Hazara protesters call off sit-in over Quetta blast

QUETTA – Members of Hazara community protesting against Hazarganji blast have called off their sit-in in Quetta after successful negotiations with Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Jam Kamal Khan and State Minister of for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi on Tuesday.
The demonstration had started four days ago following a deadly attack claimed 20 lives in the Balochistan capital, Quetta, on Friday.

Despite rainfall, members of the Hazara community had continued their sit-in on Quetta’s Western Bypass, which links the city with highways.

Women and children were also part of the sit-in demanding action against the perpetrators of Hazara killings. The protesters had set up camps and burnt wood to keep warm at night.

State Minister Afridi had arrived in Quetta on Monday to review the security situation. He was accompanied by Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfiqar Bukhari.

Afridi had visited the Imam Bargah located in Hazara town to condole with the bereaved family members.

Afridi told the media that the federal government stands with the Hazara community and that concrete steps will be taken to end the crimes against its members.

Afridi and Bukhari also called on the Balochistan chief minister and other political leaders to discuss the means to improve security and end the ongoing protest by Hazara community.

The minister was briefed about the investigation into the deadly suicide bombing, said a press release issued by the chief minister secretariat after the meeting.

At least 21 dead, nearly 50 injured in Quetta market blast

Later today, President Arif Alvi met with the bereaved families of the martyrs of Hazarganji terrorist attack and offered prayers for the departed souls.

Condoling with the victims’ families, the president said that it is the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens.

“Peace is need of the country,” the president said in a meeting with Balochistan Governor Amanullah Yasinzai and CM Jam Kamal Khan in Quetta. The federal government is standing by the provincial government to maintain peace in Balochistan, he added.

“No compromise will be made on establishing peace in the country,” he added.

Alvi said that Hazarganji like conspiracies have failed to create a wedge in our society, and added that the entire nation stands by Hazara community in this hour of grief.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will arrive in the Balochistan capital on Thursday to meet the families of Hazarganji victims.

PM Imran to meet victims of Hazarganji blast during Quetta visit

Hazaras are disproportionately targeted by sectarian violence as they are easily identifiable due to their distinctive physical appearance.

A report released by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) last year stated that 509 members of Hazara community were killed and 627 injured in various incidents of terrorism in Quetta from January 2012 to Dec 2017.