Killing of Hazaras in Quetta akin to genocide: CJP

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar says 'do not have words to condemn the incidents of Hazara killings'

Web Desk

QUETTA: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said on Friday he took suo motu notice of Hazara killings in Quetta as it is akin to “genocide”.

“We do not have words to condemn the incidents of Hazara killings,” a two-member bench headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan said during a hearing of the suo motu notice at Supreme Court’s Quetta Registry.

The CJP had taken suo motu notice of Hazara killings on May 2 and had summoned a report from the Balochistan government, Levies, police and Interior Ministry.

“For me the targeted killings of the Hazara community in Quetta is ethnic cleansing and thus I had to take suo motu,” the CJP explained.

Apprising the court, the counsel of the Hazara community, Advocate Iftikhar Ali, said, "We are facing a personal and financial loss."

"Members of the Hazara community are not given admission in universities and people have sold their businesses," the counsel added.

Ali further said, "Some members of the community were forced to migrate to Australia."

The Hazara community counsel further told the court, "Security from 15 of our leaders has been withdrawn."

However, DIG Quetta denied taking back the security. To this, Justice Nisar remarked that a committee has been formed to look into the matter.

Advocate Iftikhar Ali further told the court, "Hazaras are being killed for the last 20 years." 

To this, the CJP asked IG Balochistan Moazzam Jah Ansari and agencies to submit the measures that can be taken to protect the Hazara community.

'399 Hazaras killed in last six years' 

Responding to the statement, the chief justice asked the Balochistan IG if a report has been prepared on the targeted killings. Ansari then presented a report to the two-member bench.

The report stated that in the last six years, 399 Hazaras were killed in various incidents of terrorism, adding that the highest number of Hazaras — 208 — were killed in 2013.

The Balochistan IG told the court, "106 security personnel have been killed since 2012 in targeted killings in the province."

Further sharing details, the Balochistan IG said, "19 people from minority communities have been killed since 2012 and 20 settlers have been killed in the same period."

"The security situation in the province has improved now," the IG Balochistan said. 

Ansari added, "Nine members of Hazara community have been targeted in Balochistan in the last four months."

"Twenty-eight personnel have been martyred so far in various incidents across the province this year," the IG said.

The hearing was then adjourned until after Eid.

A string of successive incidents of targeted killings spread a wave of terror among citizens of Quetta last month.

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 demanded an immediate end to targeted killings of Hazara community members and arrest of every culprit involved.