Killing of Hazaras in Quetta akin to ethnic cleansing: CJP

QUETTA: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said he took suo motu notice of Hazara killings in Quetta as it is akin to “ethnic cleansing”.

“We do not have words to condemn the incidents of Hazara killings,” a two-member bench headed by Justice Nisar and comprising of Justice Ijazul Hasan said during a hearing of the suo motu notice at Supreme Court’s Quetta Registry.

The CJP had taken suo motu notice of Hazara killings on May 2 and had summoned a report from the Balochistan government, Levies, police and Interior Ministry.

“For me the targeted killings of the Hazara community in Quetta is ethnic cleansing and thus I had to take suo motu,” the CJP remarked.

Apprising the court, the counsel of the Hazara community, Advocate Iftikhar Ali, said, “We are facing a personal and financial loss.”

“Members of the Hazara community are not given admission in universities and the business community has sold the stores we owned,” the counsel added.

Advocate Iftikhar Ali further said, “Some members of the community were forced to migrate to Australia.”

To this, the CJP asked IG Balochistan Moazzam Jah Ansari and agencies to submit the measures that can be taken to protect the Hazara community.

The Hazara community counsel further told the court, “Security from 15 of our leaders has been withdrawn.”

However, DIG Quetta denied taking back the security. To this, Justice Nisar remarked that a committee has been formed to look into the matter.

Advocate Iftikhar Ali further told the court, “Hazaras are being killed for the last 20 years.”

Responding to the statement, the chief justice asked the Balochistan IG if a report has been prepared on the targeted killings. Ansari then presented a report to the two-member bench.

The Balochistan IG told the court, “124 people of both sects and 106 security personnel have been killed since 2012 in targeted killings in the province.”

Further sharing details, the Balochistan IG said, “19 people from minority communities have been killed since 2012 and 20 settlers have been killed in the same period.”

“The security situation in the province has improved now,” the IG Balochistan said.

Ansari added, “Nine members of Hazara community have been targeted in Balochistan in the last four months.”

“Twenty-eight personnel have been martyred so far in incidents across the province this year,” the IG said.

A string of successive incidents of targeted killings spread a wave of terror among citizens of Quetta.

At least six people were killed and three wounded in different incidents of targeted killings in the provincial capital earlier this month.
As a result, members of the Hazara community began protesting against the continued spate of killings against the minority community. Apart from the sit-in outside the assembly, a social activist Advocate Jalila Haider-led hunger strike was also being staged by Hazara community women outside the Quetta Press Club.
The protesters wished for an immediate end to targeted killings of Hazara community members and arrest of every culprit involved in the heinous acts.