Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan is observing seven days of mourning following the recent targeted killings of tens of Hazara Shia Muslims in the region, Press TV reports.
Organizations such as the Shia Conference, Shia Ulema Council, and Pakistan’s Hazara Democratic Party, have called for a strike against the massacre of nearly 30 Shias over the past few days.
Female activists have also held a rally in Balochistan, condemning the killings.
On Saturday alone, more than 10 Shia Muslims were killed by gunmen in separate attacks in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan.
Pakistani Shia leaders have called on the government to form a judicial commission to investigate the crimes.
Meanwhile, shops, markets and educational institutions remain closed in response to the call for the strike over the recent killings.
Massive protests have been held across Pakistan over the past few days.
About 2,500 people held a sit-in outside parliament in Islamabad on Friday, calling on the government to take immediate action against the forces involved in the sectarian killings.
Demonstrations were also held in the cities of Multan, Muzaffarabad, and Quetta, where protesters chanted slogans condemning the Shia killings.
Human rights groups have vehemently criticized the Pakistani government for its failure to stem the rising tide of violence against the country’s Shia Muslims.
Anti-Shia militant groups have been engaged in a violent campaign against Shias over the past few years.
Shia Muslims living in the remote Kurram tribal region have been facing a humanitarian crisis since November 2007, when pro-Taliban groups cut off the area from the rest of the country.
Local sources say more than 2,000 Shia Muslims have been killed in the Kurram region since 2007.
Security forces frequently clash with banned sectarian terrorist groups such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, which has conducted numerous terrorist operations against Shia Muslims over the past two decades.
Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:9PM GMT