Hazara People (Quetta)
Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, Labour)
The hon. Gentleman is right. I have huge respect for the country—I went to Pakistan when I was a Minister—and for the high commissioner, but I believe that that is the key point about the Hazara community: there is no sign of any of the perpetrators being brought to justice, and it is not simply the case that they are being held but the prosecuting authorities are not being successful. That is one of the major issues in this debate and the hon. Gentleman is right to draw attention to it.
The response of the authorities in Balochistan has been to restrict the movement of the Hazaras themselves—to forbid them entering certain districts and to apply travel restrictions—and to treat the murders with a mixture of complacency and complicity. Last September/October almost 50 Hazaras were taken from buses and wagons in separate incidents, lined up and killed. The Chief Minister of Balochistan responded with levity, saying in a television interview that he would send a truckload of tissue paper to the bereaved families. That is the kind of atmosphere in which the Hazaras are living. The authorities know that the Hazaras are a target for terrorist groups and that an al-Qaeda affiliate is seeking to make Pakistan, in their words, Hazaras' graveyard. They state that their mission is to eliminate “this impure sect” and people
“from every city, every village…and corner of Pakistan.”