Update in previous stories
ISLAMABAD: Life remained paralyzed across Pakistan as thousands of people took to streets on Tuesday and staged protest rallies and sit-ins on the call of Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM) in order to express solidarity with the victims of Quetta tragedy that occurred on Saturday. Politicians and social society fear that situation in Pakistan is moving fast where only option left for country is intervention of apolitical (non-political forces) forces to control the situation. Around 300 people of Hazara Shia community have been killed during the last 2 months by terrorists belonging to Taliban backed purists Islamists who believe that Shia are non-muslims and must be killed.
At evening Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM) leader Maulana Amen Shaheedi announced an end to sit-ins being staged across Pakistan after the government representatives reached an agreement with Quetta sit-in participants on Tuesday. However families of deceased refused to finish sit in in Quetta till the filing of this report.
The protestors blocked the roads in various cities of the country that caused enormous difficulties for the commuters to reach their destination points. In order to carry on the flow of traffic, alternative routes were found out to divert the traffic making easier for the commuters reach their destinations.
In Lahore, newly launched metro bus service was also destined to be halted across the city today as scores of protesters came at various points of bus service chanting slogans against the Quetta carnage.
Taking as precautionary measure, metro bus service authority took the decision to suspend the buses operation due to ongoing protest demonstration in the city against Quetta tragedy.
On the other hand, due to suspension of metro buses passengers suffered a lot and were observed making hue and cry at different stations. Some passengers argued that as they had paid the fare so they wanted a ride on the buses to reach their destination.
According to sources, the bus service would be resumed as soon as the situation turned normal.
Similarly, Daewoo Express suspended its inter-city bus service for indefinite period in most parts of the country after Shia protesters began lodging protest rallies and sit-ins. The Company would resume the bus service when as the situation become normal, sources said.
The situation was not witnessed different in Karachi to other most parts of the country. Scores of sit-ins continued in different parts of the city in protest against the Quetta massacre causing cancellation of some flights and hitting the schedule of other flights as the passengers could not reach the airport due to road blockades and traffic hassles.
A large number of men, women, children and elders were participating in the sit-ins being staged at Old Numaish, Teen Talwar, Clifton, Ancholi, Abbas Town, Ayesha Manzil, Five Star Chowrangi, Rizvia Society, Safora Goth, Malir and others.
Almost all the main roads including the Shahrah-e-Faisal remained blocked due to these sits-ins that hampered the road traffics and made it difficult for the passengers to reach the Karachi airport that led to the cancellation of few flights and others delayed.
A six-member parliamentary delegation appointed by the federal government held negotiations with the sit-in participants today and accepted most of their demands, with the notable exception of calling in the army in Quetta, after which nationwide protests were called off.
The protesters’ demand at all these places was the same: Call in the army in Quetta and take immediate action against the extremist militant group, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, which in recent months has played havoc with Shias, mainly the peaceful Hazara community of Balochistan, through a string of attacks.
“All our demands have been accepted by the government,” Maulana Shaheedi told reporters.
Meanwhile, chief of Hazara community Sardar Saadat Hazar announced that the victims would be buried tonight or tomorrow.
Following the announcement of Maulana Shaheedi, Yakjehti Council, Shia Ulema Council and other Shia groups also announced ending the sit-ins.
Thousands of Hazara men, women and children had continued their protest sit-in for the third consecutive day. They had refused to bury those who died in Saturday’s explosion on Kirani Road, HazaraTown, unless action was taken against the perpetrators.
Speaking on this occasion, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that a targeted operation was under way since Monday night. Four terrorists were killed and 170 were arrested by security agencies, he said. He said that the targeted operation would continue till the arrest of all culprits.
The government team comprised of Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, PPP MNA Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, PPP MNA Nadeem Afzal Chan, PPP Senator Sughra Imam, PPP MNA Yasmeen Rehman and Federal Minister for Political Affairs Maula Bakhsh Chandio.