Quetta tragedy: Pakistan protests against Shia killings

Political parties voice solidarity with Hazaras. MQM delegation, PTI chief to visit Quetta on Sunday.

Afp/web Desk/reuters January 12, 2013
Shia Muslims demonstrate and sit amongst the coffins and portraits of bomb blast victims in Quetta on January 12, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: People from across the country staged protests in their respective cities on Saturday against the targeted killings of Shias in several attacks, including two blasts in Quetta on Thursday that left over a 100 dead.

The protest in Karachi was staged at Karachi Press Club, while the protest in Islamabad was held at F-6 Supermarket. A demonstration was also held at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk.

Meanwhile protesters gathered in Quetta under the Unity council continued their sit-in at Alamdar road for a second successive night, vowing to remain there till the situation improves.

Political parties support protesters

Political parties also came out to express support for Quetta's under attack community.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement said on Saturday that it supported the Hazara community's plea for giving Quetta under army control. "If army control is not legally possible, then give Quetta under governor rule," MQM's Raza Haroon said in a press conference in Karachi.

They also called for the chief justice to take notice of the situation.

Haroon added that a delegation of the MQM's Rabita Committee will visit Quetta tomorrow and meet with members of the Hazara community.

In Lahore, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan joined protesters gathered outside Punjab Governor house.

Imran voiced solidarity with the Hazara community and announced that he will also be visiting Quetta on Sunday.

Meanwhile Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif urged the government to evolve a viable strategy for elimination of terrorism.

In a statement he said that incidents in Quetta and Swat are very tragic.

Pakistani twitter users also generated trends #ShiaGenocide and #WeAreAllHazara to express solidarity with the minority community.

Top tweets:

Bakhtawar Bhutto Z

Speechless. Sick of merely condoling + condemning. Individual lives turned 2 statistics. No words will suffice. #Quetta #ShiaGenocide.

Arzak Khan

Those who make #peaceful #revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable #Quetta #ShiaGenocide

Ali Salman Alvi 

For the very first time seeing over 500 people at Liberty Roundabout#Lahore. Encouraging scenes. #ShiaGenocide #Quetta

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Request leaders at Alamdar road sit-in not to give up till concrete steps taken. Hollow promises, too many! #WeareAllHazara#ShiaGenocide


Picture by twitter user @mightyobvious shows the protest held in Islamabad against the Shia killings

Quetta sit-in continues, bodies decomposing

The Shia community's sit-in entered the second day as members braved cold and rain as they sat on Quetta streets with coffins of those killed in Thursday's deadly bombings, demanding that the military seize control of the provincial capital and protect the Muslim minority community.

Shia leaders also told Reuters they would not allow the victims of two bomb attacks in Quetta on Thursday to be buried until their demands were met. After the passage of two days with lack of response from the government, the bodies started decomposing.

Express News correspondent Arif Mahmood reported even as the protest continued into the early hours of Saturday, the protesters had been in negotiations with the deputy commissioner and FC personnel.

Husnain Baloch, a local at the protests told The Express Tribune that people were staging a sit-in on Alamdar road, near Thursday's blast, braving heavy rain and cold.

MNA Syed Nasir Shah, talking to Express News lashed out at the government for being incapable of hindering the terrorists. “Either the government has failed or it is supporting them [terrorists],” he said.

Calling in the army

“The government machinery has failed, there is no protection for people in Quetta,” local Shia party official Hashim Mausawi told AFP.

“We will not end our protest until we get an assurance that the Pakistan army will take over security and administrative control in Quetta.”

Senior administration official Hashim Ghilzai told AFP, “We had discussions with them until late last night and I am now going there to resume negotiations with them today. We are trying to convince them to end the protest.”

It was up to the government to decide if it wants to call in troops, he added.

A Shia Muslim leader publicly criticised Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani over the security in the country.

"I ask the army chief: what have you done with these extra three years you got (in office)? What did you give us except more death?" Maulana Amin Shaheedi, who heads a national council of Shia organisations, told a news conference. His statements highlighted Shia community's frustrations with Pakistan's failure to contain militant groups who have vowed to wipe out Shias.


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ishrat salim | 11 years ago | Reply

@Naseer Ahmad:

Why to be afraid of when constitution clause 234 has allowed for calling Army in aid of civilian govt ?

This is the only institution which will stand to save the country as all these politicians will packup & runaway...no, no NOT this time..insha Allah. Peoples court will hang them & their supporters....

Final Solution | 11 years ago | Reply

Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudry should be removed from his postion for failing to take suo moto action against killing of shias in quetta. Occupy Supreme Court Movement to be initiated.

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