QUETTA - Following concrete assurances from the federal government that terrorists would be brought to justice, Hazara community called off its two-day long sit-in on Thursday night.
At least 27 pilgrims, who were on their way to Quetta from Taftan, Iran border, were killed and over 40 others wounded in a suicide bombing in Dringar area of Mastung district on Tuesday.
The banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had claimed the responsibility for the deadly suicide attack. After the incident, hundreds of Hazara community protestors, including women and children, staged a sit-in at Alamdar Road by placing the bodies of the victims at Shuhda Chowk.
The Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen and other groups condemned the barbaric incident against the Shia community and refused to bury the dead until the federal government assured them of a strict action against the perpetrators.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Federal Information Minister Pervez Rasheed arrived in Quetta on Thursday night where they met with the Southern Command commander and later headed into a meeting with Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Maalik Baloch.
Sources said the ministers were thoroughly briefed about the disastrous event as well as security situation and killing of six Levies personnel who were escorting a Spanish cyclist.
The chief minister, federal and provincial ministers later held a meeting with Shia protestors and held out assurances of a strict action against the culprits behind the Mastung tragedy.
Sources said the federal ministers also assured protesting members of the Hazara community that a targeted operation would be carried out against the perpetrators of sectarian killings, wherever their hideouts were.
Talking to newsmen after the meeting, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nasir Ali Khan said the prime minister had taken a serious notice of the Mastung incident in a high-level meeting that was also attended by military authorities.
The minister said they came to Quetta to share the grief of the Hazara community which, according to him, was a patriotic and peace-loving community. “We have brought a message from the Centre and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that elements behind the deadly attack on the Hazara community would be brought to justice.”
Khan stated the Mastung incident sadden everybody in the country.
The minister reiterated the resolve that terrorists would no more be allowed to inflict brutalities and practical steps would be taken by the federal and provincial governments to restore peace, track down terrorists and penalise them.
“We had a detailed meeting with the prime minister and reviewed all aspects of the incident,” he said, adding the government would hunt down the perpetrators.
Following the successful negotiations, Hazara Democratic Party leader Abdul Khaliq Hazara called off the sit-in and said the dead would be buried on Friday.