To condemn ongoing incidents of genocide of Shia Hazara community in different parts of the country, human rights activists and civil society members held a vigil here on Tuesday. They paid tribute to the victims of a recent incident at Abbas Town in Karachi.
They held placards and chanted slogans against the government and its ignorance towards the matter.
Donning a white shirt with the word ‘Genocide’ marked in red, Sajjad Hussain, a student of peace and conflict studies at the National Defense University, said that the society has become indifferent and insensitive towards such atrocities. He said it is frustrating to see innocent people die. “First they targeted Ahmedis and now Shias” he added.
Sara Ahmed, a civil society member, said that the trend of target killing was not controlled, it might result in a civil war. “The society will only react if it happens to them, only then their eyes will open,” she said.
Captain Mohammad Ali who had come from Quetta, said that the situation of the Hazara community was aggravating by the day. He added that the people are not angered with the government but with those who are protecting the culprits. “We have registered our protest at all levels - from police the president. But unfortunately we are still being threatened.”
Hassan Ali, another protester, said, “My ancestors are buried in Hazara, how can I and others like myself, move away from our community. We have no option but to keep on living here.”
Furthermore, the civil society reinstated that the government as well as political leadership of the country needs to show the political will, commitment and maturity to fight the menace of terrorism, extremism and sectarianism beyond the party lines.
The government, political parties and the parliament need to act now in unison to find the long term and sustainable solution to this alarming situation. In 2013 alone, more than 250 innocent citizens have been mass murdered and over 1,000 have been injured, many of whom were women and children.
The participants included representatives of Insani Huqooq Ithehad Network, Hazara for Humanity, Pakistan Youth Alliance, FADAN and Dostiyan.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2013.
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