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- Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - From Print Edition




Various Shia organisations staged protests in the City on Monday to condemn the bomb blast in the Shia-majority area, Abbas Town, Karachi, which killed 45 people. They demanded the government step down if it was unable to protect the lives and properties of the people.


The Majlis Wahdat Muslemin (MWM) and Shia Ulema Council (SUC) held separate protests in the provincial metropolis. The former took out a protest rally from Karbala Gamay Shah to Nasser Bagh while the latter outside the Lahore Press Club. The MWM rally was led by its Punjab Secretary General Abdul Khaliq Asadi, Haider Ali Mirza, Haider Moosvi, Mubarak Ali Moosvi, Allama Hasnain Arif, Maqsood Ali Domki, Iqbal Kamrani and Syed Hussain Zaidi. The protestors were chanting slogans and waving banners, placards and posters inscribed with anti-government slogans, demanding immediate end to the terrorism and arrests of the culprits, besides awarding them tough punishment.


Addressing the protestors at Nasser Bagh, the leaders said the Karachi blast was a tragic incident in which not only Shias but several Sunnis were also killed, and it looked to be an attempt to create Shia Sunni riots. They demanded that Shias should be issued arms licenses to defend themselves since the government had failed to protect them. They also criticized the Punjab government for its alleged links with terrorists and the Taliban, demanded immediate action against those cabinet members linked with the alleged terrorists.


They said the handful of terrorists had ruined the peace and tranquility of the country but government was unmoved. They demanded a countrywide crackdown on terrorists to nab the culprits and lamented that the government agencies and those responsible for law and order were not seen anywhere while the terrorists were practically taking control of every nook and corner of the country.


The Shia Ulema Council demonstration was led by its Punjab President Mazhar Abbas Alvi and Lahore President Asif Ali Zaidi. Addressing the protestors, the leaders said the government writ was no more and the rulers were also criminals since they had left the people at the mercy of killers.


In his message to the protestors, the council’s President Allama Sajid Ali Naqvi demanded the rulers step down and let some competent government protect the masses. His message, read out by Allama Zulfiqar Haider, said the Shia community was about to lose patience in the face of continued killings and the council leadership would soon give a strategy to the people to defend themselves on their own.


Mazhar Abbas Alvi and Asif Zaidi said government was seen nowhere in the country to defend the people while terrorist were taking the masses hostage. They alleged the secret agencies were involved in the killings and demanded the government start a targeted operation all over the country against the terrorists.Lawyers strike: 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 till 10am. Some bar associations held their general house meetings to condemn the terrorism incidents.