QUETTA: A complete shutter-down was witnessed across Balochistan on Friday due to a strike call by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leaders against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.
Business activities came to a standstill across Balochistan and traffic flow was thin in the provincial capital.
Government and private schools, colleges and universities were closed in major cities of Balochistan while the protesters blocked Quetta-Karachi Highway and suspended all traffic.
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The TLP and JUI-F staged rallies in Quetta, Khuzdar, Dalbandin, Duki, Kalat, Khuzdar, Chaman and other major cities of the province.
“The acquittal of Aasia Bibi is completely against our Constitution,” said JUI-F’s Mufti Abu Bakar while addressing protesters in the Khaliqabad district of Kalat. “The ruling party has exploited the sentiments of the Muslim nation in order to please the western countries.”
He warned that the protesters would not leave the roads until the Supreme Court reversed its judgement in Aasia’s case.
In Quetta, dozens of protesters staged a sit-in at Manan Chowk.
The protesters, carrying banners and placards, chanted slogans against the government.
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“Following the directions of our leadership, we have staged a sit-in in Quetta and it will continue until the government rearrests Aasia,” said TLP and JUI-F leaders while addressing protesters.
The provincial government imposed Section 144 in Quetta and Gwadar to halt any untoward situation. Pillion riding has also been banned for seven days.
However, hundreds of protesters staged a rally and demonstration in Dukki against Aasia’s acquittal, calling the judgement as weakness of the central government.
Maulvi Shair Jan Dumar, Maulvi Jan Muhammad Haqqani, Maulvi Musa Jan and other leaders addressed the protesters, terming Aasia’s acquittal a conspiracy hatched by the US and western powers.
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