Shia solidarity protests held in over a hundred cities across Pakistan have finally concluded. They were triggered after bombings killed more than 100 people of the Hazara Shia community in the southwestern city of Quetta on January 10, 2013.
The bombings marked one of the goriest days in the history of Pakistan's southwestern province Balochistan. Members of the banned militant group Laskher-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the horrendous crime.
Following the attacks, members of Quetta's Hazara community gathered on Alamdar Road and started their peaceful sit-in. As images of them sitting in icy rain along with the coffins of their relatives, spread across social media, solidarity protests in form of peaceful sit-ins spread like fire across the whole country. Pakistanis from all sects and tribes joined hands to condemn terrorism in the name of Islam.
Protesters in Quetta had a single-point agenda:
“Put Quetta city under the control of Pakistan Army and invoke Governor's Rule.”
It took the government four days to sort out this matter; finally, signalling an end to the four-day long peaceful sit-ins. Moreover, the relatives had refused to bury the dead bodies of their loved ones until their demands are met. As the protest has concluded, the victims are now being buried.
Citizens organized sit-ins across the whole landscape of Pakistan. Protests took place on main railways lines and also on highways. According to reports, sit-ins were registered in more than 100 cities and towns. Sit-ins were organized even in Skardu city, where the night temperature was -14 Celsius. The goal was simple:
Accept the demands of the protesters in Quetta.
What follows is a pictorial view of some of the protests in major cities of Pakistan: