The killers of Hazaras are holding rallies in the country, said Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.
He initiated suo motu action on May 2 regarding the frequent targeted attacks against the community. In April, the Hazara people staged sit-ins, with one lawyer, Jalila Haider, going on hunger strike. They ended their protests after army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal met them and promised security. The CJP also met a Hazara delegation, whose members told him about the frequent attacks.
The first hearing happened at the Supreme Court’s Quetta registry on Friday.
The Balochistan police chief, Moazzam Ja Ansari, presented a report on Hazara targeted killings.
“We do not have words to condemn these unfortunate incidents,” remarked the top judge. “I had to take suo motu notice because this is genocide. Where is the Frontier Corps (FC) IG?”
An FC official told the court that the IG, Major Gen Nadeem Anjum, was in Islamabad. The official said he was representing the IG.
“We have to protect the life and property of the Hazara people,” remarked the CJP. He ordered all the agencies to submit a report in 15 days on why the attacks against the Hazara community continue.
“I met the Hazara people in Quetta,” said Justice Nisar. “They are so scared right now that they are not even submitting a petition in the Supreme Court. They are unable to find lawyers.”
The CJP said the Hazara people are unable to get admissions in universities. They can’t go to schools and hospitals due to fear, he said. Justice Nisar asked if Hazaras are not Pakistani citizens. “Whose responsibility is it to provide them security?” he remarked. “We should be told why the community is being targeted.”
A lawyer representing the Hazara community, Iftikhar Ali, said that a security plan was devised in 2013. “If it had been implemented, these attacks would have stopped.” The CJP ordered the authorities to improve and implement the plan.
The hearing was adjourned till Eid.
Easy to kill
In Quetta, yellow cabs make it easier for assailants to attack Hazaras since most such taxis are owned by Hazaras. Their distinct facial features also make them an easy target.
More than 32 people were killed in the past four months in different targeted attacks and bomb blasts in Quetta, say law enforcers. Community elders say 70,000 Hazaras have moved out of Quetta due to frequent targeted attacks.
Since 2008, several hundreds of Hazaras have been steadily killed. In Quetta, bombings killed at least 180 people in 2013 – 96 were killed in an attack on a snooker club frequented by young Hazara men in January while 84 others were killed a month later when a crowded vegetable market mostly used by ethnic Hazaras was bombed. SAMAA cameraman Imran Sheikh and reporter Saifur Rehman also died in the bombing. Bereaved families refused to bury their dead, which sparked countrywide demonstrations. The protests led to the provincial government’s suspension.
Thousands of people have been killed in sectarian attacks in the Balochistan province. The outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and other sectarian outfits have claimed responsibility for most attacks.