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    Protestors want UN to blacklist LJ

    KABUL (PAN): As a hunger strike by civil society activists in western Herat province entered a third day on Tuesday, dozens protested in Kabul against continued attacks on Shiites in Pakistan and Afghanistan by Sunni extremists.

    Nearly 50 Hazara tribesmen gathered in front of the UNAMA office in Kabul, calling on the Security Council to declare Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), a small militant group dominated by Punjabis in Pakistan, a terrorist outfit.

    The group has been declared terrorist by Pakistan and the US, blaming it for attacks on Shiites.

    LJ has claimed responsibility for a recent bombing that killed 81 Hazara people and injured more than 200 others in Quetta. The group has also claimed responsibility for January 2013 bombings in Pakistan, killing 125 people.

    President Karzai blamed LJ for a bombing that killed 59 people at Abu Fazal shrine in the Murad Khani district of Kabul on December 6, 2011. Most of the dead were pilgrims marking Ashura, the holiest day in the Shia calendar.

    “Stop the genocide of Hazaras; we are with you (Hazara people in Quetta); our hunger strike is against atrocities,” chanted the strikers in Kabul.

    Dr. Kazim Wahidi, who led the hunger strike in Kabul, said countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan should come up with action to stop terrorist attacks against the minority community.

    He said LJ was a terrorist group that had been involved in brazen attacks on the Shiites, asking the UN, human rights organisations and the international community to include the group in the list of terrorist outfits.

    "Pakistan annually receives a lot of money from the international community on the pretext of fighting terrorism, but in fact it is shielding terror groups and using them against its enemies," he remarked, urging pressure on Islamabad to seriously fight terrorism.

    The hunger strikers vowed to protest as long as their demands were not met. Daud Yousafi, who speaks on behalf of the fasting individuals, suspected complicity of intelligence services of regional countries in systematic killing of the Shiites.

    As a similar strike in western Herat province, where the health condition of three protestors is said to be deteriorating, entered a third day on Tuesday.

    myn/ma



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