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Hazaras continue hunger strike as talks fizzle out

Hazaras continue hunger strike as talks fizzle out

May 01, 2018 - 13:44

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Members of the minority Hazara community in southwestern Balochistan province have refused to call off their hunger strike. 

A federal minister, who rushed to Quetta late Tuesday evening, met protest leaders but the talks ended on an inconclusive note. 

On Monday, the hunger strike by the long-persecuted Shiite community entered its third day. The protest camp has been set up outside the Quetta press club.

Jalila Haider, who is leading the protest by womeninfo-icon activists, told reporters she would not call off the strike until the army chief assured her of concrete steps to bring the killers to justice.

Later, Inte­rior Minister Ahsan Iqbal visited the protest camp outside the Balochistan Assembly and held talks with a provincial minister representing the protesters, Syed Agha Raza. But Raza and others refused to end their protest.

The interior minister claimed the government was doing all it could to put an end to the targeted killings and provide protection to the community, but the strikers were not moved.

“We will not compromise our demands and security. We will continue to hold the sit-in here in front of the assembly,” Raza said, adding he was ready to quit his post but would not betray his supporters.

The protesters demand immediate end to the targeted killing of Hazara community members, arrest of culprits and a visit of the army chief to those observing a hunger strike against the genocide of the community.

At least 30 members of the Hazara community have been shot dead in Quetta in recent months. However, none of the assailants has been detained yet, despite strong protests.


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