Human rights groups have urged the government to prevent killings of members of the Hazara community in western Balochistan province.
“Groups of Muslims are being singled out as minorities and persecuted. Terrorists are not the only ones to blame; the whole nation is involved”, said I. A. Rehman, director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
Unknown armed assailants ambushed a local bus and murdered 14 people belonging to the Hazara community of Shi'ite Muslims and injured six others on October 4 in Quetta, where gunmen shot dead 26 Shia pilgrims traveling to Iran two weeks ago.
Zohra Yusuf, chair of HRCP, called upon country’s executives to take immediate, direct and personal action against the “most heinous nature of the recent wave of Hazaras’ killing” in her October 5 press statement.
“These killings must cause your government serious anxiety for a number of reasons. The failure of the administration to stem the odious tide or to apprehend the culprits reveal a state of lawlessness no civilized government can countenance.”
She demanded action against those who forfeited their right to hold their positions and failed to fulfil their duty to protect people’s lives in Balochistan. “All of them should be made to pay for their incompetence and insensitivity to the killing of innocent citizens and the sufferings of their families.”
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has strong ties with the al-Qaeda and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the massacre. Media reports say 422 Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan alone since 1999. There are about half a million members of the Persian speaking Hazara community in the country
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