PM Ashraf to meet Shias refusing to bury dead in Quetta

Published: January 13, 2013
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Prime Minister Ashraf arrived Sunday in Quetta to meet Shia Muslim families refusing to bury their dead after devastating bombings. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Prime Minister Ashraf arrived Sunday in Quetta to meet Shia Muslim families refusing to bury their dead after devastating bombings. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

QUETTA: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf arrived Sunday in Quetta to meet Shia Muslim families refusing to bury their dead after devastating bombings, officials said.

At least 92 people were killed and 121 wounded Thursday in twin suicide attacks claimed by militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in an area dominated by Shias from the Hazara ethnic minority.

It was the worst ever sectarian attack on Shias, who account for around 20 per cent of Pakistan’s 180 million people and are regularly targeted for attack by extremists.

Shia families have refused to bury their dead and vowed to continue a sit-in protest with thousands of others until the army takes over security in the city.

They have been sitting in the open with the bodies for the past 48 hours.

“Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has arrived in Quetta, he will meet the leaders of the Hazara community,” a senior government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The prime minister telephoned Law Minister Farooq H Naek seeking his legal advice over imposing governor rule in Quetta and calling in the army to control the law and order situation, reported Express News.

The premier asked him to deliberate on the two options so that the government can take a decision.

An AFP reporter said up to 8,000 people including women and children had gathered at the protest and faced a cold night in the open with the coffins of more than 60 of the dead.

“Quetta has become a killing field and we are protesting to stop target killings,” said a protester who identified himself as Ali Raza.

“None of my relative was killed, but I am here to support the families who have lost their loved ones, and they have been sitting in the open in this harsh weather for the past 48 hours,” Raza said.

Nadir Ali, an elder of the Hazara Shias, said the prime minister should sack the provincial government and impose federal rule in Balochistan province, handing over security to the army.

“We will not hold talks with anyone from the provincial government because they have never listened to us in the past despite a spate of killings. We will talk to the prime minister only and demand imposition of governor’s rule,” he said.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Voice of D.I.Khan
    Jan 13, 2013 - 1:26PM

    There’s no justice in Pak right now.Recommend

  • Ammar
    Jan 13, 2013 - 1:28PM

    Thank You Excellency! for your time so early

    Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 13, 2013 - 1:36PM

    What is the guarantee that if the protesters after meeting the Prime Minister burry their dead loved ones, the will be no other blast in Quetta?

    The assurance of Prime Minister of Pakistan has no significance value in view of the continuous suicide bombing and blasts that takes place in every nook and corner in Pakistan every day and without fail.

    Recommend

  • AA
    Jan 13, 2013 - 1:49PM

    Like CM Balochistan, PM Pakistan is also powerless

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  • Jenai dau
    Jan 13, 2013 - 1:51PM

    What on earth is he going to talk about…ask the army to take swift action against these animals..people like mullah omer reside in quetta.Take Action Now!!

    Recommend

  • Chauvinistic Rookie
    Jan 13, 2013 - 1:57PM

    Welcome to Balochistan, the neglected state of Islamic Republic Of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • HSK
    Jan 13, 2013 - 2:05PM

    @Jenai dau: Stop dragging army in this policing issue. Armies are not there to protect sectarian killings. Armies are there to ensure sovereignty and protecting borders from foreign enemies and invaders.

    *Ask those very politicians for whom you voted to dance on your heads for five years. These very politicians place/post people in civilian intelligence agencies i.e. IB (Intelligence Bureau) whose job is to provide intelligence to police authorities to avert and STOP such attach. Sorry, I forget they also choose every SHO and constable in every police station within their constituency.

    This is indeed, no doubt a very sad incident in which human lives were taken as if there is absolutely no value of it.

    Recommend

  • Jan 13, 2013 - 2:30PM

    Our rulers are an insult to the beasts.

    I love democracy, but if someone wraps up this democracy which is not even able to console the families of those more than 7 dozen unburied corpses in Quetta, I will never shed a single tear, for this sham democracy. This callousness has never ever been witnessed by the sky from the so called human beings. To call our rulers as human beings is an insult to the beasts.

