QUETTA: A complete shutter down and wheel-jam strike was observed in the provincial capital, paralysing the business activities on Sunday.
Stringent security measures were taken to maintain law and order, with the deployment of paramilitary troops Frontier Corps (FC), police and other law enforcing agencies in and around Quetta.
The strike was called by the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) and was backed by the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) to protest against the recent wave of sectarian targeted killings that left 18 killed in the last four days.
All the shops, markets, eateries and even chemists shops in Liaquat Bazar, Mezan Chowk, Abdul Sattar Road, Prince Road, Jinnah Road, Zarghoon Road, Brewery Road, Hazara Town and Marriabad remained closed.
The strike was observed partially in Saryab and the nearby areas as markets and shops were functional as usual.
It is pertinent to mention that half of the business community in Quetta observe weekly holiday on Friday while remaining shut their businesses on Sunday.
Police and security forces also booked over 200 people for violating the ban on pillion riding in the city.
Security personnel increased their patrolling in Quetta to restore order. However, panic and fear continued to plague the city as people preferred to stay indoors and most of the streets and roads presented a deserted look, with very thin traffic plying on the roads.
Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani presided over a high level meeting to review the law and order situation in the aftermath of targeted killings of Hazara community members.
Provincial Ministers, Inspector General Police (IG) Balochistan, Home Secretary and other senior officials attended the meeting, which was convened to devise a strategy to deal with the situation. The meeting was underway when this report was filed.
The HDP Chief Abdul Khaliq Hazara in his statement said his community was being compelled to pick up arms to protect its members from the targeted attacks.