LAHORE: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has announced a day of mourning for Wednesday against violent clashes between the Punjab police and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) supporters in Lahore.
However, later in the day, the Rabita Committee said that while it will observe a day of mourning, it urged businesses and transporters to continue their routine activities.
“Party leaders and workers will hoist black flags,” Nasir Jamal told Express Tribune.
“We took the decision to call back the closure of transport and business activities after people from the different walks of life, especially traders and transporters appealed us,” says MQM deputy convener Nasir Jamal while talking to The Express Tribune.
Traders and transporters welcomed the decision of the MQM, “We are thankful of the MQM for giving us time and listened our woes,” said Karachi Transport Ittehad chairman Irshad Bukhari.
Meanwhile, All Karachi Tajir Ittehad chairman Atiq Mir said “Karachi has already been faced massive economic losses and it is a good decision by MQM to call back the closure of business activities in Karachi.”
Earlier on Tuesday, at least eight people were killed, while 97 others were injured, including 28 police personnel, in the clashes which erupted outside Dr Tahirul Qadri’s house in Model Town Colony, Lahore.
MQM leader Farooq Sattar, while speaking to the media in Lahore on Tuesday, stated the actions of the police were “undemocratic and barbaric.”
Condemning the clash, Sattar also said that this incident was not a good message from the Punjab government.
MQM Deputy Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi expressing sentiments similar to that of Sattar, stated that the protest of the PAT workers was peaceful.
Siddiqi added that the MQM, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) had boycotted the Punjab Assembly in protest against the clash.
PTI’s Punjab president Ejaz Chaudhry, while speaking to Express News, demanded an apology from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Chaudhry also said that the Punjab government was responsible for this incident, adding that there was no justification for such an incident to take place.
Following the incident, PML-Q Punjab president Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi spoke adversely against the Punjab government at a press conference in Lahore.
He remarked that the days of the provincial government were numbered.
Condemning the incident, he said that the PAT workers were shot at ruthlessly.
Express News screengrab of PML-Q Punjab president Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi addressing a press conference in Lahore.
“The rulers are playing with the lives of innocent people,” he further commented.
Elahi stated that “there was no need for a judicial commission, everyone knows who ordered the police to open fire.”
He also said that many of the injured are in critical condition, further stating the death toll may rise.
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad told Express News the clash in Lahore was an “act of oppression, terrorism and barbarism.”
Mocking the Punjab government, the AML chief stated sarcastically that “this was the real face of democracy.”