    Recommend

  • Ghazanfar Raza
    Jan 13, 2013 - 2:58PM

    Extracts from http://tribune.com.pk/story/470740/our-gaza-our-karbala/

    A people who are defenceless, innocent, out-powered and outgunned are being attacked and killed while the world watches. However, the world does not watch in silence. Worse, excuses are being made for the killers. The victim is being blamed. The murdered has brought it upon him. Can it be termed a war if only one side does all the killing? Nothing has been done to provoke the aggressor, yet it remains provoked, because it wants to be provoked, because it can. Innocent women and children murdered in cold blood. Even before the killing takes place, the apologists have the script ready. Sounds familiar, all of this, does it not? A state of affairs that is easy to condemn. It seems not.

    All conditions of systematic race murder are present right here at home. Shias are being killed through an orchestrated scheme. They are being killed for the reason of being Shia, for existing. The apologists are making excuses for the killing. Do not call it “genocide”. There are so many other people killed in Pakistan, Karachi everyday why do you focus exclusively on the Shias? Then there are apologies and excuses which come in the garb of pseudo-nationalism and inclusive rhetoric along the lines why do you insist on calling them “Shia” Muslim, let us just say Pakistanis/Muslims are being killed.

    In the recent past, there has been a lot of discussion and rightly so on the reluctance to name the enemy directly by political leadership. In case of the sectarian murderous organisations, the unwillingness and fear is even more palpable. How many times have you heard any mainstream political leader condemn the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), ASWJ or the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) by name? How many times has the need of a crackdown on these terror outfits been publicly discussed by the media? Well, I say let us discuss it now. Let us do it now. The media, in many cases, does not even mention the sectarian affiliations of those murdered. The television channels give the leaders of these banned, sectarian outfits more time than to the victims. The point of view of the murderer is the dominant view, the only view.

    The talk of courage by political parties sounds hollow, when there is complete silence on the issue of these sectarian militant organisations. There are reasons for that, they are afraid of the TTP, yet it is still distant (it should not be, but unfortunately that is the perception). The SSP/ASWJ and LeJ are within us, political parties have affiliations, arrangements, there are votes to be gained and lost. Then there is also fear.
    The Punjab government has a lot to answer for on this question. The Punjab law minister when questioned about publicly consorting with these outfits almost responded by saying everyone does it. Malik Ishaq was reportedly paid a stipend for the time he was in custody and later on acquitted by our independent judiciary, partially because of poor prosecution.
    The Punjab law minister has outdone himself now. When asked about the attacks on the recent procession in Rawalpindi, he advised Shias not to hold processions publicly because that makes them a target. He should be fired for making this vile statement. Strongly implied in the statement was that Shia Muslims provoke the ASWJ and the LeJ by mourning in public, by merely existing

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jan 13, 2013 - 3:20PM

    If he goes and tenders his resignation to them ( the people ) he may salvage some self respect but his governments failure and accompanying shamelessness will remain.

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  • John B
    Jan 13, 2013 - 3:21PM

    Families refusing to bury their loved ones

    If this act does not move PAK, nothing will, never.

    Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Jan 13, 2013 - 3:32PM

    @Jenai dau:
    Mullah Omer has nothing to do with this killing when Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has already claimed responsibility…

    Recommend

  • Haseen
    Jan 13, 2013 - 6:30PM

    @HSK:
    Absolutely true we brought these people in the name of democracy and now we are paying the price. Whenever army saves this country from these animals we ridicule them.

    Recommend

  • Pakistan Lover
    Jan 13, 2013 - 10:07PM

    The Supreme Court had observed in October 2012 that “the Provincial Government of Balochistan has lost its right of Governance”.
    Why this Government has not been dissolved ???
    Were they waiting for these incidences to flare up??

    Recommend

  • Z
    Jan 13, 2013 - 11:05PM

    I am FED UP with the state of affairs in Pakistan!!! Is there no end to it?! Everyday there’s a new crisis. For god’s sake, just end already!

    Recommend

  • Mubarak Khan
    Jan 14, 2013 - 3:41AM

    I say put a 100k price on any person who self-identifies as Taliban insurgent. Put them on the defensive. Their lot should be the same as any person or entity that murders in the name of religion or some wacky ideology. Safe the money on nukes and F-16s – this is a better strategy at this stage.

    Recommend

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