Yet more killings

Published: April 13, 2012

Do the authorities not care about the killings of a largely peaceful community? PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

There has been no let up in the systematic killing of the Hazara community in Quetta. Three more were slain in separate incidents on April 12, as gunmen targeted them at roadside locations. Six others were gunned down as ruthlessly earlier in the week, and according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch, some 275 Shias, most of them Hazaras, have been killed in Balochistan since 2008. The rate of deaths has accelerated rapidly. According to Hazara community leaders, 600 Hazaras have been killed since the year 2000. It is not hard to discern the acceleration in the rate. With some 6,000 to 7,000 Hazaras based in the country, the toll taken on the community is, in terms of percentages, quite enormous.

The latest wave of deaths has, unsurprisingly, triggered protests in Quetta, led by the Hazara Democratic Party. The slogans and banners spoke of mistrust for the government — and this too is a reaction we can well understand. It is clear that extremist, sectarian forces are behind the killings. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has been blamed again and again. The real question is that when we know who the culprits are, why there has been such a failure to take any kind of action against a banned group, which since the 1990s has wreaked havoc on the Shias of the country and played a huge role in building the hatred, which now exists on sectarian grounds in all kinds of places. We need to ask if there is a lack of will involved, and if so why this exists? Do the authorities not care about the killings of a largely peaceful community? Is there sympathy in high places at some level for the LeJ and its foul mission? These are questions to which we need answers as quickly as possible. A way needs to be found to dispel the growing disquiet among the Hazaras. Something must be done to rescue them from their plight, hear their calls for help and prevent the growing crisis we see as more are felled each day.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.

Reader Comments (4)

  • Aftab Mir
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:14PM

    Why never any coverage is given to the murders of hundreds of punjabis in balochistan? Why don’t the deaths of punjabi civilians deserve any mention in any forum? The twitterati and facebook activists are hyper active when there is sectarian killing, but they choose to remain completely silent when punjabi civilians are targetted and killed in balochistan.

    Why aren’t there any talkshows, editorials,blogs when the people to be killed are punjabis?

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  • kamran
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:48PM

    There was a protest of thousands of Shias today in front of Islamabad parliament against the ongoing Shia genocide in Gilgit, Baluchistan, and other areas.

    Why was it not covered???

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  • Noise
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:28AM

    @Kamran

    Yep, massive protest going on in front of the parliament for days and the media does not report it at all. The media is showing itself to be in league with the anti-Shia establishment.

    Recommend

  • @Azrarahmat
    Apr 14, 2012 - 10:00AM

    hope that this issue is taken so seriously in media, but still no coverage and talkshows about this issue

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