Asif Zardari calls Balochistan CM Sanaullah Zehri, condemns shrine blast
KARACHI (92 News) – Former President Asif Ali Zardari has on Sunday telephoned Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri and condemned the blast at Shah Noorani shrine in the Kuzdar area of Balochistan which left around 53 people dead and over 100 injured.
During the telephonic conversation, Asif Zardari expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the blast.
The former president said that the terrorists have murdered innocent men, women and children, adding that the terrorists and their facilitators must be eliminated.
He said that he has directed the party leaders and workers to help the victims of the tragic incident.
Previously, a huge explosion claimed by militant group Islamic State ripped through a shrine in Khuzdar yesterday, killing at least 52 people and wounding scores. The blast at the Shah Noorani shrine occurred while hundreds of people were inside.
Provincial Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said 52 people were killed and that more than 105, including many women and children, were wounded. “Every day, around sunset, there is a dhamaal (ritual dance) here, and there are large numbers of people who come for this,” said Nawaz Ali, the shrine’s custodian.
The shrine is located in Baluchistan province about 100 km (60 miles) north of the port city of Karachi, to where rescue official Hakeem Nasi told Geo TV dozens of wounded were being moved.
Many had travelled hundreds of kilometers to pay their respects to the saint and seek blessings. Unlike at mosques in Pakistan, which often limit access to women, in Sufism both genders are permitted to take part in many rituals, though they are sometimes separated by partition walls.
Witnesses said problems were compounded by the fact that it took several hours for rescue services to reach the remote shrine, located on a hilltop in the Khuzdar district of Balochistan several kilometers away from surrounding villages, with poor mobile network coverage.