A Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) call to observe a “black day” on Thursday was met with a mixed response from traders in Karachi and Hyderabad and most of the businesses remain open in the two cities.
Unlike in the past, when an MQM-P protest call would shut down the cities, life on Thursday was not disrupted.
In Karachi’s Landhi area, some unidentified men tried to force close shops but police promptly responded to the situation and businesses were reopened.
Karimabad’s Meena Bazar, however, remained shut as traders were afraid of opening shops. They said unidentified men had warned them of consequences if they opened the shops, SAMAA TV reported.
In Hyderabad, MQM-P activists burned tyres at Koh-e-Noor Chowk.
In Tando Allahyar, they took out a rally from Qila Chowk to the press club.
Earlier on Wednesday night, shops were forcibly closed in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Burns Road, and other areas in Karachi. However, police arrived in the streets and assured shop owners of security.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has been trying to defuse tension. He made a phone call to MQM-P’s Federal Minister Aminul Haq on Thursday and assured him of a probe into the incident outside the CM House on Sunday.
Around 15 MQM-P protesters were injured when police fired tear-gas shells and used baton-charge to disperse protesters, who had earlier forced their way through police barriers.
MQM-P claimed that one of its workers died due to police violence.
Murad Ali Shah told Aminul Haq that a postmortem examination would be carried out to determine if the death was caused by police action.
The chief minister also instructed the interior secretary to form an investigation committee.
Shah regretted the events of Wednesday and said that such incidents should never happen.