Sherry Rehman demands justice for the Hazara Community

Islamabad: Starting the Senate debate on Hazara killings on a point of public importance, Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said 11 coal miners have been shot dead in Balochistan just because they belonged to the Shia Hazara Community.

“If this is not ethnic cleansing, then what is? This systematic killing of Hazara’s needs to be stopped,” she said.

She said, “According to Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights, more than 2000 members of the Hazara community have been killed since 2004. Moreover, more than 700,000 Hazaras have fled in a bid of better and safer life. This oppressed and persecuted community is targeted almost everywhere in Balochistan”.

“These coal miners were working for the development of our country and their security is the responsibility of the state. If there are check posts all over Balochistan, then how can the terrorists escape? Why was there a lapse?” Rehman questioned.

Highlighting the plight of the victims’ families, she said, “Hazara community members are sitting outside in the biting cold weather of Quetta, along with the bodies of their beloved ones, asking for an explanation and justice. It has been more than 24 hours since this happened and no action has been taken so far”.

“Despite the magnitude of this tragedy, PM or the CM of Balochistan have not visited the families. Making phone calls to condole is not enough. They should have gone to support the grieving families. Our PM sat on the ground with half the cabinet members when something similar happened to the Hazaras in the past. What is PM Khan waiting for?” Rehman questioned.

The Senator said, “It is shocking that instead of controlling the situation, persecution of the already oppressed Hazara community continues. They have suffered enough due to this government’s flawed policies in Balochistan”.

“Combating terrorism is a persistent and serious issue that requires a strong strategic plan. Where is National Action Plan? NAP’s poor planning and lack of government oversight has led to its monumental ineffectiveness,” she added.

The Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying, “This continuous targeted killing of the Hazaras must be addressed and stopped. The government needs to stop hiding behind the opposition and take responsibility. Government’s failure to protect its citizens is proof enough that affairs are out of their control. PPP is standing in solidarity with the Hazaras and will ensure that they get the justice they deserve.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Dr Nafisa Shah, Palwasha Khan and Naz Baloch in a joint press conference held in Islamabad slated the selected government of Imran Khan for creating havoc in the country.

Dr. Nafisa Shah has said that with the appointment of Sheikh Rasheed as interior minister a new wave of terror has arrived in Pakistan. A young student was killed by the very people who were supposed to protect his life and property. The unfortunate incident in Machh in which eleven miners were killed by terrorists on sectarian grounds has rattled the nation.

Dr. Nafisa Shah said that this anti-people government increased the petroleum prices on the new year. Every month, the electricity and gas bills are being increased on the directives of IMF. Imran Khan is the only person in all of Pakistan whose palace in Bani Gala was regularized, whereas the houses of poor people have been razed to the ground.

Palwasha Khan strongly condemning the killing of innocent student in Islamabad said that the interior minister does nothing besides issuing political statements against the opposition. The foreign minister does not know that every month, 20,000 people are being sent back to Pakistan from abroad. This government has alienated Pakistan in the global community.

Naz Baloch addressing the press conference said that even the white collar professionals are facing economic constraints in this government. On one hand, the government is using NAB as a tool of victimization whereas on the other, the government is protecting sugar, flour, medicine and fuel thieves.

The PPP leaders said that all the members of assemblies have submitted their resignations to the party leadership and they will be used at the appropriate time. They said that the government allies are abandoning the government because no one wants to be traveling in a sinking ship. They said that resignations are like a nuclear weapon and will be used at the end. The establishment should not interfere in politics and every institution should work within its domain according to the constitution.