Denham calls for action over violence in Pakistan

2:07pm Thursday 7th February 2013

Southampton Itchen MP John Denham has called for global action to be taken to prevent violence in Pakistan.

The former Cabinet Minister called for the UN, UK Government and the Pakistan Government to stop the Hazara minority in the Quetta region of Pakistan being targeted by violent attacks.

The Hazara minority have originally fled Afghanistan to live in Pakistan, and up until 1999 they had lived peaceful lives. Since then they have been the target of Al Qauda linked terrorist group Lashkar-e-Janghvi (LEJ) who have killed 1000 Hazaras in the last 14 years.

This includes a bombing in January which killed more than a 100 Hazaras. Now the LEJ have threatened that the 600,000 Hazaras living in Quetta will not be allowed to leave Pakistan alive.

Speaking in a commons debate, John Denham said that the Hazara community are 33 times to suffer death through political violence than Pakistan’s Shia population as a whole, and their distinctive appearances makes them subject to religious and ethnic discrimination, and that they should be protected by the state.

He said: “The plight of the Hazaras – those in Quetta and those who remain in Afghanistan – must not be overlooked in the sweeping regional discussions currently taking place and which will take place over the coming year.”

“At UN level, the Government [should] ask the Conflict Prevention Union with the Bureau of Crisis Prevention of the United Nations Development Programme to assess whether the situation in Quetta, is, or is tending towards, genocide.”

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