Massacre of Hazaras in Quetta sparks protest in Kabul
More than 100 people, mostly the minority Hazara Shias, were killed and close to 180 others wounded in three near-simultaneous bombings in Quetta, Balochistan’s capital, last week.
Following the explosions, thousands of Hazaras staged a sit-in in freezing cold over the past three days in Quetta, with parallel protests organised in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Gilgat and Islamabad, as well as other major cities.
Bowing to countrywide agitation from the Hazara community, mainstream political parties and civil society groups, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Sunday announced the sacking of the provincial government.
“After consultations with stakeholders, we have decided to invoke Article 234 of the Constitution. Governor’s rule is being imposed and the provincial government dismissed,” the prime minister said.
In Kabul, the protestors expressed their solidarity with the Hazara community in Balochistan, called for their protection and immediate arrest and prosecution of the attackers.
The protesters gathered in the capital’s Shahid Mazari Chowk, chanting “stop Hazara genocide” and “the tribe’s massacre is a grave crime”. They asked the Pakistani authorities to probe a string of attacks on the community in recent months.
Kazim Wahidi, one of the protest organisers, told Pajhwok Afghan News they wanted to express solidarity with the tribe, denounce the carnage and extend condolences to the victims’ families.
The protestors urged the United Nations and other international bodies to pay attention to the Hazara community’s plight in Pakistan and ensure their security.
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