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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Amnesty International Is Considering Legal Action For Misuse of Its Name

Recently, a Press Release (Urdu) bearing the letterhead of the Amnesty International was widely circulated through social media which purportedly condemned the killings of Hazaras and declared it as Genocide. The contents of the same PR were published in the Balochistan’s local newspapers. After thorough examination of the PR, HUM, UK contacted AI’s international secretariat to establish the authenticity of such statement. The AI, in subsequent emails, expressed their concern over genuineness of the PR and urged that all such statements related to its organisation, are issued by its headquarters which can be accessed by visiting its website.

AI has also expressed intent to take legal action against all those misusing its name by issuing unwarranted press statements.

HUM, UK, appeals to all human rights defenders, activists and campaigners to exercise due vigilance before disseminating news from dubious and unreliable sources, specially when they pertain to persecution of beleaguered minority communities.

Government’s Complicity Has Accelerated Targeted Attacks on Christians

Targeted attacks on Christian community have alarmingly in restive Quetta in the past few months. The unfortunate terrorist attack taking place on 15th April resulted in the loss of, at least, two innocent souls while leaving 7 others injured when terrorists opened fire on worshippers standing outside church in Essa Nagri. The level of complicity and incompetence by government officials have facilitated the escape of terrorists after the incidence. The so-called Daesh claimed responsibility of the attack through an electronic message to local media outlets. Daesh is the name being used in wake of recent terrorist attacks although terrorists of Anjuman Sipah Sahaba (ASS), Lashker-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Ahle Sunnat wa Alajma’at (ASWJ) and Daesh etc are different sides of the same coin with full knowledge and appreciation of the government and its security agencies. Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba and its militant wing Laskher-e-Jhangvi later becoming Ahle Sunnat wa Aljama’at (ASWJ), despite being banned by Pakistan, UK and USA as terrorist organisations; are free to hold anti-minority rallies and deliver inflammatory speeches provoking attacks on marginalized and under-represented communities.

Soon after the Essa Nagri terrorist attack, a Hazara delegation comprising senior community leaders visited the church and expressed their heartfelt condolences to the aggrieved families. The Hazara delegation was led by Tahir Khan Hazara, a seasoned and outspoken local leader, lauded for his firm stance and rhetoric for minorities. Through a press release issued by the Hazara Siyasi Karkunan (Hazara Political Workers), the Hazara delegation condemned this cowardly attack and offered their full support to the Christian community, who, in return, thanked them for their visit, terming the complete failure and apathy of the government in providing full security.

In the aftermath of the attack, the government authorities instead of taking decisive action against the terrorists; have advised the Christian community that they should remain at their homes instead of venturing out in order to avoid such attacks. In an interview to the DW News, the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church’s priest, Simon Bashir expressed his dismay over government’s lack of interest in providing them security.

Over two weeks ago on 2nd April, 2018, the terrorists opened fire on a rickshaw which killed four innocent people of the same family including two women who had arrived to Quetta for family visit during Easter Vacation.

HUM, UK urges international community, the UN’s Human Rights Council and the Human Rights Organisation to intervene into this serious matter to protect the loss of innocent lives in Pakistan.

 

Pakistani Hazaras Appeal to the UN’s Security Council For Immediate Intervention to Save Their Lives

Another incident of targeted-attack on an inbound taxi in the Red Zone area of Quetta city left one Hazara dead and another severely injured. The victims were identified as Nazar Hussain and Gul Hassan. The target-killers, as usual, escaped from the scene after the attack. The terrorist attack took place in bright daylight on 1st April while the safe escape of terrorists exposes the complicity of Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments because Quetta city is protected by dozens of manned check posts and security pickets. Later, the attack was claimed by the so-called terrorist organisation DAESH/ISIS through an electronic statement.

The Genocide of Hazaras continues with full complicity of Pakistan since 1999 which has engulfed the lives of over 2000 people and injured more than 4000 others including children and women. Such terrorist attacks were perpetrated in the forms of mass execution, suicide bombings and targeted-killings etc which have taken place in the heart and south of Quetta city, nonetheless, the government shows no willingness to apprehend the terrorists, financiers, masterminds, sympathisers, co-accomplices, abetters and financiers etc. Dawn News and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (Non-Governmental Independent Human Rights Organisation) records that over 1400 terrorist attacks have taken place on   on Hazaras since 1999 which is extremely large in number. Despite over 1400 attacks, the Governments have failed to arrest the terrorists. This figure was compiled by the Dawn News and the HRCP in early 2015 but, without any update, the same is being used in preceding records.

