KARACHI: Countrywide mourning was observed on Monday over the deadly bomb blasts in Karachi while a complete strike paralysed routine life throughout Sindh.
Addressing large gatherings, speakers in Quetta, Peshawar, Gilgit, Lahore, Multan and other areas demanded of the government to arrest the culprits behind the bomb blasts as soon as possible and give them exemplary punishment so that no similar incidents could take place in the future.
Karachi witnessed yet another strike on Monday on the call of the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) against the killing of 48 people in the Abbas Town bomb blast on Sunday with many parts of the city remaining closed.
Traffic was also thin during strike, which was also observed in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Larkana, Shikarpur, Khairpur, Thatta, Sanghar, Jaccobabad and other parts of Sindh.
Thousands of people attended the funerals for the victims of bombing incident.The strike call was supported by various political and religious parties, including the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-Islam (JUI), MQM, PML-N, Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP), and Sunni Tehrik. All major markets, business and commercial centres in the city remained closed. Public transports also remained off the roads.
While the strike generally remained peaceful, reports of aerial firing and burning of vehicles were received from a few areas. Angry mobs burnt tyres on different portions of University Road, Shaheed-e-Millat Road, Malir and some other parts of the city.
A visit to the different areas showed that all main markets and commercial centres, including Saddar, Bohri Bazaar, the Electronics Market, Zaibunnisa Street, Regal Chowk, Zainab Market, Tariq Road, Hyderi, KDA Market (Gulshan-i-Iqbal) remained closed. The situation was the same in Liaquatabad, North Nazimabad, Federal B Area, New Karachi, Landhi, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, Gulistan-e-Jauhar where most of the bazaars, markets and shops remained closed.
A number of petrol pumps shut down their businesses in different areas. Many offices and industrial units in the city also remained closed.Attendance at private and state-owned universities, colleges and schools was thin due to non-availability of public transport. All Pakistan Private Schools Association had already announced the closure of private schools in Karachi for Monday. Inter-city transport also remained suspended.
Examinations at private and state-owned universities and colleges were also postponed.Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has given a three-day ultimatum to arrest the culprits behind the Abbas Town blast.
He offered his condolences over the loss of lives in the blast and prayed to Allah to shower blessings on the souls of the people who lost their lives.The Shia Ulema Council (SUC) and other Shia organisations have also voiced their strong protest over the terror incident at Abbas Town here.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, the SUC leader Allama Nazir Abbas Taqvi called upon the government to conduct a targeted operation against proscribed outfits and said, “There is no issue of Shia and Sunni in the city. There is only the issue of terrorism”.
Lawyers throughout Punjab observed strike and stayed away from court proceedings to condemn Karachi bomb blasts.On the call of Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Bar Association, all district and tehsil bar associations observed complete strike and mourning day to express solidarity with the bereaved families.
In Lahore, no lawyers turned up before lower courts. The court adjourned hearing of thousands of cases fixed for Monday. However, in the Lahore High Court lawyers appeared only in urgent cases which were normally taken up by 10am.The district bar association on Monday observed a strike in protest against the Karachi carnage.
Meanwhile, various Shia organisations staged protests in Lahore on Monday to condemn the bomb blast in the Shia-majority area, Abbas Town, Karachi. They demanded the government step down if it was unable to protect the lives and properties of the people.
The Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) and Shia Ulema Council (SUC) held separate protests in the provincial metropolis. The protestors, chanting slogans and waving banners, placards and posters inscribed with anti-government slogans, demanded an immediate end to terrorism and the arrest of culprits.