ISLAMABAD: Dozens of young people belonging to Quetta based Shia-Hazara community protested outside the Parliament House here Friday against the targeted killings in Quetta of their community by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. After having made repeated requests to the government for doing the needful to stop ongoing violence and target killings, the Hazara youth decided to come to the capital where they chanted slogans against the government and Frontier Corps for their failure in controlling the deteriorating law and order situation in the country.
These protestors braced the scorching heat of the capital Islamabad in the holy month of Ramadan to condemn the target killings of Shia Muslims in the country’s Balochistan province.
Speaking of the unrest in the province and recent killings of Hazara-Shia people, Syed Nasir Ali Shah, PPP MNA from Quetta, reported that nearly 600 people have been killed and more than 3000 innocent people have been injured for the last 10 years while in a recent few months 360 more people belonging to Hazara Ethnicity have been targeted.
“I have been attacked for many times in the province but luckily I barely escaped the attack and after that I asked the government to do something realistic and pragmatic to control the deteriorating law and order situation in the province otherwise the whole province would be engulfed by the massacre but still the same practice is being repeated. The people of Hazara and also Shia communities are being targeted indiscriminately”, the lawmaker said.
Amjad Hussain, who was until recently working as correspondent for a Pakistani news channel in Quetta, held the government responsible for deteriorating law and order situation in the province.
According to human rights organizations, close to 700 Shia Muslims have been killed in Balochistan since 2004. Last week alone, 11 people were gunned down in Quetta when their bus was attacked by heavily-armed pro-Taliban militants. Nasir Shah accused the foreign forces of being behind the unrest in Balochistan. The growing incidents of violence against the Shia community in the province have compelled many people to leave the area.
In a recent visit to the province, the country’s Army Chief denied allegations that intelligence agencies were behind the killings and abductions in Balochistan.
The country’s President has also taken notice of the worsening law and order situation in Balochistan and called a meeting of the concerned authorities next week in Islamabad to discuss the issue. However, these protesters say they want to see an immediate action on the ground to put an end to the growing incidents of target killings in the province.