300,000 people have left Balochistan: HRCP

By AFP
Published: October 15, 2014
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: More than 300,000 people including Shias and Hindus have fled Balochistan over the past 10 years due to growing unrest, a rights group said Wednesday.

Tahir Hussain Khan, president of the Baluchistan chapter of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said: “The figure of 300,000 is a considerable figure. The actual number of migrants may be higher but we could only authenticate this.”

Khan said the Hazaras were worst hit by the unrest, with as many as 200,000 of them relocating to Pakistan’s major cities or abroad.

At least 24 Hazara pilgrims were killed in June when their bus was targeted by suicide bombers. Further, two devastating bombings in Quetta targeting Shias killed nearly 200 people last year and were claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Around 10,000 Hindus have migrated from several areas of Balochistan after incidents of extortion, kidnapping for ransom and killings, Khan added.

He said the Hindus have settled in Karachi, adding that his commission has received three complaints of forced religious conversions.

The rest of the migrants included around 300 Parsi families and 400 members of the Zikri sect.

Khan said the other 90,000 people who have fled are from the Punjabi and Urdu-speaking communities, who have left to avoid violence by Baloch nationalists.

Akbar Hussain Durrani, the provincial home secretary, accepted that the various groups had left but said the total was exaggerated.

“I dispute the figure of 300,000, I don’t know where they have gathered these figure. Yes I accept that there was migration of these groups, but not at such a huge level that HRCP (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan) claims,” he said.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • A
    Oct 15, 2014 - 7:58PM

    Extremely sad. The country is hijacked by the corrupt immoral politicians who only exploit democracy. The most terrifying truth is that rulers are not afraid of their own death. Where the screams of these awful people will take them to.

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  • BIMAL CHANDRA JHA
    Oct 16, 2014 - 8:30AM

    Sir,
    It is very unfortunate thing that in the name of religion innocent and peace loving people around the globe are butchered daily. It reminds us of old age when religious faith was imposed by the might of swords. We are living in 21st century and love peace and democracy. We must change our mindset and should believe in alleviating poverty. Today ,majority people of the world are living in abject poverty and do not have access to nutritious food and health care. So, no religious faith is our enemy. The greatest enemy is our poverty.
    -Bimal Chandra Jha

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  • Baloch
    Nov 3, 2014 - 8:36AM

    It’s not only religious minorities who have left. Settlors from other provinces, including Punjabis who have been targeted by foreign-backed Baloch separatists, have also left.

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  • Baloch
    Nov 3, 2014 - 8:38AM

    Thanks to Baloch separatists, if you live in Nushki and want to have a haircut, you need to travel all the way to Quetta because all the barbers in Nushki were Punjabi settlors who were targeted them.

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