The Central Traders Association (CTA), a joint representative body of various trader organisations of the city, called for a three-day shutter-down strike in protest over Saturday’s terror attack. The call was given by CTA president Sharafat Ali Mubarik and is to be observed from Saturday to Monday.
The bomb, planted in Mohallah Baqir Shah Meena Bazaar’s Chishtia Mosque, exploded around 1pm while locals were offering their afternoon prayers. Six people, including chief cleric Syed Hussain Shah, were killed in the blast. Soon after the explosion, business activities in Meena Bazaar, Shaheen Bazaar and Koochi Bazaar came to a complete halt.
“People come to the mosque seeking refuge from worldly worries, but the terrorists are not even sparing us in God’s home,” said Amjid Khan, President of Meena Bazaar. Khan claimed no threats had been made prior to the attack.
Residents in the area were particularly upset over the police’s ineffectiveness in stopping terrorist attacks, claiming militants would not be able to bring explosives into a mosque if they performed their duties faithfully.
The three bazaars are the main business hubs in the city where foreign fabrics, cosmetics and other items are supplied from Bara and Jamrud sub-divisions of Khyber Agency.
Haji Sattar, a local trader, accused police personnel deployed at the entry points of bazaars of making thousands of rupees on a daily basis by taking bribes from smugglers.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2013.
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