Sectarian violence: Strike observed in parts of Quetta

Published: September 21, 2011
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Shia Muslims shout slogans as they carry coffins of their community members during a funeral ceremony in Quetta on September 21, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Shia Muslims shout slogans as they carry coffins of their community members during a funeral ceremony in Quetta on September 21, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: A complete shutter-down strike is being observed in parts of Quetta to protest the killing of 26 pilgrims in Mastung on Tuesday.

The strike is being observed on the call of Ittehad-e-Tajirin Balochistan, Hazara Democratic Party and Tahafuz-e-Azadari Council.

Shops located on Alamdar Road, Hazara Town and Mariabad have been closed, while tension prevails in most areas.

A seven day mourning had also been announced by Tahafaz-e-Azadari Council, Wahdat Bainul Muslimeen and Shia Ulema Council.

Police have also arrested several suspects, many of them Afghans, in a crackdown against those involved in the attack in the Mastung area.

Nazir Ahmad Kurd, senior police officer, told AFP that 85 people had been taken into custody during a search operation to find the attackers.

“These people have been taken into custody for questioning. Those proven innocent will be released later,” Kurd told said.

22 buried in Hazara Town

Twenty-two pilgrims who were killed in the attack were buried at the Hazara Town graveyard in Quetta today.

A large number of people attended the burial, which was followed by a protest to condemn the incident and demand the immediate arrest of the culprits.

Out of the 26 killed, 22 belonged to Quetta, two were from Loralai and two from Afghanistan.

The bodies of those belonging to Loralai and Afghanistan have been sent to their respective areas.

HRCP slams government over killings

Pakistan’s independent rights watchdog said the killers had been emboldened by a persistent lack of action against sectarian militant groups, which have been implicated in thousands of deaths in past years.

Tuesday’s attack “exposes once again the diminishing writ of the state,” warned the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

“Continued sectarian bloodshed across the country… is a direct consequence of the authorities’ perpetual failure to take note of sectarian killings in Quetta which have been going on for many years,” it added.

It was the deadliest attack on Shias in Pakistan since September 4, 2010 when a suicide bomber killed at least 57 people at a rally in Quetta.

“The government must move beyond rhetoric and its current casual and reactive approach to law and order challenges and start functioning as a responsible authority,” said the HRCP.

The Shia community in Balochistan came under attack when 29 people were killed in two separate, targeted incidents claimed by banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

At least 26 people were killed and six others injured in Ganjidori area of Mastung, about 30 kilometres southeast of Quetta, when a group of armed men attacked a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Quetta to Iran.

Hours later, three more people, hailing from the Hazara community, were gunned down near Akhtarabad area of Quetta as their rescue team made its way to the site of the bus attack. Two others were also shot.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • AD
    Sep 21, 2011 - 1:59PM

    Does killers have brains? How can killing make God happy?

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  • Tauqir Fatima
    Sep 21, 2011 - 3:17PM

    “Sectarian Violence” ???? Isn’t that the Hazara Shia community that have been the target of Pakistani Talibans? There seems to be terrorists killing the innocents one sided …..where is the violence?

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  • Faraz
    Sep 21, 2011 - 3:54PM

    They got brain but their brains are washed

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  • atiqeullah hamidi
    Sep 21, 2011 - 4:33PM

    plz help hazaras in quetta.Recommend

  • murassa sanaullah
    Sep 21, 2011 - 4:48PM

    what is happennig to Baluchistan, i went to this rugged province in 85. a provinvince though xtremely engulfed in povery yet the people were rich inheart, i was the only women in khuzdar with5 or 6 baluchis and ofcourse my husband but not for amoment ifelt scared, ican never forget the hospitality of miners in much ,oh. plz dear baluchis kick out these terrorist ,i know a comman baluchi is of great character, i do hope Baluchistan would again be peaceful like in 85, this can only be done by a comman baluchi not by sardars. only by having good education and kicking out the sardari system baluchi’s can change thier life, plz don’t wait for the goverment come forward work for peace.
    and prosperitry/

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  • maawan
    Sep 21, 2011 - 5:19PM

    who told u that they r doing this to please God. Their purpose is to take revenge from a govt which is an ally to US in her killing of the families of these terrorists. Don’t make it a religious matter to defame Islam in the world. These pilgrims are as innocent as the families of the tribal people who are killed during this war. one cannot fight an ideology with weapon. we have to find the root cause of the problem. The time has proved that our policy to join this foreign war which has reached or has been made to reach our home, was not based upon wisdom and national interest, but upon the interest of a dictator and fear of the big power and its continuation by the current rulers for the same reasons.

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  • Syed Jay
    Sep 21, 2011 - 6:08PM

    Is it justified for 20% shia population of Pakistan to get even against any ‘suspects’ and their appologists; just like they do everything in the name of ‘revenge of drones’,

    a. can shia call this response a revenge of bus attacks??

    b. Is it politically correct to say so on national media?

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  • Ah
    Sep 21, 2011 - 8:01PM

    @AD:
    All that the killer wants is 72 virgins and 28 gilmans.
    This is really crazy.

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  • Syed
    Sep 21, 2011 - 11:28PM

    This is not sectarian violence, media should stop calling it that. The LeJ and Talibans have no relation whatsoever with Islam. They don’t even spare any sunni clerik who condemns their actions, they target sufi shrines and mosques. would you call the attack on Data Darbar as sectarian violence? no! so why this.. so please let go of ‘sectarian’ and call it a terrorist attack!

    Stop exploiting us one the basis of language, religion or sect! treat us as Pakistanis for God’s sake.

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  • Mustafa
    Sep 21, 2011 - 11:41PM

    so sad. shame on those who dont raise their voices against this stupidity.

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  • Daniel Azad
    Sep 22, 2011 - 12:55AM

    God safe the hazaras!

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  • Syed A Shah
    Sep 26, 2011 - 3:22AM

    From the first day of Eid (2011) till today (date of my article post), in just a months time we have three big attacks with many casualties. Has any one heard of a response attack. If no, then we should call these incidents an act of Terrorism. If it still does not justifying the innocence of Hazara then read through the news about all the incidents and guess what, you will find that all the victims were busy doing their own stuff when killed (none of them were armed).

    Chanting, crying, shouting, and protesting now don’t get anyone’s attention. Now if you put yourself in the shoes of Hazara and think of attacks in your neighborhood, I rather say attacks after attacks and no action from any agency in the world (there is no hope from Government) what would your instincts would do? (as a father) (as a mother) (as a brother) (as husband) (as wife) (as son) (as daughter) (as a Grandfather).

    There is another dimension as well when we say “the war is one sided”.
    Hazara is in minority in Quetta, with no political Seats, and are Shia Muslims, With no assets (like Gas and oil) that can generate revenue to buy weapons and establish their own security force.

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