Fear and panic that began spreading in Karachi and elsewhere in Sindh on Friday evening, when young men riding motorcycles forced closure of shops and markets, kept major cities of the province shut on Saturday.
Protests were held purportedly in support of MQM chief Altaf Hussain, who has been issued a contempt of court notice by the Supreme Court.
Reacting to the court order, Mr Hussain had in his speech on Friday said he would consult his legal advisers for a response to the SC notice and asked his followers to remain peaceful. No violence was reported during the day.
In Hyderabad, protesters, not owned by any party, burnt an effigy of the chief justice of Pakistan, an act condemned by the Karachi chapter of Jamaat-i-Islami.
The process of annual election of the Karachi Bar Association was halted and postponed when the candidates requested the poll’s election commissioner to do so. Academic activities in schools, colleges and universities remained suspended.
Other cities and towns affected by the shutdown included Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah and Badin.—Staff Reporter