Mastung tragedy: Protests erupt in parts of Pakistan

KARACHI: Distraught families of pilgrims killed in Mastung and their community members staged a protest in Quetta, refusing to bury the victims, Express News reported on Thursday.

The protesters on the Alamdar Road demanded targeted operation against those involved in the deadly bus bombing that killed dozens of pilgrims on January 21. They said the protest will continue until action is taken against the criminals.

Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch had visited Alamdar Road to express solidarity with the protesters last night. Promising better security for Hazara pilgrims on the Taftan-Quetta highway, Dr Malik said the provincial administration was considering the option of launching a ferry service.

Despite assurances from the chief minister, the protesters called upon the federal government to take action against the groups stoking violence in the province.

An Express News screengrab showing a relative of a victim in Quetta. 

Karachi

Protesting the Mastung killings and demanding justice, members of the Majlis-e-Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) staged sit-ins in 10 different places in the city.

The demonstrations are organised at Numaish Chowrangi, Rizvia, North Nazminabad, Ayesha Manzil, Ancholi, Abbas Town, Drig Road, Jafar-e-Tayyar, Gulistan-e-Johar and Malir.

Traffic flow and flight schedule was disrupted due to the protests as many students, workers and flight crews could not reach their respective destinations. This also affected the movement in and out of the city as many flights failed to take off on time. Several passengers were stranded at the airport while some are staying in the nearby hotels.

No special security measures were taken in the wake of these demonstrations to prevent untoward situations. Therefore, unidentified men torched a truck on Drigh Road and burnt a car near Shafiq Mor.

The protests and blocked roads have led to traffic jams in Shah Faisal, Korangi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulberg and on MA Jinnah Road.

The University of Karachi examinations scheduled for today were also postponed until further notice.

A screengrab showing protesters in Karachi.

Twin cities

Protesters blocked the Faizabad interchange which connects Rawalpindi with Islamabad and demanded action against the perpetrators of the Mastung tragedy.

The demonstrators are present in the area since last night despite the cold weather.

Security personnel were deployed to ensure safety of the protesters, however, no government official has come to negotiate with the demonstrators.

The blockade resulted in traffic jams in both the cities and people are facing difficulties in reaching their schools and offices.

A screenshot of protesters in Rawalpindi.

Lahore

A large number of protesters staged a sit-in on the Mall Road outside the Governor House and have blocked the road since 6pm yesterday.

Government and security officials negotiated with the protesters today and opened one side of the road for traffic.

A screengrab showing leaders addressing protesters in Lahore. 

Apart from the major cities, solidarity demonstrations were also held in other parts of the country. MWM supporters staged sit-ins and blocked major routes near Sehwan, Dadu, Nawabshah, Tando Allahyar, Bhit Shah, Badin and other districts.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend