If there is one ethnic group that has faced continuous persecution for a long time and government of Pakistan has failed them the most, it is no one else but Hazara community. The fourth incident of target killing just in April forced the Hazara people to take their anger outside Balochistan Assembly. This is not their first protest against attacks that deprive them of their lives. While interior minister Ahsan Iqbal tried to assuage the anguish of the protestors, the people refused to call off their strike. The people’s refusal to end their protest means that they have lost faith in government’s competence in bringing the attackers to justice.

The systematic killing of Hazaras is not short of genocide. It is to state with disappointment that none of the institutions is even bothered by the fact that since 1999 till this day, Hazara community is on the target list of sectarian extremists. The persecution of Hazara’s is nothing but a tale of how National Action Plan (NAP) has failed to achieve its objectives. The attackers are still at large. Their freedom means that all institutions responsible for maintaining law and order have failed in protecting the Hazara people.

While the provincial and federal government pledge after every attack not to allow such attacks in future, their oath only holds value till the community is once again targeted. While the protestors want Chief of Army Staff to visit them in the camp they have set in front of the provincial assembly, the fact that Qamar Bajwa needs to accept is that NAP is not generating the desired results, nor military courts are serving the purpose of curtailing terrorism.

The rise in attacks against the community has also forced the people to leave their hometown for a secure future. According to one estimate, more than 70,000 Hazaras have fled the country because the state has failed to protect their lives and property, two fundamental rights of people that state is obliged to uphold in any way. The killing of Hazaras is a violation of the Constitution. The violator is the state in the present case because it cannot apprehend the attackers and has failed to let Hazaras enjoy the liberties that constitution grants them. It is a shame for the state that a segment of its population is living under shadows of fear.

The civilian government and military both need to ensure that no such attack ever happens against the community. Decency will demand to resign from the office bearers who are responsible for maintaining law and order of the province if any targeted killing happens next time.