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Outrage Over Killing Of Protesting Transporters

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Three people were allegedly shot dead by personnel of the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) during a protest by transporters on the Link Road near Karachi Superhighway on Wednesday afternoon.

The deaths occurred after the transporters clashed with FWO personnel, who according to police and witnessed resorted to firing.

The transporters had parked their trucks on the Link Road near Karachi Superhighway, also known as the M9 Motorway. The transporters were protesting against FWO’s decision to implement a judgement of the Supreme Court regarding an ‘axle load regime’.

According to the judgement, heavy vehicles can not carry a load above the sanctioned weight in order to protect highways from damage and to prevent fatal accidents.

A news report in Dawn cited DIG East Amir Farooqi as saying that there was an issue of ‘axle load regime’, and that the FWO was trying to enforce the Supreme Court’s verdict.

Following the parking of heavy vehicles on the M9, personnel of the FWO arrived to manage the situation. The FWO personnel were pelted with stones, in response to which they started firing on the protesters to disperse them. Police stated that some protesters were shot and wounded.

The injured were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC). Medical professionals at the JPMC declared three of them dead on arrival. The post-mortem examination revealed that the three received one bullet each.

Police arrived at the scene to prevent further deterioration of the situation. A Motoway police spokesperson said that the M-9 motorway had been blocked near Kathore, adding that the incident did not occur on the Motorway but protesters blocked the highway afterwards.

Police personnel have informed media that no arrest has been made so far and that authorities would follow a legal course to identify and arrest the suspects.

Outrage Over Incident

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has taken notice of the incident and has requested Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to conduct an inquiry into the incident and bring those responsible to justice.

Member of National Assembly from Waziristan, Mohsin Dawar, condemned the attack on transporters, saying that all three dead belonged to his constituency in North Waziristan.

 

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The incident has received severe backlash on social media. A social activist took to Twitter to question the humanity of authorities who had not only shot people dead but had also started a ‘smear propaganda’ against those had been murdered.

Furthermore, people have also highlighted the fact that the transporters were Pashtuns, and this incident was a reflection of the attitude the state had towards Pashtuns.

Awami Workers Party member Ammar Rashid took to Twitter to criticise how ‘deep state bots’ had started a propaganda against the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement in response to demands by the aggrieved for justice.

A Twitter user shared a video of a transporter who was present at the protest, saying that Pashtuns could not even protest against the wrong doings of the state.

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The man in the video stated that around 3000 trucks had been stopped by authorities. He narrated that the transporters were sitting on the road in protest when they were fired upon.

Another social media user opined while sharing a news report that the caption should have mentioned ‘Pashtun truck drivers’ instead of just ‘drivers’.

People also highlighted the fact that Pashtuns seemed to have no constitutional guarantees and rights in Pakistan.

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