Quetta, March 4 — Four Hazara laborers and their Punjabi colleague were killed by unknown gunmen on Eastern Bypass today.
The dead include Liaqat Ali, manager of a local flour mill, and his four employees, Hayatullah, Mohammad Naseem, Zahid and Mukhtiar Ali.
The victims had just finished work and were driving home in a Suzuki Pick-up when they were ambushed on Eastern Bypass. All died on the spot. The bodies have been returned to their respective families after the autopsy.
According to reports, police has registered the case and an investigation has been launched.
Hazara Democratic Party organized a march against the killing. Hundreds of people, holding placards against the violence and calling for the resignation of the provincial government, marched together. Delegates from Anjuman-e Tajiran were also present at the protest.
The march began at Nichari Imambargah and continued through Alamdar Road to Mezan Chowk, where leaders gave speeches.
Leaders of Hazara Democratic Party blamed the provincial government and security agencies for failing to protect citizens. HDP demanded the dismissal of the “incompetent” police officials and condemned the silence of provincial officials in the wake of increasing violence against Hazaras. HDP also demanded a crackdown on terrorism in Quetta city.
The march, carried out under police presence, ended peacefully.
Pakhtoonkhwah Milli Awami Party issued a statement condemning the violence.
This incident is the latest in a spate of violent attacks on Hazaras, resulting in the loss of tens of innocent civilian lives. It follows last week’s fatal attack on Haji Ghulam Sakhi and his son Ali Asghar, owners of the famed Sakhi Autos.
A heightened sense of insecurity is prevalent among the people, as civilian and political leaders alike have been targeted, often by unknown gunmen. The government and security agencies have so far failed to make any significant arrests in connection with any of these incidents.
Anger and frustration is fermenting among Hazaras, who have so far largely remained peaceful in the wake of the attacks.