Hazara solidarity protests continue with demands for action
* Nawaz demands arrest of Quetta blast perpetrators, asks government to provide security to Hazara community
By Arsalan Haider
LAHORE: Protests and sit-ins against the Quetta bomb blast killings continued in the city on Monday.
Meanwhile, political parties, their leaders, religious scholars condemned the blasts. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML N) President Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Lahore President and Federal Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki, Jamiat Ahle Hadees and leaders of other political and religious parties condemned the incident. In a statement, Nawaz Sharif said that the incident has saddened the whole nation and is condemnable.
He added that the Hazara community has been a continuous target of terrorists, and the state has not fulfilled its responsibility to provide them safety. He was of the view that the whole nation is ashamed of the killings. He said that this brutal incident has proved that there is no government writ in Balochistan and the federal government has failed to fulfil its responsibilities. Nawaz said that the government neither values life nor has it taken the matter seriously in the five years of its tenure.
He noted that besides the Supreme Court’s order to control law and order, no serious effort was taken. Nawaz termed the bomb attack in Quetta a failure of secret agencies, saying they are unable to follow the network of terrorists. He said that nothing would remain of the country if such activities were not stopped, whether they happen in Quetta or other parts of the country. He also demanded immediate arrest of terrorists and asked the government to provide security to the Hazara community.
Federal Minister and PPP Lahore President Samina Khalid Ghurki said that she has no words to condemn the incident, which has weakened the roots of country. She urged the citizens to remain united and show harmony to make the country stronger, and said that we could only defeat these “minor terrorists” through interfaith harmony. However, Punjab Governor Makhdom Syed Ahmad Mehmood, while talking to a delegation of scholars from different religions, said that we have to have joint thought and wage a united struggle to eliminate terrorism and religious hate from society. He urged the nation to be united to defeat the enemies.
PTI leaders Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Javaid Hashmi in statements issued from the Lahore Secretariat of the party announced to hold countrywide protests against the genocide of the Hazara community. Meanwhile, Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) held an emergency meeting at the university and passed a resolution against the Quetta blast. PUASA condemned the incident and demanded government provide safety to the Hazara community members. It also demanded strict action against people who are spreading sectarianism and said that such incidents would continue to happen until strict action was taken against the culprits.
Leader of Jamiat Ahle Hadees and former MPA Haji Abdul Razaq also condemned the incident and said that this is the worst ever brutality in the history of Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Majils-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), Shia Ulema Council (SUC) and other Shia organisations continued their protest sit-in outside the Governor’s House on Monday. The protesters blocked the metro bus route at Chungi Amar Sadhu, motorway from Thokar Niaz Baig and the GT Road at Imamia Colony, and said that they would continue their protests and sit-in until the army takes control of Quetta to provide security to the Hazara community.
The protests also caused massive traffic jams in surrounding areas. Major roads including Motorway, Multan Road, Raiwind Road, Canal Road, Ferozepur Road, Walton Road, Mall Road, Davis Road, Abbot Road, Fatima Jinnah Road, Lawrance Road and many others adjourning roads were clogged, and thousands of vehicles and ambulances were struck in the traffic jam.