Home Global Village COAS Gen Bajwa steps in to address grievances of Hazara community

COAS Gen Bajwa steps in to address grievances of Hazara community

Hazara community

News Analysis |

General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Chief of Army Staff, arrived in the provincial capital of Balochistan, Quetta, on Tuesday to inspect the security situation in the city.

The military chief will not only get an update regarding the law and order situation of the violence-battered city but will also meet notable elders of Hazara community, disclosed Major Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations.

The whirlwind brief tour of the military chief is important owing to a recent spree of violence unleashed in the city as two Hazara community members were gunned down on Saturday, in the second attack on the community within a week and third in the month of April.

After the firing incident, that sent shockwaves across the country, hundreds of members of the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), Hazara Traders’ Action Committee and other members of the community thronged the Meezan Chowk area and burnt tyres.

Moreover, a group of Hazara women and children gathered in front of the Quetta Press Club and staged a protest against the suppression of community members. The Press Club protest became noticeable after a lawyer known as Advocate Jaleela announced a hunger strike until the arrest of the terrorists involved in the attack.

The military head had announced strict security measures to ensure the safety of locals including additional army troops in the city, safe city project by installing CCTV cameras and certain other steps necessary to beef up the security.

Moreover, Jaleela appealed to Army Chief General Javed Qamar Bajwa to take notice of the situation and suggest immediate steps. Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Interior Minister, had visited a protest camp set up outside the Balochistan Assembly on Monday and held talks with provincial minister Syed Agha Raza.

Read more: Qamar Bajwa to Iran: Cooperation necessary for regional peace

Interior Minister Iqbal had expressed solidarity with the protesters over the recent killings;, however, the demonstrators had refused to end their protest until the arrival of the army chief. Though the protesters refused to honor the request of Iqbal, he, however, claimed that the killings plummeted in the last five years.

“Situation has much improved with killings dropping from 215 in 2014 to 8. Our efforts will continue to bring it to zero,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.

The crucial visit of Chief of Army Staff will not only help console the grief-stricken locals but will also lay a framework for a robust security mechanism in the city. The track record of the military head is tantamount to the fact that whenever he tried to calm down the tempers of raged protesters in any part of the country, he remained successful.

The military chief will not only get an update regarding the law and order situation of the violence-battered city but will also meet notable elders of Hazara community, disclosed Major Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations.

Recently, a group of traders from North Waziristan called off their protest after their talks with Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, proved successful. The traders were seeking compensation for their shops and businesses affected during operation Zarb-i-Azab and assurances were given to the traders that their issue will be addressed.

The peaceful return of traders was being hailed by political commentators before it emerged that the Apex Committee of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had constituted a Jirga, comprising politicians and local elders, to hold talks with the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM).

The Apex Committee, which also comprises Chief Minister and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is still engaged in negotiations with the senior officials of PTM, despite the fact that the slogans raised by the ethnic group were highly controversial.

The track record of the military head is tantamount to the fact that whenever he tried to calm down the tempers of raged protesters in any part of the country, he remained successful.

Although PTM’s major demand was the reduction in the number of check posts, it was either ignorant or was intentionally peddling the propaganda that nothing substantial was done in this regard, because the check posts were already reduced by a considerable count.

Another demand put forth by PTM was regarding the demining of FATA and according to Corps Commander Peshawar, there were no mines left behind by the armed forces. The official confirmed that 158 minefields were cleared out of 246 and PTM’s complaint related to the mines left behind by the terrorists.

Read more: COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa asks Govt. to find political solution…

Gen Bajwa was also successful in convincing the Parachinar tribes,t ribes to end their protest in June 2017. The Turi and Bangash tribes were staging a protest following an explosion in the tribal city which had claimed over 60 lives.

The military head had announced strict security measures to ensure the safety of locals including additional army troops in the city, safe city project by installing CCTV cameras and certain other steps necessary to beef up the security.

On the same pattern, the Chief of Army Staff might be able to convince the Hazara community members, call off their protest by assuring them a better security in the city. Meanwhile, the mistrust of locals on the civilian administration speaks volumes about the incompetence of regime to tackle the situation, for which heads will roll.


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