Pakistan: Indefinite curfew imposed in Bhakkar, other districts after sectarian killings

24th Aug 2013

BHAKKAR, (The News): In order to ward off any further violence, a strict indefinite curfew that started from 10:00AM has been clamped on Bhakkar and other restive districts on Saturday as the environment continues to remain hostile after sectarian clashes left 11 people dead on Friday, Geo News reported.


According to police officials, the curfew will remain enforced until further orders in Bhakkar, Darya Khan, Kotla Jam, Panj Garaeen, and Kahawar Kalan as these districts are most vulnerable to violence.


The Executive District Officer (EDO) Education Qazi Zahoor Hussain said that all the institutes will remain closed in the areas under curfew.


District Police Officer, Sarfaraz Falki told Geo News that additional contingents of police and Rangers have been deployed in the restive districts.


Earlier on Friday, the violence broke out when a protest march organized by Sunni radical group Ahl-e-Sunnat Waljamaat reached a Shia neighbourhood in the Bhakar district of central Punjab province.


Sources said the rally was going to Darya Khan from Bhakkar when some people opened fire on the participants at Kotla Jam. To which some of the armed rally participants retaliated.


As result, six people – from both the sects– were killed on the spot while six others were critically injured of whom five later succumbed to their wounds taking the total death toll to 11.


Sectarian violence between Pakistan’s Sunni and Shia Muslim is rare in Punjab province, though other parts of the country are plagued by near-daily occurrences.


The Sunnis were protesting against the killing of one of their activists, DPO Sarfaraz Falki said.


“The tension started when participants of the protest rally reached a Shia-dominated area,” he added.


“At least 11people have been killed from both sides, the situation is tense and we are deploying more police and Rangers (paramilitary troops).”


The two sides at first shouted slogans at each other, but men on both sides then opened fire, Falki said.


Mumtaz Hussain, a senior government official in the district, confirmed the death toll.


In another incident late Friday, motorcycle gunmen opened fire on a Sunni seminary in Islamabad, killing two people and wounding one, police said.


The motive for the attack was not yet clear but police said security had been stepped up in the capital.,-other-districts


One Response to “Pakistan: Indefinite curfew imposed in Bhakkar, other districts after sectarian killings”

Khwaja Aftab ShahAugust 31, 2013

BHAKKAR- a gateway to Pakistan for Taliban. The people of BHAKKAR district have elected a chief minister of Punjab and a prime minister of Pakistan in different elections. Although a goup of local leaders sponsor the occasion and personally benefited by this gesture but basically the people of Bhakkar elected these leaders in hope of a better Bhakkar. It’s requested to the prime minister of Pakistan and chief minister of Punjab to please consider upgrading Bhakkar as a divisional head quarter by appointing a commissioner to provide better governance, extra facilities and security in the area. There are news that religious violence and drug smuggling is increased in the area recently. Dera- Bhakkar is already a famous drug traffic route to the world as per BBC. Bhakkar is a gate way to the Punjab and Sind provinces for NWFP and Afghanistan. Bhakkar has been head quarters of divisional level organization of Thal Development Authority since 1952. TDA was abolish in 1971 on corruption charges against it’s high officials. Bhakkar is also a border district to Dera Ismail Khan and a capital city of Thal desert area-spread in six districts in Punjab. Thanking you, Khwaja Aftab Ali Shah, First and the only lawyer who earned US scholarship to study Intellectual Property laws, presently residing in Florida, U.S.A


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