KARACHI – Thousands of people staged stage sit-in at five points in Karachi on Saturday to express solidarity with the bereaved families of Quetta bomb blast victims and those who are staging sit-in against massacre of Alamdar Road.

The central protest was staged at Numaish Chowrangi, MA Jinnah Road. Multiple Shia organisations, including Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) organised the protest, attended by the members of multiple Shia organizations, while Shia youth, children and women were largely the part of the protest.  Sunni Tehreek leaders also attended the protest to express solidarity with the bereaved families of Quetta bomb blast victims. ST Leader Matloob Awan also spoke on the occasion.    As many as 118 people were martyred in the cowardly act of terrorism in the capital of Balochistan that have turned the country into mourning. The bereaved families of Quetta bomb blast victims observed sit-in at the Alamdar Road, Quetta, a site of the bomb blast, with a total of 86 coffins of martyrs.    

“Our sit-in will be continued till our legitimate demands are met,” vowed Maulana Sadiq Raza Taqvi, secretary general of Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Karachi chapter speaking at the main sit-in around Numaish Chowrangi, MA Jinnah Road on Saturday night.  He said the protestors demand dismissal of Balochistan government and army control over Balochistan mainly Quetta. He said that a countrywide protest began on Saturday on an appeal of MWM’s chief Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri who asked all Shiites to come out of houses and lodge protest against the genocide of Shiites in Quetta. Thousands of women, children, youths and elderly Shia Muslims have gathered at Numaish Chowrangi, Shahrah-e-Pakistan super highway, Rizvia Society Nazimabad Chowrangi, Singer Chowrangi, Korangi and national highway at Malir. MWM chief Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri also spoke Karachi’s sitters-in and thanked them for their all out support to his call for sits-in and rallies to mark solidarity with the protestors of Quetta Alamdar Road. It is relevant to add here that Shia Ulema Council too has joined the sit-in and they led the protest at national highway where Maulana Nazir Abbas Taqvi and Maulana Jafar Subhani spoke. At other places, MWM led the sits-in. However, all Shiites irrespective of their organisational affiliations participated in the protest.

The protestors raised slogans against the government. They condemned the Shia genocide all over Pakistan and also denounced the Balochistan government for their failure to protect Shiites’ lives. “It is unfair that the judiciary take immediate suo moto notice of one Shahzaib and turned a deaf ear to the calls for taking notice of those hundreds of Shahzaibs who have been massacred in Quetta,” said senior scholar and MWM’s central leader Allama Shaikh Hassan Salahuddin speaking at the sit-in. Those others who spoke at the sits-in included: Maulana Mohammad Hussain Karimi, Maulana Aqeel Moosa, Maulana Munawar Naqvi, Maulana Ali Afzal Rizvi and Maulana Ali Anwar Jafri of the MWM and Muhammad Abidi of the Imamia Students Organisation.

They condemned the pogrom of Shia Pakistanis and demanded all the relevant quarters to play their positive and effective role to stop pogrom of Shiites in Pakistan. They condemned the callousness of the relevant institutions and individuals for ignoring the countrywide peaceful protest of Pakistani Shiites. They also condemned the focus of Pakistan’s polity on long march instead of sit-in of the oppressed and bereaved Shiites who mourn the Alamdar Road massacre in which around 85 people were martyred.