Islamabad: The leaders of Pakistan’s Shia Hazara community on Wednesday agreed to call off their protest over a recent spate of targeted killings in Quetta city following a meeting with Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Bajwa arrived in the city late Tuesday night and held a meeting with representatives of the Hazara community that has been hit badly by the incidents of targeted killing, reports Dawn news.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, the meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.
Iqbal had reached Quetta on Monday to persuade the community leaders to call off their protest but they refused unless Gen Bajwa held a meeting with them.
Earlier, the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) wrote a letter to Gen Bajwa, asking him to intervene to halt the killings, reports Dawn news.
The letter said the organised sectarian cleansing of Hazara people was going on in Balochistan and there was an immediate need to stop it without further delay.
Christians and members of other minority communities in the province were also becoming targets of terrorist attacks, it added.
He alleged that terrorists openly claimed that they were involved in the killing of Hazaras, but no action was not being taken.
According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW), there were four attacks against the Hazaras in April.
At least 509 members of the Hazara community have been killed and 627 injured in militant attacks in Quetta over the last five years, according to a March report by Pakistan’s National Commission on Human Rights.
The roughly half-million Hazara living in Balochistan were particularly vulnerable, because of their distinctive East Asian ethnic features as well as Shia religious affiliation, the HRW said.