ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar took on Wednesday suo motu notice of the targeted killings of the Hazara community in Quetta.
“Their killers are openly holding rallies,” the chief justice remarked during a hearing, noting that the Hazaras do not get admission in universities, cannot go to schools and hospitals.
“Are they not citizens of Pakistan,” he observed.
The chief justice stated that he will hear the case on May 11 in Quetta.
The Supreme Court summoned a report on the matter from the Balochistan government, levies, police and interior ministry.
“Hazaras are scared and have thus not submitted a request to the apex court,” he noted further.
A string of successive incidents of targeted killings spread a wave of terror among citizens of Quetta.
At least six people were killed and three wounded in different incidents of targeted killings in the provincial capital over the last few days.
As a result, members of the Hazara community began protesting against the continued spate of killings against the minority community. Apart from the sit-in outside the assembly, a social activist Advocate Jalila Haider-led hunger strike was also being staged by Hazara community women outside the Quetta Press Club.
The protesters wished for an immediate end to the targetting of Hazara community members and arrest of every culprit involved in the heinous acts.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Quetta Tuesday night and met with leaders of the community.
Hazara leaders say sit-ins to disperse, pledge support after COAS visits Quetta
The Hazara leaders informed the army chief of their reservations, according to Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the army spokesperson.
The army chief, while observing and analysing the security situation in Quetta, offered condolences and prayers for the deceased.
Gen Bajwa also assured the Hazara community that “those who have targeted them shall suffer twice as much”, a press release issued by the army said.
“Every Pakistani irrespective of religion, sect, language or caste has to stay steadfast and united to defeat hostile forces trying to create divisions,” he added.
Gen Bajwa was accompanied by Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa and Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal, as well as Balochistan’s chief and home ministers Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Sarfraz Bugti, respectively.
On Monday night, Iqbal had visited a protest camp outside the Balochistan Assembly and held talks with Raza who was leading the protest. The protesters, however, had then refused to end their protest until the army chief visited them.