QUETTA: A strike was observed in the provincial capital on Friday on the call of the Awami National Party (ANP) against the arrest and torture of Pakhtuns in various cities of Punjab and in Karachi.
Shops, markets, shopping plazas and business centres remained closed in main areas of the city. However, on the outskirts of Quetta, business remained as usual.
The local authorities had taken strict security measures and deployed a heavy contingent of police and Frontier Corps to avert any untoward incident during the strike.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference, ANP’s Balochistan president Muhammad Asghar Achakzai and deputy opposition leader in the provincial assembly Zamarak Khan Piralizai claimed that a complete strike was observed in Quetta, Pishin, Qila Abdullah, Chaman and Loralai.
“There is no doubt that Pakhtuns as a nation have faced much more loss in the country due to terrorism than other communities. Despite this, they are suspected of being involved in terrorist attacks,” said Mr Achakzai, adding that “a case in point was the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Lahore and Sehwan Sharif”. “Due to the closure of the Torkham and Chaman borders, 80 per cent of Pakhtuns’ business was affected,” he regretted and asked why the Wagah border was not closed despite tensions with India.
Mr Achakzai said: “We cannot change our neighbours; we have to live with our neighbours; we should negotiate and resolve our issues with them.”.
Deputy opposition leader Piralizai claimed that 80,000 CNICs of Pakhtuns had been blocked by Nadra and asked the government to release them as soon as possible.