Residents of Shikarpur are on their way to Karachi to stage a protest outside Chief Minister House on Tuesday.
Led by members of the Shuhda Committee, the families started their march from Shikarpur on Sunday afternoon.
Sources claim that there are more than a hundred men, women and children in 55 vehicles on their way to Karachi along with the deputy secretary of the Majlis-e-Wahday-e-Muslimeen, Allama Amin Shaheedi, chairperson of the Shuhda Committee Allama Maqsood Domki and others. They left Shikarpur at 3:30pm shouting slogans against the government and militants. They reached Sukkur around 4:30pm and held a demonstration at Minara Road.
Shaheedi condemned the federal and Sindh governments on their failure to root out militants in the province. He said that the government was helpless and Shikarpur had been a prime target of these militants for a while. He added that the government was doing nothing to stop this.
According to Domki, the Shikarpur blast was a failure of the provincial government and police. He said that 15 days had gone by but the police had not been able to identify the culprits. He added that the Sindh government was not taking the 14-demand agenda seriously, forcing them to think of a new strategy. “Nothing is secret from the government and its intelligence agencies,” he said. “Then what is stopping the government from taking any action against the militants?”
The protesters were escorted to the Haideri Mosque in Old Sukkur when the prayer leader, Allama Ali Bux Sajadi, criticised the provincial government and its ministers. “Despite the fact that more than 60 men were killed, the government has yet to take action against those behind the blast,” he said. “We will continue to protest till our demands are met.”
While talking to The Express Tribune, Domki said that this was not the first time Shikarpur was targeted. He said that five incidents had taken place in the district in the last decade.
“We have told the government of our demands,” he said. “The ball is in their court. We will spend the night in Ranipur and proceed for Bhit Shah on Monday. We shall reach Karachi on Tuesday and will first pay a visit to the Quaid’s mausoleum.” He added that they would then proceed to the chief minister’s house.
A powerful bomb tore through a crowded Imambargah on January 30 during Friday prayers in a densely populated neighbourhood of Shikarpur city, killing at least 62 worshippers and wounding many more.
The blast at Karbala-e-Moalla Imambargah in the Lakhidar area was the deadliest sectarian attack since the government introduced a new National Action Plan dubbed a paradigm shift in the country’s long, deadly and costly fight against terrorism.
The prayer leader, Maulvi Tanveer Hussain Shah, was delivering the Friday sermon when the bomb went off on the ground floor, according to witnesses.
The explosion was heard in several neighbourhoods of the city. The blast was caused by eight kilogrammes worth of explosives.
The sleepy town of Shikarpur was not prepared for such an incident. Unlike Karachi, where imambargahs, mosques and other places of worship have top-notch security, there was none in the streets of the bazaar where the blast took place.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2015.
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