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Jamali calms Hindu fears

Islamabad, Feb. 10 (PTI): A day after four Hindus were killed by unidentified gunmen in southwestern Pakistan, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali promised “full protection” to the community and directed police to step up temple security.

Jamali made the promise during a visit yesterday to Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. He also met a delegation of Hindu leaders.

The delegation, led by parliament member Basant Lal, briefed Jamali about the killing of four Hindus on Saturday night.

The gunmen tied the hands of six people in a liquor shop in Quetta and opened fire on them , killing four — all Hindus. The two others were injured.

Jamali, who is from Baluchistan, promised that no leniency would be shown to the killers. The funerals for the four Hindus took place in Quetta yesterday. Hindu community leaders also sent appeals to President Pervez Musharraf seeking his intervention to provide security to the community. Security has been tightened at some Hindu temples, trading houses and residences following the incident.

The Baluchistan local government is ruled by a coalition led by Jamali’s Pakistan Muslim League and the Muthahida Majlis-e Amal.

Hardline Islamic clerics say American agents swooped in on three Islamic schools in the capital last month, breaking down doors, blindfolding a cook and peppering him with questions about alleged terror links, then disappeared as quickly as they came.

FBI swoop

US embassy and Pakistani law enforcement officials insist the raid never happened. Still, the claims sparked a new wave of anger at the presence of FBI agents in Pakistan and a vow by radical religious leaders to kick American soldiers and agents out of the country.

“Whatever it was, we had nothing to do with it,” a US official told the Associated Press about the alleged January 16 incident.

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