Irate leaders of the Hazara community on Tuesday threatened to call a ‘civil disobedience campaign’ if more members of their community are targeted in future – a day after the slaying of four young traders in Quetta.
Without mincing words, Hazara community leaders said that they thought “state institutions” were directly involved in their ‘massacre’.
Speaking to journalists at Quetta Press Club, Hazara Political Workers’ chief Muhammad Tahir Khan Hazara, Hazara Jirga chief Qayyum Chengaizi, Shia Conference president Daud Agha and Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Agha Muhammad demanded an immediate halt of the killing of the Hazara youngsters.
“If this [killing] doesn’t stop, we will jam the entire city together with other sympathising parties,” one of the leaders said, adding that the killers of the four Hazara traders at Masjid Road on Monday were also involved in the murder of three Hazara people at Khudadad Chowk. They called the targeted killing of their community a conspiracy aimed at “stoking sectarian violence in the city”.
The leaders said they were unsure how they could secure their constitutional and human rights. They pointed out that thousands of Hazara youngsters had been killed during the past few years.
Instead of getting protection, they said Hazaras are being pushed against the wall. Blood is spilled in Balochistan and the same treatment is meted out to the Baloch, Pushtun and Hazara communities, they said.
Meanwhile, a shutter down strike was observed in different localities of Quetta against the killing of the four Hazara traders the previous day.
The call for a strike came from Hazara Democratic Party. All major shops and the shopping malls remained closed on Toghi Road, Abdul Sattar Road, Alamdar Road, MecChongi road and surrounding areas. The government took stringent security measures to meet any untoward incident. Police, backed by Frontier Corps and the Anti Terrorist Force, kept on patrolling the provincial capital to ensure calm.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.