Demand for killings to be recognised as “genocide”
Protesting against “systematic and deliberate killing” of members of the Hazara community in Quetta, Pakistan, a peaceful demonstration was organised outside the United Nations Office here over the weekendby a large number of people including Afghan nationals of the Hazara community.
Asking the UN, Human Rights Council of UN, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) to take notice of the killing of Hazaras in Pakistan, the protesters demanded that the killings be recognised as “genocide”. They also asked the international community to take steps to prevent the “genocide as per Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”.
Shouting slogans like “Wake up UN, wake up Ban Ki-Moon!”, “Stop target killing of Hazaras” and “We want justice”, the protesters also explained in detail about the human rights violations of Hazara community in Pakistan.
Murtaza Rezaeii, a Hazara community member, said: “We want the UN to put pressure on the Government of Pakistan to provide adequate security measures for protection of the life of the Hazara community in Quetta and neighbouring districts. We also feel that even after terrorist attack on Hazaras, the victims and the survivors are yet to get adequate medical facilities.”
Hazara community members were joined in the protest by several Pakistani nationals studying in Delhi. Kulsum Khan, a resident of Karachi, said she was against instances of human rights violations.
“I wanted to tell this to my Hazara brothers and sisters that the people of Pakistan are against the extremist groups who are targeting the ethnic community. We want the terrorist groups that are involved in such indiscriminate killings to be blacklisted, condemned and prosecuted,” said Ms. Khan who is doing a course in Law from South Asian University.
The protesters also that the Pakistan Government constitute a Truth and Reconciliation Commission comprising independent international experts, civil society organizations and human rights commission for establishment of peace among different ethnic and religious groups in the country.
Sulaiman Vesal, another member of Hazara community who was protesting, said: “We are very sad to tell the media that the victims, the survivors of the terrorist attack on Hazara community in Quetta a large number of whom have been displaced due to continuous violent attacks, are yet to get compensation and humanitarian aid. We respectfully ask senior religious personalities of all religions/sects to promote religious/sectarian harmony among people of different faiths in order to prevent clashes, murder and genocide in the name of religion.”