Bus massacre: G-B students, Shia organisations protest Kohistan killings

Published: February 29, 2012

Protesters blocking traffic on Islamabad Expressway. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID

ISLAMABAD: 

Hundreds of students from Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and activists of Imamia Students Organisation and Wahadat-ul-Muslimeen blocked Islamabad Expressway on Tuesday for over three hours. They were protesting against the killings of passengers in an attack on a bus that took place in Kohistan on Tuesday.

The majority of people killed were from the Shia community of G-B and militant outfit Jundullah has claimed responsibility for the killings.

Traffic on the expressway remained suspended as protesters burned tires and moved heavy concrete blocks onto the highway, bringing traffic between Rawalpindi and Islamabad to a halt.

“We condemn the killing of innocent people at the hands of terrorists and inadequate security measures by the government,” said Wahadat-ul-Muslimeen (WuM) Rawalpindi Secretary General Agha Amin Shaheedi.

Prominent Shia leaders spearheading the protests warned of a march in front of the Parliament House building next Friday if the government fails to nab those responsible for the killings.

“We have decided to hold a protest march towards the Parliament on Friday after prayers and we will protest the killing of innocent Shia people,” said an ISO spokesperson. He said it was worrying that armed men attacked a bus full of innocent passengers and easily fled without being detected.

A number of people from G-B come to the twin cities to work and for higher education. Every day, dozens of people travel between Rawalpindi and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), through public and private transport services.

Although the slogan-chanting students and activists remained peaceful, contingents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad police were deployed to maintain law and order. The police restored traffic on the overhead Faizabad Bridge and link roads along the highway. However, the main expressway remained blocked till late in the evening.

Agha Shifa Najafi of Imam Bargah Al-Sadiq in Sector G-9/2, while condemning the killings of innocent people by militants, asked the protesters to remain peaceful. The government, he said, appears helpless before people who are openly taking people’s lives.

The protestors dispersed peacefully after staying on the roads for over three hours. However, they vowed to return if the killers of the bus passengers were not arrested.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • osama
    Feb 29, 2012 - 10:52AM

    We strongly condemn this incident.. Its a great loss for Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • adam
    Feb 29, 2012 - 3:46PM

    It may be the result of a suni mulavi injured in Khomar area in Gilgit.

    Recommend

  • shab
    Feb 29, 2012 - 10:40PM

    @adam, dont try to spread this type of your thinking………this is not sectarian case, only few brand terrorist playing in the hand of enemy of Islam. Recommend

  • Noise
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:03PM

    @shab
    If its not a sectarian case then why did the murderers check the ID cards of their victims and kill only those whose names seemed Shia-like to them? Those innocents were martyred for their beliefs.

    @adam
    Its movlies who preach takfir that are the threat to the people. What is more monstrous and unjustifiable, the killing of a man involved in spreading fitna or killing the killing of an innocent people?

    Recommend

  • Apr 1, 2012 - 6:53PM

    It is not any sectarian problem, those were humans and muslims, and were killed by the millitants, well, the solution of every problem, is an islamic society build up what the people of the area wants, a true islamic society can only bring up love and brotherhood among the people, when the people dont get justice this events happensRecommend

  • fatima
    Apr 8, 2012 - 11:52AM

    we strongly condemn ths incidentRecommend

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