Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the blast killing over 80 Hazara Shias in Quetta on Saturday and slammed the authorities’ failure to crack down on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the militant outfit openly claiming responsibility for attacking the persecuted community.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Commission said: “HRCP is at a loss for words at this latest catastrophe to befall the long-suffering Hazaras of Balochistan. How often have we witnessed carnage targeting the Hazaras over the last few months that the media has labeled Quetta tragedy or Hazara massacre? What happened in Quetta on Saturday highlights the consequences of the government’s failure to crack down on known militant outfits. That also ought to be enough for any society that puts a premium on human life to hang its head in shame. In such a society, heads would have rolled. Not so in Pakistan. The people have been informed that this latest massacre was the result of an intelligence failure. Neither the victims’ families nor civil society can care less about the claptrap being fed to the media to deflect criticism. The people are entitled to ask what steps, if any, had been taken after the deadly attack against Quetta’s Hazaras last month in order to bring to justice the ruthless killers who have the audacity to claim responsibility again and again for their ghastly actions. The government should explain how the governor’s rule has contributed to protecting the Hazaras or improving the law and order in Balochistan in general. It is heart rendering that the victims’ families are once again refusing to bury their dead until someone in a position of authority promises that the killings would stop. They believe that that is the only way they can get the authorities’ attention. They want to know what action is being taken against those who failed to protect the citizens in Quetta this time around and why they should believe that the government’s tough talk and promises of action this once are genuine.
HRCP extends heartfelt condolences to the Hazara community and salutes their unwavering resolve even in the face of heart wrenching loss to pursue peaceful means for seeking an end to their suffering.
The people of Pakistan have an expectation, however misplaced it might seem today, of the government safeguarding their lives from those who perpetuate violence in the name of faith. The Hazaras of Quetta have retreated to just a couple of localities in Quetta to avoid being targeted. It is a travesty that that did not outrage the conscience of the people into action. But today they cannot retreat any further. They, and other citizens of Pakistan, demand government’s protection against militants. Words alone simply would not do any more.”