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‘More than 3,000 Hazaras killed since Sept 11, 2011’

‘More than 3,000 Hazaras killed since Sept 11, 2011’

ISLAMABAD: More than 3,000 members of the Hazara community have been killed since Sept 11, 2011 according to official figures while unofficial reports say 4,000 Hazaras have been killed in the same time, most of whom are men.

Briefing the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday lawyer and human rights activist Jalila Haider said the committee should look into the plight of the Hazara community where 10,000 plus women and children are living in abject conditions with restricted rights of freedom of expression and movement.

The committee was meeting for a briefing on causes for recent attacks and the measures taken to ensure safety of the minority community.

“More than 90,000 Hazara families have migrated to other countries through fair means or fowl, only to live in worst conditions. They must be brought back and rehabilitated,” Ms Haider said. She also blamed the Balochistan government for instilling fear in the Hazara community instead of guaranteeing their safety.

“There is no writ of law. We are misrepresented. Hazara women are harassed and there is no security of life for our children,” she said.

“The Hazara community is tired of living in concentration-camp like conditions,” she said.

Most of the committee members and government officials attending sat in silence, listening to the emotional description Jalila Haider gave.

Additional Inspector General Jehanzeb Jagozai told the committee that he agreed with Ms Haider.

“Members of the Hazara community are scared to leave their homes. However, we are doing our best to ensure their safety,” he said.

Lt Col Bilal Haider from the Frontier Corps told the committee that the security forces were engaged in what he called fifth generation warfare against sectarian crimes.

“FC deployment is totally focused on the safety of the Hazara community. Forces have been pulled out of dormant sectors and more men have been deployed at the border to prevent target killings of the Hazara community. The number of attacks and casualties has gone down since 2012,” he said.

The committee decided to take up the concerns of the Hazara community when it meets in the second week of June in Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2018

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