JNN 13 Jan 2013 Karachi : As the devastated Shia protesters in Quetta continued their Protest Sit In over the 86 unburied bodies of their loves ones, their grief was felt across the country as members of the Shia communities and civil society came out on the streets of various cities of Pakistan on Saturday. Shias from across the country staged protests in their respective cities on Saturday against the targeted killings of Shias in several attacks, including two blasts in Quetta on Thursday that left over a 100 dead.
On Friday, distraught relatives of the victims had begun a protest in Quetta. Accompanied by 86 coffins holding the bodies of those killed on Thursday, they said they would not move or bury their loved ones till the army took control of Quetta.
Meanwhile protesters gathered in Quetta under the Unity council continued their sit-in at Alamdar road for the Last 48 Hours , second successive night, vowing to remain there till the situation improves.
By Saturday, a stunned nation appeared to have rallied around in support of the protesters by holding protests. In Islamabad, a protest organised by Shia groups blocked a main road for several hours. Although the protesters dispersed late in the night, they promised to return for a peaceful demonstration on Sunday morning.
Activists of the Shia Ulema Council, Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen and Imamia Students Organisation also took out rallies in major cities of Punjab and held a demonstration outside the Governor’s house in Lahore which continued till the filling of this report
Sindh also witnessed similar protests as did Peshawar.
From Karachi to Islamabad, Shia parties such as Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) and the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) , Shia Ulema Council as well as civil society activists gathered to protest in their respective cities across Pakistan , and have staged Protest Sit In different strategic areas , due to which whole of the Pakistan has come to stand still , against the three blasts in Quetta on Thursday which claimed over a hundred lives – most of them of Shia Hazaras
The protest in London was staged infront of the Pakistan High Commision and the Protester have staged in a Protest Sit for the Last 24 Hours
The protest in Karachi was staged at Karachi Press Club, and the Protest Sit In was staged in Numaish Round About , National Highway Malir, Shahrah e Pakistan , Super Highway , and Rivzia Society , Round about .
The protest in Islamabad was held at F-6 Supermarket. A demonstration was also held at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk, Protest Sit In was staged in Lahore at the Governor House , The Protester from Hyderabad also Blocked the Super Highway at the Qasimabad By Pass and the supplies to upcountry from the Port City of Karachi .
Protest Sit In was observed in about 50 cities of Pakistan namely some are Sukkur , Rawal Pindi, Kashmore , Sialkot , Matiari ‘Skardu , Ghotki ,Gundhawa, Mandi Bahuddin , Peshawar , Bagh, MirPur Azad Kashmir, Gandhawa, Hyderabad , Bypass, Badin , chak 14, Noshero Foroze , Multan , Mandi Bahauddin, Muzafarabad and about 50 cities of Pakistan have observed a
The Basic 3 demands of the Sit In Protesters at the Alamdar Road , Quetta and all the Sit In Protester in the different cities of Pakistan ,who were in connection with the Quetta Protester and Unity Council and have declared that there Sit Ins are in synchronization with their Brothers Protesting in Quetta to Press their Legtimate demand were as follows :
- Administration of the Quetta City to be handed Over to the Armed Forces of Pakistan
- Corrupt and Inept Chief Minister of Balochistan , should be removed at Once.
- The Criminanls and terrorist behind the Shia Target Killing and especially the Suicide Bombing of the Alamdar Road , should be nabbed and Brought to Justice ,at Shortest Possible Time , and should be awarded Capital Punishment .
As this wave of protests hit the headlines by Saturday afternoon, the apathetic political leadership began to wake up. Till then they continued to be preoccupied with shenanigans such as the march of Maulana Tahirul Qadri; this is lent credence by the fact that the only PPP leader who visited Quetta on Saturday to talk to protesters was Khursheed Shah.
His efforts at placating the protesters proved ineffective. The only other politician who appeared at the scene was Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi, who did little beyond expressing his lack of powers and firing a few verbal rounds at the provincial government and Mr Shah.
The prime minister woke up late in the evening – metaphorically – to call the governor; grant police powers to the Frontier Corps (FC) in Balochistan, and order an ever missing Chief Minister Aslam Raisani to immediately return to the country from Dubai. According to his spokesman, the provincial head was getting his throat treated. Who was later confirmed by the sources that instead of coming to Pakistan , he has flown to London to enjoy his life and leisure.
The Latest reports say that the PM has reached Quetta to talk to the representative of the Shia Leadership to resolve the crisis, but as per our Reports the Shia Leadership have rejected any Negotiation until the fulfillment of their demand of Military take Over of Quetta City , and the removal of Balochistan Chief Minister
Political parties support protesters
Political parties also came out to express support for Quetta’s under attack community.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement said on Saturday that it supported the Shia Community’s plea for giving Quetta under army control. “If army control is not legally possible, then give Quetta under governor rule,” MQM’s Raza Haroon said in a press conference in Karachi.
They also called for the chief justice to take notice of the situation.
Raza Haroon also attended the Protest Sit In added that a delegation of the MQM’s Rabita Committee will visit Quetta tomorrow and meet with members of the Hazara community.
In Lahore, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan joined protesters gathered outside Punjab Governor house.
Imran voiced solidarity with the Hazara community and announced that he will also be visiting Quetta on Sunday.Imran Khan ,
Liaqat Baloch also endorsed the demand of Resignation of the Balochistan Government .
Pushtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party also endorsed
Tahir ul Qadri at the Opening Ceremony of His Long March towards Islamabad, condemned the Quetta Bomb Blast and asked for the Dissolution of Balochistan Assemblies before his arrival to the Islamabad .
Meanwhile Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif urged the government to evolve a viable strategy for elimination of terrorism.
In a statement he said that incidents in Quetta and Swat are very tragic.
However, in Rawalpindi, where the military’s headquarters are located, there was silence. There was no word from the military that has been called upon to take over Quetta and which has been critised by many in the past 48 hours.
An ISPR official said the army can be called in by the civil administration and the provincial government.