Pak PM sacks Balochistan govt, imposes Governor's rule

Pak PM sacks Balochistan govt, imposes Governor's rule

Bowing to demands of Shia protesters picketing on streets with bodies of their community members killed in Pakistan's worst sectarian bombings in Quetta, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf today sacked Balochistan government and imposed Governor's rule in the province.

Ashraf made the announcement after prolonged talks with leaders of the minority Shias and ethnic Hazara community of the sect, who had been staging a sit-in since Thursday demanding that the provincial government be dismissed and military given control of Balochistan's capital Quetta.

The sit-in started on Alamdar road in Quetta when three bomb blasts targeting Shias in the area on Thursday last killed around 98 people and injured over 130 others.
The minority community had refused to bury the victims of the blasts until their demands were met by the government.

Jan Ali Changezi, a central leader of the Hazara community, however, told PTI that they would only end their protest and bury the victims after a formal notification about the dissolution of the provincial government and imposition of Governor's rule is issued.

"We are thankful to the Prime Minister for listening to our grievances but we have informed him that we will only end the sit-in and bury our dead when the notification for Governor's rule is issued," he said.

Three bomb attacks in the city on Thursday turned out to be the catalyst for the imposition of Governor's rule.

Last year alone, according to human rights organisations, around 500 Shias, most of them from the Hazara community, were killed in targeted attacks in the province.
The government came under pressure after protesters also started a sit-in outside the Bilawal House in Karachi, the official residence of President Asif Zardari who had been present in the city since last week.

Prime Minister Ashraf assured the leaders of the Shia and Hazara communities that under Governor's rule, the chief executive of the province could summon the army anytime to help the administration.

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