QUETTA: Talks between officials and protesters on Saturday failed to quell a protest that brought thousands onto cold, wet streets for a second night to watch over the bodies of more than 80 people killed in bomb blasts at Almdar Road Quetta.
Leaders of the Hazaras were vowing not to bury their dead until authorities promised to protect them from a wave of attacks.
Around 2,000 people spent Friday night keeping vigil at the site of the bombings - spreading plastic sheets over the shrouded bodies to keep the rain off them. By Saturday, the number had swelled to around 5,000.
Muslim tradition requires that bodies are buried as soon as possible and leaving them above ground is a powerful expression of grief and pain.
A government delegation led by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah met leaders late on Saturday after they complained about what they believe is the indifference of most Pakistani politicians to their plight.
Qayyum Changazi, chairman of the Yakjehti Council said the talks had produced no result and the protest would continue until the army took over Quetta and the Balochistan provincial government was dismissed.
The Balochistan chief minister was in Dubai and unavailable for comment.
FIRES AGAINST THE COLD
As the sky darkened, protesters wrapped up in heavy coats and shawls and burned small coal fires to keep warm. Many held candles and some wept next to the coffins of their relatives.
Small protests were also held in the cities of Lahore, Karachi and the capital, Islamabad, where around 200 protesters held candles and placards demanding an end to attacks. (Reuters)