Plight of Hazara Shia community continues in Pakistan
Islamabad, According to Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) 509 members of Hazara Shia community of Pakistan were killed and 627 injured in various terror-related incidents in southwestern city of Quetta over last five years.
The regional head of Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) places the figure much higher than what has been quoted by the NCHR.
The community, whose Central Asian features make them easy targets, has been targeted in a sustained campaign of murders and bombings since 2013.
Shia community is about 20 percent of almost 200 million population of Pakistan, but the Hazara Shias are normally found in the city of Quetta and adjacent areas.
Report of the NCHR says targeted killings, suicide attacks, and bomb blasts have harmed the daily life, education, and business activities of the ethnic Hazara community members in Quetta.
Balochistan has been experiencing violence and targeted killings since more than a decade. While sectarian terrorism in Balochistan has disproportionately targeted the Hazara community, other Shia Muslims, especially pilgrims travelling to and from Iran, have not been spared either.
In particular, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian, militant group has been targeting the Hazara minority in Balochistan in a series of brazen attacks.
Members of the minority Hazara community are protesting in Quetta against the targeted killing of members of the community by terrorist outfits. Angry members of the community launched the hunger strike after the killing of two Hazara men on Saturday.
The government despite assurances has not been able to control violence against the ethic group.
The latest attack on the Hazara community in Quetta comes third in a series of horrifying attacks this month on the persecuted minority in which two members of the Shia Hazara community were gunned down in the heart of the city.
The protesters criticized law enforcement and security agencies for their inaction and failure in preventing Hazaras from being murdered with impunity. Due to violence the Hazara community has been isolated in their everyday lives.
The government has to take more steps to ensure the security of the Hazaras who are very peaceful people and have contributed a lot towards the development of Pakistan.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency – IRNA