KARACHI: Protests and symbolic sit-ins to express solidarity with the victims of last week’s twin bomb blasts in Parachinar continued on Thursday in Karachi as the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) and leftist organisations took to streets despite the rain.
The MWM held a rally from Mehfil-e-Shah-e-Khorasan till Numaish Chowrangi after the Maghribain prayers. The participants of the rally staged a symbolic sit-in at Numaish Chowangi as they did during Eid.
As of now, the death toll in the two back-to-back blasts last Friday targeting the alQuds rally in the Turi Market area and the hospital where the deceased and injured were being shifted to after the first blast has reportedly risen to 75. The wounds of 100 others are still being treated.
The participants of the sit-in chanted slogans in support of the victims and demanded the government and army chief take action against the terrorist organisations responsible for the carnage and security officials who failed to thwart the terrorists’ plan.
MWM Information Secretary Syed Ali Ahmer told The Express Tribune that the party’s central command has called a country-wide protest on Friday during which the participants will wear black bands on their arms to express their anger over the incident and sympathy with the victims.
“No government official has visited the victims since the blast,” Ahmer lamented, adding that the victims’ and their families’ demand for the removal of two military officials from commanding posts in Kurram Agency and handing over the security affairs to the local Kurram Militia should be met.
Earlier in the evening, activists from the National Student Federation, non-governmental organisations and civil society staged a protest demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club and chanted in favor of the demands put forward by the heirs of the victims of the Parachinar blast.
Civil rights campaigner and left-wing political activist Naghma Iqtidar, who among others led the protest, said her organisation and other likeminded organisations express solidarity with the victims of religious fanaticism in Parachinar through their on-foot rally from the Arts Council of Pakistan to the Karachi Press Club.
“Our demands are the same as those of the victims. They have been victimised for too long. Every time the authorities pledge security to them but in the end they get more terrorist attacks,” Iqtidar said, adding that a widespread protest movement will be initiated against the government if it does not accept the victims’ demands.