Pak rights watchdog appeals to President, PM to visit Quetta
Lahore: A Pakistani rights watchdog Wednesday appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari to visit Quetta and take personal initiatives for security of Shia Hazaras in the wake of two terrorist attacks that killed nearly 200 members of the minority community.
"Within the seven weeks of this year, two massacres of the (Hazara Shia) community have taken place in Quetta, claiming the lives of over 200 people. The matter has become so grave that it has to be taken up at the highest level," said Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in a letter to Prime Minister.
Both the President and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf should be involved in initiatives to guarantee the security of Hazara Shias, she added.
She said, "in view of the grave situation, we suggest that you should visit Quetta in the next few days. Because in our opinion the elements responsible for the killing of Hazara Shias are not amenable to authorities subservient to you".
She added that such a visit would also reassure the long-suffering Hazaras of your government's commitment to protect them.
Hazara Shias in Quetta today ended a sit-in protest with bodies of the 89 victims of Saturday?s bomb attack and buried the dead.
A parliamentary delegation led by Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira yesterday assured Shia leaders in Quetta that security forces would conduct a targeted operation against banned militant groups that are targeting the community.
The banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has also claimed responsibility for Saturday?s attack and warned that it would continue targeting Hazara Shias.
Yusuf said it was "vitally important that this grave situation continues to be taken up at the highest level" of the government.
After another attack on Hazara Shias killed 92 people last month, the Prime Minister "had gone to Quetta and had promised to resolve the issue", she said.
"Whatever measures you had ordered have apparently not succeeded in safeguarding the lives of the Hazaras. We call upon you to demand an explanation from the responsible officials on why the Hazaras could not be saved from this latest tragedy and why the instructions you had given them have not yielded results," Yusuf said.