NCHRP Laments Govt’s Failure To Apprehend Perpetrators Behind Hazara Killings
National Commission for Human Rights Pakistan (NCHRP) lamented that perpetrators of the attacks on Hazara Community have not been accounted for and recommended the government establish a commission to investigate Hazara killings in Balochistan.
“More alarming is the fact that perpetrators of the barbaric attacks on Hazaras have not been brought to justice. This failure of the state machinery is bound to have an impact on the aspirations of Hazaras to live as equal and dignified citizens of Pakistan,” NCHRP said in its report.
The human rights body observed that due to the prevailing situation, members of the community are also facing certain psychological problems like stress and trauma.
“They are migrating to other parts of the country and abroad for their survival. Their persecutions have adversely impacted their identity as Hazaras and hence are faced with identity crises. “
NCHRP stated that due to fear of persecution, the community was not enjoying freedom of movement and right to life as envisaged in the constitution and international conventions.
“The persecution of Hazara community stems from a combination of complex factors including geo politics, security, ethnic rivalries, sectarian extremism and spillover of militant religious extremism from across the border and other parts of the country.” The recent terrorist attacks also include a strain of Indian involvement to destabilized Balochistan and to damage Pakistan’s economic and strategic interests associated with CPEC, the body observed adding that other factors including sectarianism, ethnic cleansing, proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and possibly land mafia also played a role.
NCHRP observed that government’s approach towards the problems is that of firefighting rather than having a concrete plan for prevention and eradication of religious terrorism.
“State should ensure measures for implementation of relevant provisions of National Action Plan to counter sectarianism including measures recommended to stop religious extremism, protect minorities and prosecution of elements spreading sectarian violence,” the commission recommended. It further recommended that Balochistan Government must ensure the provision of education and health at all levels to the Hazara Community and existing laws against sectarianism hate speech and violence against individuals and community should be strictly implemented.
The body also recommended an overhaul of the criminal justice system so that loopholes are plugged and the perpetrators of violent attacks against Hazaras are brought to justice.
Hazara rights as ethnic/linguistic minority may be ensured as envisaged in the constitution and international conventions by adopting legislative and other measures. Hazara killings come under the definition of Persecution by UNCHR; therefore, the government should address the issue accordingly. Projects like “Safe City” as implemented in Islamabad should be initiated in Quetta as well. Incorporate inter and intra faith harmony content in the national school curriculum to impart tolerance and coexistence between communities, the commission recommended.
Merit based scholarship should be provided to Hazara students to continue their studies in various institutions of the country. Besides financial compensation, the government should also provide for the education expenses, family expenditures, and treatment expenses of the victims and their families.