Long time coming: President visits Quetta weeks after Hazara massacres

Zardari holds meetings with lawmakers, Hazara elders.

Our Correspondent February 28, 2013
President Asif Ali Zardari welcomed at the tarmac by Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi. PHOTO: ONLINE


Over a month after a devastating attack on Quetta’s Shia Hazaras shook the entire nation and almost two weeks since a follow-up assault, the president made a quiet entrance into the city to hold meetings and monitor the situation.

President Asif Ali Zardari stopped over in Quetta on Thursday on his return from Tehran, to hold a series of meetings with  parliamentarians, religious leaders and elders of the targeted Hazara community there.

According to presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, the president reiterated the government’s commitment to curb militancy and sectarianism and to chasing the killers of innocent people in Balochistan till they are brought to justice.

The fight against militancy and a sectarian mindset may be hard and long but we will not rest till we have defeated this enemy of the state and the country, the president said.

On January 10, twin blasts on Alamdar Road in Quetta killed over 100 people, mostly from the Hazara community. This was followed by another attack in Hazara Town on February 16, in which around 90 people were killed.

President Zardari, during his meeting with a delegation of the Hazara community, expressed his profound sympathies over the great loss the community had to suffer recently. The president offered fateha for the victims and prayed to God to give the victims’ families strength.

He reassured the delegation that the government would undertake every possible effort to bring the culprits involved in the attack to justice.

Representatives of the Hazara community thanked the president for personally sharing the grief and sorrow of bereaved families and assured him their fullest cooperation in maintaining law and order in Balochistan.

President Zardari also held a meeting with parliamentarians from Balochistan from various political parties, during which the overall situation of the province, in particular efforts being made by the government for the people and the law and order situation, was discussed.

The president said the government has taken practical steps for the development of Balochistan, such as Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package.

Sources said that the parliamentary leaders also discussed the restoration of the sacked provincial government during the meeting.

The meeting with the parliamentarians was followed by a meeting with the Ulema representing various schools of thought.

The president called upon the Ulema to strengthen the efforts of law enforcing agencies in bringing to justice those who misuse religion.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2013.


ahmed41 | 8 years ago | Reply

What the country NEEDS is a working, honest anti-terrorist strategy put in place by experts in the field~~~~~~~~~~and , most important, there has to be will to have a multi-pronged effort to cmbat the menace of terrorism & extremism

Bachaaa | 8 years ago | Reply

The article photo of him meeting with Magsi makes no sense. Should be the President meeting with the Hazara elders. That is why he was there. Come on ET !!!!

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