Pictures of Day One Protest:

Latest terrorist attack invited Hazaras to stage sit-in protest on Alamdar Road, Quetta, demanding from International Community and the UN’s Security Council for immediate intervention into the matter as repeated calls from Pakistan’s state organs have completely failed. The Three-Member Supreme Court Bench heard a suo motu notice on Genocide of Hazaras in January this year which had agreed in principal to direct the federal and the provincial governments of forming separate Joint Investigation Teams to probe this issue, however, the final order of the Bench resorted to the verbal promise of the Government for providing foolproof security to Hazaras. The protesters claim to have documentary proofs that the infamous Capital City Police Officer (Razzaque Cheema) is directly involved in killings of, at least, 16 Hazaras. Razzaque Cheema’s service record chronicles that he gave clean chit to the Punjab Govt as he was appointed Head of the five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which was formed in the aftermath of the Model Town Police Shooting on peaceful protesters. Razzaque Cheema’s involvement in killings of innocent citizens cannot be ruled out as he was transferred to Quetta in April, 2013. Last year in November, he was posted and transferred to Punjab and his services were placed at the disposal of Punjab Government through an official notification, having completed his 3 years service in Balochistan as per Government’s civil service rules, however, he still continues to work as CCPO Quetta till filing this report.

Pictures of Day Two Protest:

On 3rd day of the sit-in protest, a number of political parties and civil society organisations attended the protest and expressed their full support to the protesters. The parties and organisations included Balochistan National Party (Mengal), Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM)Progressive Youth Alliance in Baluchistan and Lawyers’ Forum.

Pictures of Day Three Protest:

 

The political parties and civil society organisation condemned the government for weeping crocodile’s tears for Indian Kashmir, while Pakistani Hazaras are being target-killed in a small city of Quetta on daily basis, but they fail to pay attention to this grievous situation.

Pictures of Day Four Protest:

 

Participation of following Organisations in the Protest:

(i) President, Balochistan Tajir Forum (BTJ) with his members.

(ii) Awami Workers Party (AWP).

(iii) Watan Pal Students Organisation.

(iv) Adil Jahangir led a delegation of civil society to the protest.

(v) Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign

(vi) Jamhuri Watan Party (Shahzain Bugti)

(vii) A Delegation of Balochistan Law College.

(viii) Intellectual and Writer, Rahat Malik also joined the protest and expressed his support.

On the other hand, a group of students took to street in solidarity with the protesters of Quetta. The were, at least, 20 enraged students holding hand-written charts with slogans, “Stop Killing Hazaras, “You Know the Unknown Killers”, “Restore Peace in Balochistan”, “Do Only Kashmiris and Syrians Want Justice, Are We Not Human”, “Who Is Behind This Terrorism”, “Government of Unknown Unacceptable”, “UN Should Take Action”, “UN, Where Are My Rights”, “Why the Most Peaceful Hazaras Are the Most Oppressed in Pakistan”, etc.

On another occasion, Democratic Students Alliance, came to streets in Lahore to support Quetta Protest. The angry protesters were seen demanding from the UN in providing foolproof security to Hazaras as the Government has completely failed in its constitutional obligations.

In a heart-wrenching appeal to the Pakistani Army Chief, General Qamar Bajwa, renowned and articulate Tahir Khan Hazara was seen holding the Quran above his head and asked the COAS to provide protection to the beleaguered Hazaras for the sake of Quran as they are being killed every day for the past 20 years. He expressed his disappointment at the apathy and helplessness of the federal and provincial governments towards this urgent issue and reminded the COAS to play his pivotal role in restoring complete peace in Quetta like Parachinar. He said the COAS can restore peace and must do so. He said that we want peace, our children, mothers and daughter want peace and Right to Life.

On 3rd April, Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain arrived in Quetta on an official visit to attend Bahadur Khan University’s  Degree-Awarding Ceremony but he neither visited the sit-in protest nor bothered to enquire about it although the site of the protest is in the same proximity. Mamnoon Hussain should have been compassionate as Hazara taxi driver killed on 1st April was from the down-trodden class of society and, working on daily wages as labourer, he possessed striking similarities with the former for he was fruit chat seller before becoming the President.

The protest enters its 4th day with no contact from the Government which organisers of the protest made the following demands:

(i) That an emergency meeting of the United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) be convened to discuss the Genocide of Hazaras.

(ii) That the UNSC should form an International Commission of Enquiry to investigate Genocide of Hazaras.

(iii) That the UNSC, under its Chapter VII; should deploy international peace-keeping forces to restive Balochistan, specially Quetta city to protect Hazaras and other minorities.

(iv) That the UNSC should declare the ongoing killings of Hazaras as Genocide under the Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

This is a developing story which will be updated as more news become available.