Lawmakers condemn murder of six-year-old Hazara girl

November 08, 2014

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Ghulam Sakhi (R), the father of Sahar Batool, holds up a portrait of his late daughter in Quetta on November 7, 2014. – AFP
Ghulam Sakhi (R), the father of Sahar Batool, holds up a portrait of his late daughter in Quetta on November 7, 2014. – AFP
Members of ethnic Shia Hazara community protest against killing of Sahar Batool in Quetta on Saturday. – PPI Photo
Members of ethnic Shia Hazara community protest against killing of Sahar Batool in Quetta on Saturday. – PPI Photo

ISLAMABAD: Major Political and religious parties have strongly condemned in strongest terms the gruesome incident in Quetta where a six years old girl belonging to Hazara community was kidnapped and later killed and dumped on a garbage heap near her house.

“its most unfortunate incident and there is high responsibility on government to protect the rights of all citizens regardless of their religious and ethnic background,” PPP parliamentary leader in Senate, Raza Rabbani told Dawn.com.

The girl who was from the minority Hazara ethnic group, was found dead last week in Quetta, the capital of the restive southwestern province of Balochistan.

Hazaras are mostly Shia Muslims and have borne the brunt of the wave of sectarian violence that has swept the province in recent years, mostly perpetrated by Sunni Muslim extremist groups.

Six-year-old Hazara girl murdered in Quetta after attempted rape

Quetta city police chief Abdur Razzak Cheema had said the victim, who was the daughter of a gardener working at an army facility, had been strangled with a rope. “There were a lot of bruises on the girl's body that show that attempts were made to rape her,” he added.

Speaking today, Rabbani lamented that the PML-N government's policy to counter extremism in the country has utterly failed because such incident were increasing by the day.

“She is not Hazara girl… she is daughter of Pakistan and whoever has committed this crime should be awarded exemplary punishment,” MQM parliamentary leader in the upper house, Tahir Mashidi said. He feared the incident indicates that no one's daughter remained safe in Pakistan.

The MQM senator demanded of the Balochistan government to immediately bring the culprit to book regardless of his political or religious association. “Sectarianism does not kill you instantly, it slowly bleeds you to death,” remarked Mashidi.

Awami National Party (ANP) also condemned the incident and termed such occurrences as part of former military dictator Zia-ul-Haq’s legacy. Senator Haji Adeel said that all banned sectarian outfits were active with different names and spreading hatred which ultimately leads to such incidents.

“This is most heinous crime and culprit should be publicly hanged,” the ANP parliamentary leader in Senate said. He urged upon all political parties in the country join hands against such crimes.

JUI-F leader Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, who belongs to Quetta, strongly condemned the incident, saying if cases against such incidents were properly registered and culprits given punishment then no one would dare to commit such a crime in the future.

He regretted that insecurity amongst people in Balochistan particularly and in the country in general was increasing by the day. Because, he added there was no justice in Pakistan and those who commit crimes roam freely.

When contacted, federal government spokesman and Minister for Information, Human Rights and Law Pervaiz Rashid strongly reacted to the incident, terming it barbaric. He said the murdered Hazara girl is our daughter.

“Federal government has contacted and directed Balochistan government to register a case against culprits and provide justice to the aggrieved family,” he told Dawn.com.

“Those who commit such crimes are mentally sick, and do not qualify to be called Pakistani or Muslim,” he remarked. He said being in-charge of the human rights ministry, he has issued directives for a thorough investigation into the incident.

Rashid assured that relevant laws would come into action and would be implemented in letter and spirit.


Hazaras protest against girl's brutal murder


Meanwhile, hundreds of Hazaras staged a protest against the murder outside the office of Balochistan's police chief and staged a sit-in for around an hour, demanding the immediate arrests of the girl's killers.

Around 500 protesters, including women and children, shouted slogans denouncing the killing of Hazaras in suicide and bomb attacks as well as individual assaults – AFP