people’s life and business activities at least for one month.

Many bazaars closed as people bury dead

Mr Ilahi urged the government to take appropriate steps to protect public life.

He suggested that besides the police, the Ababeel Squad should also monitor the activities of suspected people.

The Tajir Ittehad Khyber Pakhtunkhwa held a meeting in which the participants condemned the mosque bombing and demanded of the government to take effective steps to prevent such incidents.

Trader leaders Mujeebur Rehman, Shaukatullah Hamdard, Mohammad Shaukat, Aziz Khan, Naseeruddin Hashmi and Zafar Minhas said the terrorist attack showed the failure of the relevant departments to monitor and check the activities of anti-state elements.

They warned that the law and order situation would deteriorate if corrective steps weren’t taken immediately.

The activists of the Imamia Student Organisation demonstrated outside the Peshawar Press Club against the bomb blast and shouted slogans against terrorists groups.

Holding banners and placards, they demanded the early arrest of the handlers of the suicide bomber for punishment as well as the protection of public life.

Shah Zeb Hussain, a representative of the ISO, said the suicide bombing of worshipers showed that terrorists were capable of reaching their targets even in congested areas.

Senior leaders of the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, including Allama Ahmad Iqbal Rizvi, Allama Maqsood Ali Domki, Allama Iqbal Beheshti and Malik Iqrar Hussain, visited Peshawar’s different areas to sympathise with the families, which lost members to the terrorist attack.

Our Parachinar correspondent adds: The residents received the bodies of blast victims and placed them outside the press club building before staging a rally against the killings.

Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen leader Shabeer Sajdi, Anjuma Hussainia general secretary Inayat Hussain and Shia leader Allama Fida Mazahiri Allama Abid Al Hussaini spoke on the occasion.

They demanded of the federal government to implement the Nation Action Plan on security in letter and spirit for the eradication of terrorist groups from the country once and for all.

The speakers called for Rs5 million compensation for each deceased and Rs2 million for each injured person.

The Peoples Students Federation’s workers also protested the mosque bombing and said terrorists targetted the place of worship to scare the people.

PSF activist Irfan Afridi said the government had failed to control prices of essential goods on one hand and protect the people’s life on the other.

He demanded that the prime minister admit his failure in that respect and step down.

Also, Khateeb of the historical Masjid Mahabat Khan Maulana Tayyab Qureshi condemned the suicide bombing and described it an extremely inhuman act.

In a statement here, he said it was the duty of the government to eradicate terrorism from the country and ensure protection of the people’s life.

Our Dera Ismail Khan correspondent adds: The bombed Peshawar mosque’s khateeb, Maulana Irshad Hussain Khalili, who was martyred in the blast, was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in Paharpur area on Saturday.

The deceased was a member of the provincial Ruet-i-Hilal Committee.

Meanwhile, members of the Shia community staged a sit-in against the mosque bombing and shouted slogans against the government. They insisted that their community’s members and worship places were being targeted under a conspiracy.

The protesters demanded of the police and other law-enforcement agencies to ensure the early arrest of culprits for strict punishment.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2022

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