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Pakistanis Slam Parachinar Shia Killings

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TEHRAN, April 26 (ICANA) – Hundreds of protesters have staged a sit-in in front of Pakistan's Parliament, demanding a military action against pro-Taliban militants in the country's volatile tribal regions.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:19:49 PM
Pakistanis Slam Parachinar Shia Killings

The demonstrators, who had marched to Islamabad from Parachinar in Kurram Agency located in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, are seeking an end to years of bloodshed in their hometown, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Parachinar, Pakistan's only Shia dominated tribal region, has been gripped by anti-Shia violence for years.

The people of the area say pro-Taliban Wahhabi militants, that have a strong presence in the area, are responsible for the unrest.

They also say that their hometown is faced with a humanitarian crisis due to the closure of the main road that links Parachinar to the rest of the country for the past four years.

“Is Parachinar not part of Pakistan?” the Shia group has asked.

Meanwhile, over two hundred Parachinar protesters have been camping outside the National Press Club in Islamabad for the past three days, refusing to eat.

They have vowed to continue their hunger strike until the government does something about their plight.

The protesters have been joined by politicians, including a lawmaker from the area that has boycotted the Parliamentary proceedings until peace is returned to Parachinar.

Others have also endorsed the effort. Last month, Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced financial compensation for the people affected by the road closure.

However, protesters from the area have rejected the move, saying the only way to address the problem is to treat the troubled region at par with other parts of the country and establish the writ of law enforcement agencies there.

Reports say that over 4,000 people, most of them from the Shia community, have been killed since the violence engulfed Parachinar back in 2005.

According to official figures, over 32,000 families have also been displaced from Parachinar due to years of violence.

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