Hazara leaders end protest after COAS Bajwa's assurance

08:37 AM | 2 May, 2018
Hazara leaders end protest after COAS Bajwa's assurance
QUETTA - After holding a meeting with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Tuesday night, the leaders of the Shiite Hazara community have called off the days-long protest against the target killings.

A Quetta-based young woman lawyer and human rights activist, Jalila Haidar, started a hunger strike on Friday outside the city's press club, demanding end to killing of Hazara community people.

She was approached by political leaders, including Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, but she refused to end the strike until they were not assured by the army chief.

COAS Bajwa on Tuesday reached Quetta to meet notables of Hazara community, the Inter-Services Public Relations reported, adding that the army chief along with federal interior minister, CM and home minister Balochistan, Commander Southern Command met representatives of Hazara Community.

The leaders of the protesting community shared concerns about target killing of their people, to which, the army chief shared their grief and offered fatiha for the departed souls.

Bajwa said that while nothing can compensate the loss of dear ones, he assured Hazara community brethren that those who have targeted them shall suffer twice as much, a press release of military's media wing said.

He said that state was responsible for security of its citizens and all state institutions were concerned for this.

"Each and every casualty including from Hazara community is of concern to us and our brave security forces are performing their best and willingly offering monumental sacrifices to bring lasting peace to the country," he said.

"During 2018 alone, so far 37 security forces personnel have laid their lives in Quetta. Through a unified national effort, we have turned the tide of terrorism, however a lot is still being done against inimical designs to reverse the gains by exploiting various fault lines".

The security forces have busted many terrorists’ networks, he  said, adding: "We know how these networks are being supported by hostile agencies".

"We are Muslim first and then anything else. Every Pakistani irrespective of religion, sect, language or caste has to stay steadfast and united to defeat hostile forces trying to create divisions," he added.

Chief of Army Staff further said, "We shall defeat hostile attempts through national cohesion. Anything and everything which is for the betterment of security of people of Pakistan shall be done".

“I expect the youth to stay focused on their positive endeavors towards self and nation building. Trust and assist state in taking Pakistan forward to its rightful destination”, Chief of Army Staff said.

Hazara community posed full trust in Pakistan Army and pledged their support in defeating hostile agenda.