Pakistani Shi'ites call off protests after arrests

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the government had also replaced the provincial police chief and offered to heavily fortify the Hazara Shi'ite enclave in Quetta.

Pakistani Shi'ites call off protests after arrests

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pakistani Shi'ites agreed to bury those killed in the most recent sectarian bombing, ending four days of protests, after the government said on Tuesday it had arrested 170 suspects linked to the attack.

Saturday's bombing in the northwestern city of Quetta killed 85 people. In an echo of a protest last month after a similar attack left nearly 100 dead, grieving relatives refused to bury their kin in a powerful rebuke to a government they say has repeatedly failed to protect them.

On Tuesday, Shi'ite leaders called off the protest after Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said four suspects had been killed and 170 people arrested within hours of the government announcing an operation.

"The operation will go on until all culprits are nabbed," Kaira said.

"All our demands have been met," said Shi'ite leader Amin Shaheedi. "The government has assured us that Quetta will be protected now and such incidents will not be repeated."

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the government had also replaced the provincial police chief and offered to heavily fortify the Hazara Shi'ite enclave in Quetta.

Protests in support of the Shi'ites in Quetta were also held in other cities across the country.

In the commercial hub of Karachi, protesters blocked the road to the airport. In the capital of Islamabad, protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court, where the powerful chief justice has opened hearings into the violence.

He is demanding reports from intelligence services on what they are doing to counter the threat from the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

The LeJ claimed responsibility for both Saturday's bombing and one last month that claimed nearly 100 lives.

Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2013, 17:15
Add Comment