Published: Daily Times – February 18, 2013
* Protesters demand army control of Quetta for maintenance of peace
LAHORE: Protests were held against the Quetta blast at the Liberty Roundabout, Governor’s House and Imamia Colony, GT Road, on Sunday.
The protests were organised by the Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), Shia Ulema Council (SUC), Institute of Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS) and Shia organisations. The protesters demanded the government hand over control of Quetta to army for maintenance of peace in the city.
MWM, ISO and other Shia organisations staged a sit-in outside the Governor’s House and Imamia Colony on the GT Road. The protesters were carrying placards inscribed with slogans “Stop Shia Killings”, “We are also Humans”, “Stop Hazara genocide”, “Stop operation in Balochistan”, “We want justice” and “Stop breeding jihadis”. They chanted slogans against the government and FC, and said the continuous acts of terrorism are due to the negligence of various institutions, specially the FC.
Speaking on the occasion, leaders of the MWM demanded a stop to Shia and Hazara killings in Pakistan. Allama Haider Ali Mirza demanded the government and security authorities to provide security. He asked the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu action over Shia killings. He was of the view that many people in the government and other institutions are backing terrorists who, with the help of some “black sheep”, conduct their activities.
Meanwhile, the IPSS held a protest at the Liberty Roundabout, which was participated by a number of people, including students, children women and elders. Saeeda Diep of IPSS led the protest, which continued for several hours.
Speaking on the occasion, Saeeda said that it is our ethical obligation as humans, and our responsibility as citizens of this country to raise our voice in defence of the defenceless, if we believe in humanity and human rights for all and hope to see a peaceful, prosperous Pakistan, and if we believe it is criminal immoral and inhumane to kill innocent people.
In a statement, leader of Sunni Tehreek, Zahid Habib Qadri, condemned the Shia killings and said that some extremists are spreading sectarian violence in the country. Zahid was of the view that people have lost their trust on the government due to the worsening law and order situation in the country.
He demanded the government arrest culprits as soon possible. He also called for free and fair elections for peace in Karachi, Balochistan and FATA.