QUETTA: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar Friday said Hazara killings in Quetta were akin to “genocide”.
The top court judge made these remarks while heading a two-member bench that resumed the hearing of the suo motu taken on the target killings of members of the Hazara community at the apex court’s Quetta Registry.
“We do not have words to condemn the incidents of Hazara killings,” said the two-member bench headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan during a hearing.
On May 2, the CJP had taken suo motu notice of Hazara killings and had sought a report from the Balochistan government, Levies, police and the Interior Ministry.
“For me the targeted killing of Hazaras in Quetta is ethnic cleansing and that’s why I have taken suo motu,” the CJP explained.
Counsel for the Hazara community, Advocate Iftikhar Ali, said, “We are facing a personal and financial loss. Members of the Hazara community are not being given admission to universities and people have sold their businesses.” Ali added, “Some members of the community were forced to migrate to Australia. Security from 15 of our leaders has been withdrawn.”
However, Quetta DIG denied taking back the security. To this, Justice Nisar remarked that a committee had been formed to look into the matter.
Advocate Iftikhar Ali 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 had been prepared on the targeted killings. Ansari then presented a report to the two-member bench. The report stated that in the last six years, 399 Hazaras were killed in various incidents of terrorism, adding that the highest number of Hazaras – 208 – were killed in 2013.
The Balochistan IG told the court, “One hundred and six security personnel have been killed since 2012 in targeted killings in the province.”
Further sharing details, the Balochistan IG said, “Nineteen people from minority communities have been killed since 2012 and 20 settlers have been killed in the same period.” Ansari added, “Nine members of Hazara community have been targeted in Balochistan in the last four months, while 28 personnel have been martyred so far in various incidents across the province this year.”
To this, the CJP asked Balochistan IG Moazzam Jah Ansari and agencies to submit the measures that can be taken to protect the Hazara community.
The hearing was then adjourned until after Eid.
A string of successive incidents of targeted killings spread a wave of terror among citizens of Quetta last month.
As a result, members of the Hazara community began protesting against the continued spate of killings against the minority community. The protesters had demanded an immediate end to targeted killings and arrest of those involved.
(c) 2018 The Daily Times