News Desk |
For more than 30 hours, people from the heavily discriminated and persecuted Hazara community of Quetta has been staging a sit-in protest on the Western Bypass to express their dissent with the heinous suicide attack and failure of law enforcement bodies to provide them with security throughout the country.
Men were joined by women and children of their community who blocked the Western bypass and set tyres on fire to express their anger. Protests were also staged outside the Quetta Press Club.
The heinous suicide attacks in the marketplaces of Quetta have sent waves of shock and sadness throughout the country.
This sit-in began on Friday as the people from the Hazara community ventured out to protest shortly after a suicide blast exploded in vegetable stalls at the Hazar Ganji Market of Quetta, claiming the lives of nearly 20 people, which included eight individuals from the Hazara community, and a soldier of the Frontier Corps (FC). 48 people were injured in this suicide attack.
From the nature of the attack, the law enforcement personnel revealed that the vegetable sellers and vendors from the Hazara community were targeted by the terrorists, and this development was later confirmed by Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove.
While the protestors refused to disperse throughout the night, the terrorists targeted yet another bustling marketplace in the border town of Chaman. An improvised explosive device was used in this attack, martyring one man while 11 have been injured, including two soldiers of the paramilitary FC. The blast also damaged surrounding buildings and vehicles.
The protest has marked its second day on Saturday, and the protestors are devoted to their demand for immediate action against the terrorists who carried out these heinous attack. They are demanding immediate implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) without discriminating against ethnic minorities. The Hazara protestors are urging the state to fulfil its responsibility of protecting all its people.
This sit-in began on Friday as the people from the Hazara community ventured out to protest shortly after a suicide blast exploded in vegetable stalls.
Government Pledges Security & Safety to the Hazara Community
Ali Zaidi, the Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs stressed that the PTI-led government is seriously probing into the attack and takes full responsibility of all its citizens regardless of their caste, creed, religion or province. While addressing the press in Quetta, Ali Zaidi condemned the heartbreaking incident and assured that the government is here to provide assistance and relief to all victims.
He stated, “Terrorism does not have any religion and we have fought this war for the past 20 years. Now, we are at the tail end of our fight against terror, and while this incident is horrifying, we are happy to see that Balochistan now has a Chief Minister who is farsighted and dedicated”. Federal Minister Ali Zaidi stressed that developed cannot be achieved without providing educational and healthcare infrastructure.
He further added that law enforcement agencies are performing their duties with great diligence, and he stated that terrorists who infiltrate and carry out such horrifying attack against innocent people have been brainwashed and trained to an extent that they lose their sanity.
The Hazara protestors are urging the state to fulfil its responsibility of protecting all its people.
In response to a National Action Plan (NAP) that could provide security to the Hazara community, Ali Zaidi stated that the PTI-led government has begun implementation of NAP without undermining the independence of the courts or of the law enforcement bodies. He said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan has issued a clear direction to all law enforcement bodies and cabinets to ensure that no religious or political groups affiliated with terror groups are exempted.”
Zaidi stressed that the National Action Plan also focuses on improving educational infrastructure and human development alongside improving law enforcement bodies. He clarified that the NAP is not a political matter, and the PTI-led government will fully enforce this plan in all spheres of Pakistan.
Federal Minister Ali Zaidi assured, “We will make sure that the perpetrators of this heinous attack against the Hazara community are taken to task and the concerns of the protestors are put to rest.”
The heinous suicide attacks in the marketplaces of Quetta have sent waves of shock and sadness throughout the country. Leaders, politicians and activists have come out to make sure that the NAP is effectively implemented and the Hazara community is provided safety against such targeted attacks in the future.
This article was written by Mina Jahangir and was edited by Sana Mushtaq.