Pakistan Govt urged to put an end to Shia Hazara persecution
Pakistan and Britain have been urged to work together to put an end to ongoing persecution of Hazara Shias in Quetta, Balochistan.
Murtaza Ali Shah, a correspondent of The News Karachi in London reported that the demand was made at an event in the British parliament as more than 20 MPs and peers from Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives gathered to raise awareness and discuss ways to press Nawaz Sharif’s government to tackle the persecution.
The formation of All Parties Parliamentary Group UK Hazara was also announced. More than hundred members of the Hazara community also attended the meeting from various cities of the UK and met their MPs and explained to them the serious issues their relatives face in Quetta. British parliamentarians were told Hazaras have been targeted in Quetta and this year over 300 have been killed by al-Qaeda affiliated groups including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Tehreek-e-Taliban. They were told the banned sectarian groups have been acting with impunity and so far they have eluded the clutches of law and no one has been brought to book.
The MPs and Lords were told that despite several announcements made by the federal and the provincial government, no concrete steps have been taken for the safety and security of the besieged Hazaras and it is only a matter of time before another tragedy happens.
An exhibition was arranged on this occasion which showed graphic pictures of the persecuted Hazaras, detailing how Hazaras have been attacked on various occasions, resulting into the killings of at least 1,300 Hazaras in Quetta since 1999.
John Denham, Chair of the UK Hazara All Party Parliamentary Group, said that the plight of Hazaras cannot be ignored anymore and called on the UK government to work closely with Pakistani government and raise concerns. “In order to restore basic human rights to Hazaras in Pakistan, we need not only to supply vital aid to victims of terrorism but also to be clear with Pakistan about their need to grant security to Hazaras in Quetta and bring their murderers to justice.”
Iain Stewart MP questioned why the law-enforcement agencies were hesitant to take action against the militant groups. He said that banned outfits have taken responsibility for attacking Hazaras and the authorities know who these terrorists are “but so far not a single terrorist involved in the killing of Hazaras has been brought to justice”.
He said that while the world watches on, the persecution has debilitated the Hazaras as a community and they are living in insecurity all over the world.Alan Johnson MP said Hazaras are a peace-loving and tolerant community but they are being systematically killed and if action is not taken then there is little chance they can survive in Pakistan as a community. He called on the new government in Pakistan to take the issue of Hazara “genocide” seriously and simply not brush it under the carpet. Lord Eric Avebury said that the United Nations has been approached to develop an international consensus on the issue of Hazara killings. He said that as a result of the govt failure, Hazara professionals are leaving the country to seek asylum abroad which is a loss of Pakistan.
“Life for Hazaras is a living hell. This needs to be stopped.Hazaras love Pakistan and they need security within Pakistan,” he said. Inayat Balkhy Syed said that Hazara diaspora have decided to approach international forums after having exhausted all avenues in Pakistan.
Mukhtar Zakir, a Hazara leader, said that they had expectation from the current Pakistani government. “We appeal to Nawaz Sharif to take action against and show that this government cares for us and acknowledges as equal Pakistanis. The situation for our families in Quetta is really dangerous.”
About The Author
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.