Protests held on Thursday in at least 20 different points in Karachi in solidarity with the Hazara community led to the blocking of several main arteries and either the delay or cancellation of several flights from the city.
According to the airport flight inquiry, 17 flights of local as well as international carriers were cancelled, whereas 25 departed after delays.
Of those scheduled by PIA, nine were cancelled. The destinations included Damam, Islamabad and Lahore.
Moreover, the flow of traffic on the roads, owing to the several demonstrations, was severely hampered throughout the day.
Diversions, traffic jams
The road from Shah Faisal Bridge to Sharah-e-Faisal was closed due to protests and traffic coming from Malir was diverted back to Star Gate, traffic police said.
On Shahrah-e-Faisal, from Metroville to Drigh Road, a severe jam was reported. In Saddar, the track from Corridor III, Gurumandar, to Teen Hatti remained choked.
Traffic was also adversely affected on Lyari Expressway, S M Taufeeq Road, and the Water Pump area on Shahrah-e-Pakistan.
Congestion was also reported from Shahrah-e-Korangi and National Highway.
The road leading from Nagan Bridge to Shafiq Mor was closed for traffic, traffic police said, adding that traffic was diverted from Sakhi Hassan to Qalandiya Chowk.
Leaders of religious and political parties and the civil society participated in the central sit-in at Numaish Chowrangi.
A protest was also held at People’s Chowrangi in District Central.
Other sites included Natha Khan, Colony Gate, Kamran Chowrangi, Johar Mor, Safoora Chowrangi, Abul Hassan Isfahani Road, University Road and Samama Bridge.
Demonstrations also took place at Malir 15, Power House, Surjani Khuda Ki Basti, Ancholi, Five Star, Tower, Ayesha Manzil, Nazimabad No. 7, Nazimabad No. 1, Steel Town Chowk, Korangi No. 2 1/2, and Surjani KDA flats.
Political parties band together to protest
A protest sit-in of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen against the tragedy continued for the third day near Governor House, in which members of the PPP, MQM, PSP, PML-N and other parties also participated.
“Not a single leaf was damaged during the sit-ins,” the secretary-general of MWM said.
Sindh Bar Council boycotts court proceedings
The Sindh Bar Council has announced a boycott of court proceedings on January 8, the vice-chairman said.
According to a statement by the Council, the Machh tragedy is a stark reminder of the “failure” of the government.