ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Shia Muslims rallied across Pakistan on Friday to protest against sectarian violence and demand the government to provide security for their community.
At least 14 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in sectarian violence in northern Pakistan on April 3, prompting the government to deploy troops and impose a curfew in the northern towns of Gilgit and Chilas.
Around 2,500 people staged a sit-in outside the parliament building in Islamabad on Friday, an AFP photographer said, a demonstration organised by the Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), a Shia religious party.
Rallies were also held in the central city of Multan, Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and the southwestern city of Quetta where protestors called for action against those involved in killing Shias.
Human rights groups have heavily criticised the government for failing to crack down on sectarian violence between the country's majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslim communities that has killed thousands.