Hazara leaders call off protest after meeting army chief

Gen Bajwa meets a delegation of female members of the community — DawnNewsTV
Gen Bajwa meets a delegation of female members of the community — DawnNewsTV
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa holding a meeting with representatives of the Shia Hazara community. Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo are also present.
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa holding a meeting with representatives of the Shia Hazara community. Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo are also present.

QUETTA: After a meeting with Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday night, the leaders of the Shia Hazara community agreed to call off their protest over the recent spate of targeted killings in the city.

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and others had reached the Quetta Press Club to ask the Hazara women to end their hunger strike when this report was filed by 2am.

Gen Bajwa arrived in the city late Tuesday evening and held a meeting with representatives of the Hazara community that has been hit badly by incidents of targeted killing in the city.

According to the Inter-Serv­ices Public Relations, a delegation of notables of the community held a meeting with the army chief and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who also arrived in Quetta on Tuesday evening.

Mr Iqbal had reached Quetta on Monday to persuade Hazara community leaders to call off the­ir protest over the recent spate of targeted killings but they had refused to do so unless Gen Bajwa held a meeting with them.

Chief Minister Bizenjo, Com­m­ander of Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, Home Minister Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, Inspector General of Fro­n­tier Corps Maj Gen Nade­­em Ahmed Anjum and IG of Baloc­histan police Moazzam Jah Ans­ari were also present in the meeting between the army chief and the Hazara community elders.

Officials briefed the army chief and the interior minister on the security situation in Quetta and steps taken by the provincial government and law enforcement agencies after the recent wave of target killings in Quetta. Earlier, the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) wrote a letter to Gen Bajwa, asking him to play his role for stopping the targeted killings of Shia Hazara community’s members in Baloch­istan. The letter, sent by MWM general secretary Allama Nasir Abbas, said the organized sectarian cleansing of Hazara people was going on in Balochistan and there was a need to stop it without further delay.

It further said that Christians and members of other minority communities in the province were also becoming victims of terrorist attacks. He alleged that terrorists openly claimed that they were involved in the killing of Hazaras, but action was not being taken against them.

Ikram Junaidi in Islamabad contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2018

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