Weapon licenses to be issued to Shia mosques, imambargahs: Sindh CM

Published: February 19, 2015
At least 61 people were killed and 50 others injured in an explosion at an imambargah in Shikarpur on Friday. PHOTO: AFP

At least 61 people were killed and 50 others injured in an explosion at an imambargah in Shikarpur on Friday. PHOTO: AFP

At least 61 people were killed and 50 others injured in an explosion at an imambargah in Shikarpur on Friday. PHOTO: AFP Victims’ families end sit-in after Sindh government accepts charter of demands. PHOTO: TOOBA MASOOD/EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh chief minister announced on Thursday that the government would issue weapon licenses to all seminaries, imambargahs and mosques belonging to the Shia sect – one of the 25 demands put forth by families of the victims of the Shikarpur blast.

The protesting families ended their sit-in on Thursday after the Sindh government agreed to accept their charter of demands. At least 61 people were killed when an imambargah was attacked in Shikarpur during Friday prayers on January 30, 2015.

Addressing a joint press conference with Shikarpur Shuhda Committee head Allama Maqsood Domki, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced that the provincial government would refer the case to a military court, adding that a joint investigation team (JIT) would be formed to probe into the incident.

“An operation under the supervision of the apex committee will be conducted by police and Rangers against banned organisations, and other extremist elements who are inciting terrorism in Shikarpur, and others districts,” said Shah.

The press conference was held after a meeting between the Committee and the Sindh government at the Chief Minister House.

Flanked by Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, the chief minister said the names of the suspects revealed by the committee would also be added to the FIR, and an inquiry update of the JIT would be shared with them.

During the press conference, Allama Domki diverted the chief minister’s attention towards encroachment by some extremists groups on government properties, who, he said, are creating anarchy in the name of religious activities.

Shah announced that the government would initiate a crackdown against these elements and reclaim the illegal occupation.

“Some banned outfits have also started activities in Sindh. They are involved in targeted killings and other criminal activities,” Shah said. “The Sindh government has decided to begin a crackdown against them, along with removing their banners, posters, flags, as well as wall chalking.”

The meeting also decided to name one of the roundabouts in Shikarpur as “Shuhda-e-Karbala.”

Another demand put forth to the government was to the Visal TV channel, which they claimed was lobbying against the Shia community.

The chief minister assured them that the provincial government would write to Pemra to lodge a complaint against the TV channel.

“We have demanded to enhance the compensation to those who lost their family members in terrorist incidents,” Domki said.

The meeting also decided to take action against foreigners, including Chechen, Uzbek, Afghani and Tajik nationals, who are found to be involved in terrorist activities in the province.

“We have also decided to give government jobs to the victims’ families and those victims who have now become disabled would be accommodated in 5% quota for disabled persons,” said Shah.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Feb 19, 2015 - 3:52PM

    Please send baldia town arson case to military court, since it bigger tragedy than shikarpur blast.Recommend

  • Raisani
    Feb 19, 2015 - 6:43PM

    Chacha Qaim Ali Shah has woke up guys!!!Recommend

  • MA
    Feb 19, 2015 - 6:47PM

    Allowing people to carry licenced weapons exhibits Sindh govt’s impotency in dealing with extremism. Pakistani’s deserve such politicians to rule them..Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 19, 2015 - 6:59PM

    Tom, there is only one Baldia Town case, whereas there are many Shikarpurs;
    There are already 4 attacks on Imam Bargahs since the beginning of this year and last yr was in front of you.

    I am not saying that Baldia Town case should not be tried in military courts, yes it should be; But one must not compare the tragedy of ongoing Shia Genocide with such generic mishaps. What happened in Baldia factory is indeed very tragic – and treacherous on part of the MQM; but the ongoing shia killings are even more tragic, dangerous and ruthless. It reflects the depravity of the entire nations which is at forefront in condemning killings in Palestine, Myanmar etc. but keep their mum when it comes to shia genocide..

    We must stand united in such times; there is no shia, sunnie, brailvi, etc etc. but Muslim and Pakistani and above all Humans.Recommend

  • Khalid Shaikh
    Feb 19, 2015 - 7:06PM

    So the incompetent government will not try to stop those who spew hatred and incite violence against other sects and minorities, but give Shias weapons so they can play Counter Strike!!!!Recommend

  • abc
    Feb 19, 2015 - 7:26PM

    CM should look into the cause of such incidents and investigate/apprehend the culprits hiding somewhere in the country. Try them in the military courts along with the culprits of baldia townRecommend

  • Abbas
    Feb 19, 2015 - 7:29PM

    There were attacks on Sunni mosques too, please issue those licenses to them too.Recommend

  • 2Paisa (Khi)
    Feb 19, 2015 - 7:41PM

    You don’t fire with fire. Giving Shia organisations weapons will just lead to more militias being formed, the Sunnia militias will arm themselves with bigger weapons and this cycle will not end.

    This just proves that our governments learnt nothing from the Afghan war. And then we complain about government losing writ…Police/rangers should have been placed at imambargahs and forced to do their job properly!Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Feb 19, 2015 - 9:14PM

    What a country!Recommend

    Feb 19, 2015 - 9:19PM

    So each time a place is attacked this government will train/arm them (schools/mosques… what else) instead of improving the security services/intelligence/police and equip them with better technology/tools and training to tackle the situation!Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar
    Feb 19, 2015 - 11:13PM

    Why is it that people have to go on a strike or stage a sit in to get something as simple as a firearms license . First, the lawyers went to court, then the doctors went on strike and now it’s the Shia community. Self defence is everybody’s natural right and it is enshrined in our constitution also. Recommend

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