Pak PM sacks Baloch govt after Shia attacks
The move came as Shia protesters picketed on the streets of Balochistan capital Quetta with bodies of their community members killed in Pakistanís worst sectarian bombings last Thursday. They had refused to bury the dead till their demand for dissolution of the provincial government was met.
Ashraf announced the federal governmentís decision at 1.30 am during a meeting with Shia leaders at Alamdar Road, a Shia neighbourhood in Quetta where 98 were killed and over 120 injured in bomb attacks on Thursday.
ďAfter all consultations, we have decided to invoke Article 234 of the Constitution in Balochistan and this gives the power for Governorís Rule...The Governor will be the chief executive and the provincial government has been dismissed,Ē the Prime Minister said, prompting cheers from Shia leaders.
However, the government did not concede to a demand from the ethnic Hazara Shias for the army to be given control of Quetta to improve security for the vulnerable minority community and carry out operations against sectarian groups like the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
When Shia leaders repeated the demand for the army to be given control of Quetta, Ashraf said Governor Zulfiqar Magsi and the civil administration would have the authority to call in the military if needed.
The sit-in in Quetta had sparked similar protests by Shia and civil society groups in towns and cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi,
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