Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that incidents of target killings and sectarian violence in Balochistan were most regrettable and that the heavy hand of the government would fall on all those elements behind the attacks on members of Hazara community.
The President also directed the Interior Minister Rehman Malik to take it up with the Balochistan government and render all possible assistance if asked by the provincial government to put to an end the tide of violence against the community. He directed the concerned authorities for taking immediate and stern actions against all those involved in attacks on Hazara community in Balochistan to bring them to justice.
The President condemned the recent barbaric and inhuman killings of the members of Hazara Community in Balochistan and expressed his heartfelt condolences with the delegation of Hazara community over the killings, who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today. He also asked the delegation to convey his regrets and deep concern to the entire Hazara community over the acts of violence against them.
The Hazaras delegation included among others, Mr. Nazar Ali, Dr. Neroze, Haji Barkat Ali, Mr. Abdul Khaliq and Mr. Kozad. A. Rehman Malik, Federal Minister for Interior, Secretary General to the President Mr. M. Salman Faruqui and other senior officials were present during the meeting.
Senator Rehman Malik, Interior Minister briefed the President on the steps thus far taken against the culprits involved in sectarian violence in Balochistan and the attacks on Hazaras community. He also apprised that immediate measures have been taken to provide protection to pilgrims travelling from Quetta to Iran.
The President asked Rehman Malik to proceed to Quetta immediately, if so requested by the provincial government, to assist the Balochistan government in providing protection to Hazaras and apprehending the culprits.
The President called for a report on the arrests made so far and progress in the cases registered and reasons if no arrests had thus far been or no cases initiated.
The President said that Hazaras were law abiding patriotic citizens and it was the responsibility of the government to protect them and make them feel safe and secure. He asked the Hazaras not to be deterred by the acts of a handful of vicious elements.
The President said that peace and development of Balochistan was a pillar of the present government’s policy and said that the government was rapidly working on early implementation of the mega developmental projects initiated under the flagship program Aghaz-e- Haqooq-e –Balochistan.
He expressed the hope that a series of development projects initiated by the present government would heal the wounds of Baloch people made during the previous regimes and would help bring the province and the people at par with rest of the country in terms of socio- economic development.
The delegation thanked the President for the interaction and appreciated the President’s resolve to address the grievances and problems of the people of Balochistan.
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