Lifestyle & Belief

Quetta bombings: Government holds emergency meetings with Shiite protesters


Onlookers gather at the site of a bomb explosion in Quetta on January 10, 2013. A bomb attack killed 11 people and wounded dozens more in a crowded part of Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta, police said.


Banaras KHAN

As Shiite protesters block the streets of Quetta with the coffins of victims' bodies for a second day in a row, Government officials are holding crisis talks in the hopes of quelling their anger. 

Two federal ministers and the governor of Balochistan province are reportedly in negotiations with the minority Shiite protesters, who were targeted this week with deadly bombings that killed 115 people, BBC News reported

However, the vice president of the Shiite Conference of Quetta Syed Dawood Agha, told Reuters that no agreements had been reached as of Saturday night. 

In defiance of Islamic custom which requires that the dead be buried as soon as possible, the demonstrators are standing guard in the streets alongside the bodies of their dead friends and relatives, the Associated Press reported

“Every month, our people are killed in gun attacks or with bombs,” said Mohsina Hissaini, whose cousin was one of the victims of the twin suicide bombings. “We need security.”

Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the attacks, and Shiites have blamed the government for failing to prevent them from such targeted violence. 

According to Pakistan Human Rights Watch, over 400 Shiites were killed last year alone, Voice of America reported.

"There is no shortcut in Pakistan now for the military to act other than public pressure — intense public pressure, scrutiny and naming and shaming — because, you know, it is quite clear the military is not keen to do anything, or even the government, about these terrorist organizations," Pakistani analyst Raza Rumi told VOA.

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