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Protesters in Australia condemn Shia killings in Pakistan

australiya shiakilling protHundreds of protesters in the Australian city of Sydney, gathered in the busy business district and in front of the United States consulate, to voice their anger at targeted killing of Hazara people in Pakistan.

“We want the government of Pakistan to take action against those responsible and definitely we also request to bring them to justice and to do something to stop the killing of those Hazara people,” Shams Ali with Panjtan Society said.

More than 350 demonstrators along with their delegates and supporters made their way to the central part of Sydney and presented a resolution to the Pakistani Consulate General.

“It makes me ashamed that within the span of seven weeks, an event of such a magnitude was repeated in Quetta,” Azam Mohammed with Pakistani Consulate General said.

The protests have also spread throughout other states. Many protesters are willing to go on hunger strike until the attacks against Shia Muslims are officially considered as genocide by the United Nations and the perpetrators are registered on the United Nations’ black list.

This is the first of many protests to come, as demonstrators have promised to continue their demonstrations in several states until the bloodshed ends and peace begins for Hazaras in Pakistan.

On February 16, a bomb tore through the crowded vegetable market in the town of Hazara, on the outskirts of Quetta in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan Province and killed nearly 90 Shia Muslims.

Following the massacre, protesters took to the streets across Pakistan and other countries including the neighboring Afghanistan to denounce the violence against Shia Muslims.

Violence has escalated against Shia Muslims in different parts of Pakistan in recent months. Since the beginning of 2012, hundreds of Shias have been killed in the country.

On February 1, some 19 people were killed and dozens wounded when a motorcycle packed with explosives exploded near a mosque in the town of Hangu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

On January 10, nearly 130 people were killed and many others injured in a wave of deadly attacks targeting both Pakistani security guards and civilians, including Shia Muslims, in the country.

Shias make up about a third of Pakistan’s population of over 180 million.

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