LAHORE: Funeral prayers for nine victims of the suicide attacks in the Lower Mall area were offered at Nasser Bagh on Thursday.
Thousands of Shia Muslims gathered at the site of the first of Wednesday night’s blasts at Karbala Gamay Shah in the morning. There was a small skirmish between the mourners and police guards deployed for security when they were not allowed to move towards Nasser Bagh.
However, after talks with DCO Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta and Lahore revenue commissioner Khusru Pervaiz, the mourners were allowed to take the funeral procession to Nasser Bagh.
They carried the bodies of Kashif, Ali, Tayyab Raza, Ahmed Ali, Asghar Ali, Ali Hussain, Ghulam Sadiq, Mubarik Ali and Qasim through the streets while shouting slogans denouncing the security forces, government and the violent extremists who carried out the attacks.
Police barriers and barbed wire blocked roads leading off the Lower Mall all the way from Bhatti to Nasser Bagh. A walkthrough security gate was installed at the entry of Nasser Bagh where police personnel frisked each mourner. After the funeral prayers, the bodies were taken in ambulances to graveyards in Mominpura, Ghaziabad and Taxali and buried there.
Fida Hussain, a mourner, told The Express Tribune that he saw the suicide attacks at Karbala Gamay Shah and Data Darbar as a sign that the world was coming to an end. “We need to seek Divine forgiveness before it is too late,” he said.
Zahid Shah, another mourner, blamed poor security arrangements for the blasts and accused the security services of not caring about ordinary citizens. “Why do such security lapses not happen when they are guarding the chief minister or president or other government officials?” he said.
Agha Syed Haider Moosvi led the funeral prayers, which were also attended by the DCO. Imam Khomeini Trust chief Allama Iftikhar Hussain Naqvi said on the occasion that the blasts were an “international conspiracy to fan sectarianism” in Pakistan and Sunni and Shia sects should unite to thwart the “heinous design”.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2010.
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