Leaders of the Shia Hazara community agreed to call off their protest over the recent spate of targeted killings in the city after a meeting with Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday night.
Gen Bajwa arrived in the city late Tuesday evening and held a meeting with representatives of the Hazara community that has been hit badly by incidents of targeted killing in the city.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), representatives shared their concerns about target killing of the community with the COAS, who gave an assurance that those behind the attacks “shall suffer twice as much”.
The state is responsible for the security of its citizens, said Bajwa.
“Each and every casualty, including from the Hazara community, is of concern to us,” he added. “Through a unified national effort, we have turned the tide of terrorism; however, a lot is still being done against inimical designs to reverse the gains by exploiting various fault lines.”
On Wednesday, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the targeted killings.
“I have just met members of the Hazara community; they are so scared that they are not even approaching the Supreme Court,” said Justice Nisar today, seeking a report from all law enforcement agencies.
“The killers of Hazara community are holding rallies out in the open,” he added, lamenting that the ostracised community members were not being given admission in universities.
“They can’t go to schools or hospitals. Are they not citizens of Pakistan?”
The CJP will hold a hearing on the suo motu notice in Quetta on May 11.
Iqbal had reached Quetta on Monday to persuade Hazara community leaders to call off their protest over the recent spate of targeted killings but they had refused to do so unless Gen Bajwa held a meeting with them.
According to the ISPR, a delegation of notables of the community held a meeting with the army chief and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who again arrived in Quetta on Tuesday evening.
Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Commander of Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, Home Minister Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, Inspector General of Frontier Corps Maj Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum and IG of Balochistan police Moazzam Jah Ansari were also present in the meeting between the army chief and the Hazara community elders.
Officials briefed the army chief and the interior minister on the security situation in Quetta and steps taken by the provincial government and law enforcement agencies after the recent wave of target killings in Quetta. Earlier, the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) wrote a letter to Gen Bajwa, asking him to play his role for stopping the targeted killings of Shia Hazara community’s members in Balochistan. The letter, sent by MWM general secretary Allama Nasir Abbas, said the organised sectarian cleansing of Hazara people was going on in Balochistan and there was a need to stop it without further delay.
It further said that Christians and members of other minority communities in the province were also becoming victims of terrorist attacks. He alleged that terrorists openly claimed that they were involved in the killing of Hazaras, but action was not being taken against them.