Martyrs funeral prayers offered
Loss worth Rs30bn estimated
Joint team to probe blast
Bolton Market Affectees Fund announced
Altaf phones Ulema, supports strike call
Jamil Siddiqui/Jawad Hussain
KARACHI: Karachiites mourned Tuesday the loss of innocent lives and offered funeral prayers of the martyred who lost their lives in Monday's suicide blast in the main Ashura procession on MA Jinnah Road, while government has constituted an investigation team to probe into the heinous act.
On the other side, losses in the riots following the blast, have been estimated at Rs30 billion, for which, government has set up Bolton Market Affectees Fund.
A joint investigation team has been constituted to probe the suicide blast. The team would comprise of the officials of Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Rangers and Karachi Police, an official of the Interior Ministry said.
The team would mainly investigate that how the suicide bomber managed to enter the procession and succeed to blow himself up, the official said. Alliance Market Chairman Attique Mir told media persons here that over 80 per cent shops were torched due to the unavailability of the fire brigade staff and negligence on the part of government. He said at least 2000 shops were set ablaze; adding the ruination of these shops is hugely detrimental to the country's economy.
All Pakistan Memon Federation Association President Ahmed Chennai demanded the government to pay damages for the losses suffered in the wake of Monday's blast. He said the demand call was made in a meeting of traders' brethren held at 1500 PST at Chamber of Commerce and Industry that put together the estimates of the losses. Later in the day, while addressing the business community at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Federal Interior Minister, Rehman Malik announced the establishment of Bolton Market Affectees Fund (BMAF).
He appealed Shia scholars to postpone the planned processions of 11th and 12th Muharram especially in Karachi. On the occasion, the business community showed their resentment and agitation against the gruesome incident and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits and compensation for the affected businessmen who are now penniless. Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan and Federal minister Dr Farooq Sattar assured that there will be a complete enquiry to unearth the conspiracy and punish the culprits while efforts will be made to compensate the aggrieved businessmen. While talking to The Financial Daily leader of business community Siraj Kassam Teli said that the fund will collect donations from the well-off businessmen to provide monetary relief to the affected business community.
President KCCI Haji Abdul Majeed Haji Mohammed stated that due to the heavy losses the anger of concerned business community is natural. He urged government to take practical measures and unearth the conspiracy to destroy the hub of business activity of the country. Later, while talking to media men after attending funeral of Ranger's official Abdul Razzak, Rehman Malik said that an investigation team led by DIG East has been formed to investigate the unfortunate incident, saying the blast was not attack on Karachi but on Pakistan.
The Interior Minister said that there is contradictory report regarding the nature of the blast.
The minister said that investigation will be carried out from two perspectives, as it seemed that the incident of fire after the blast was a planned conspiracy, adding the services of foreign team can be hired in the investigation process. Earlier, Minister for Trade and Industry Sindh, Rauf Siddiqui visited lighthouse and Bolton Market and announced to constitute a five members committee to estimate the losses. He said that if government had seriously given attention over the points identified by Altaf Hussain then it may have been saved from a big loss.
In another development, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has telephones Sunni and Shia ulema and announced to support their call of strike for Friday. It may be mentioned here that Sunni Rehbar Council President, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman and other leaders at a press conference had announced to observe a shutter down and wheel-jam strike in Karachi Friday. Altaf Hussain called Allama Abbas Kumaili, Allama Furqan Haider Abdi, Mirza Yousuf, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Allama Shah Turab-ul-Haq Qadri and Maulana Tanvir-ul-Haq Thanvi. He said that every effort would be made for the payment of compensation to the affected traders of Bolton Market. Meanwhile, funeral prayers of the people martyred in the suicide attack were offered in different parts of Karachi.
Funerals of two persons --Anwar Ali, Soomro 42 years old and Irfan Sammu 40 years old-were offered in Bhem Pura. Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman led the funeral. Anwar Ali was father of four children and was serving in KPT while Irfan Sammu was recently married. Funerals for five other martyrs were offered in Mehfil Shah Khurasan at Numaish. The Shia ulema and thousands of other people attended the funerals amid massive security arrangements on the occasion. Maulana Taqi Shah led the prayers. The people in large number arrived at Mehfil Shah Khurasan on foot, as there was no transport available in the city. Most of the deceased would be laid to rest in Vadi-e-Hussain cemetery situated at Super Highway.