Posted by: Editor | May 19, 2011

Newspaper Editorial, News of Sariab Attack

The Express Tribune newspaper in its editorial on May 19, highlights the incident of Sariab and target killing of Hazaras.

Like a Victorian widow, the time seems to have come for Quetta to cover itself in a permanent draping of black. Death constantly stalks the city and has sprouted so many tentacles, that, it is impossible to disentangle them. Nationalist violence mingles with that inflicted by the agencies; extremist militants lurk in many places and it has become impossible to know why some killings take place at all. This is certainly true of the latest act of murder in the Balochistan capital as several members of the Hazara community transported vegetables to a market frequented by Hazaras. Six men died. It is impossible to say if they were targeted because of their ethnicity or their sect. Either of these factors could have resulted in their tragic death, as they went peacefully about the task of earning a living.

This is not the first time the Hazara have been hit by men who drive up with their guns and rockets. Earlier this month, seven members of the community died after rockets and bullets were fired at them as they gathered at a graveyard. An extremist group claimed responsibility. It seems likely the same forces were involved this time too. The Hazara, one of the many ethnic minorities living in Quetta, have in the past too been attacked as intolerance and hatred grows in our society, spurred on by the availability of arms of every kind, which it seems can be obtained by anyone seeking to kill. We need to face a simple fact. No society can sustain ceaseless violence of the kind we see now and still survive. Not even the most advanced life-support machines can keep it alive. We are watching before our eyes the slow, and horrendously painful, death of a nation. Each killing brings us a little closer to this as more blood is lost. Worst of all, there seems to be no cure in sight and not even sufficient discussion as to how we are to build a dyke to stop the waves of intolerance that have left bodies scattered across streets everywhere in our country. A start could be a complete overhaul of our madrassas, something that has often been promised but never done. In the long term, the situation will change only when state and society re-orient themselves away from a world view that considers such violence being carried out by foreign powers and towards reality.

The most-circulated daily of Pakistan, Dawn report on the Hazara killing in Quetta.

Terrorists kill Seven Hazaras in Quetta

QUETTA, May 18: Terrorists of a banned outfit attacked a pick-up bringing members of the Hazaracommunity to Quetta with automatic weapons on Wednesday, killing seven of them. A minor girl was among the dead in the attack at Killi Kamalo area, on the outskirts of Quetta. Five others were injured

A spokesman for the outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack. According to police, victims belonging to the Hazara community were going to Quetta in a pick-up after purchasing vegetables from the Hazar-Gangi’s main vegetable market to sell it in Quetta.

When the vehicle reached near Mir Gahi Khan Chowk area of Killi Kamalo, armed terrorists riding motorcycles opened indiscriminate fire, killing four people on the spot and injuring eight others.

The spokesman for Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, identifying himself as Ali Sher Haideri, called media through a satellite phone, claiming responsibility for the attack. Police said that two pedestrians were also wounded in the firing.

“The unidentified men carrying automatic weapons and riding motorcycles escaped from the scene. The attack appears to be an incident of sectarian targeted killings,” police said.

The Hazaras belong to the Shia sect.

Five of the seven victims were identified as Ali Ahmed, Qurban Ali, Ghulam Ali, Ishaq Ali and Hanif Hazara. The injured were Jan Ali, Yar Mohammad, Haji Jumma, Raheed Mari and Mohammad Qasim.

DEMONSTRATION: The Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), Hazara National Jirga (HNJ) and Hazara Youth Organisation (HYO) condemned the killing and demanded of the federal government to dismiss the provincial government.

Posted by: Editor | May 19, 2011

HDP Protests Against Target-Killing of Hazaras

Quetta: Hazara Democratic Party held protest demonstration in front of Quetta Press Club on May 18 against the target killing of Hazara. HDP activists were holding banners with slogans against sectarian terrorism and the failure of Provincial Govt. Speakers demanded resignation of the Balochistan Government and asked Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the Hazara target killing.

Protesters were chanting slogans against the Government displaying placards and banners against sectarian and target killing of Hazaras.

Secretary Information HDP Reza Wakil addressing protesters and media said that the Government must take action against those behind the target and sectarian killing of Hazaras immediately. He added that the Balochistan Govt. has totally failed to maintain law and order in Quetta, sectarian outfits have been given free hands.

Other speakers said Hazaras have been against sectarian violence and ethnic conflicts. They added brutality has reached its peak and the Government is failed to take any action against the terrorists.

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6 Hazaras were killed on Wednesday in Sariab, Quetta. File Photo HazaraNewsPK

Quetta: In the latest terrorist target-killing of Hazaras, 6 were killed and 4 severely injured on Wednesday May 18  in Sariab area of Quetta. Unknown persons opened fire on a vehicle of Hazara vegetable-sellers on their way to Hazar-Ganji market. The assailants attacked the vehicle in Kili Koharabad area of Sariab. Injured were moved to Bolan Hospital. A doctor from the Operation Theatre confirmed to HazaraNewsPk six were dead, and four severely wounded.

Its the second major attack of target-killing on Hazaras in the month of May. Two weeks ago, 8 people were killed in an attack on Hazara Town, when unknown armed men fired rockets on a football ground and cemetery.

Hazara vegetable-sellers of Hazara Town and Mehrabad go to Hazar Ganji market everyday for buying vegetables. They have come under several attacks. In a similar previous attack, 2 were killed in October last year, and 3 were killed in March.

Target killing of Hazaras took a peak in 2008 and 2009. More than 400 people have been killed, but non of the terrorists have been arrested so far. Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court asked the Government to submit a 3-year record of the target-killing in Balochistan. The Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court also took a suo moto  notice of the Hazara Town attack and ordered judicial investigation. There have been judicial inquiries and committee investigations in many previous attacks on Hazaras, killing dozens in a single ambush, but none of these judicial commissions or investigation reports have helped to find the attackers, who come on vehicles in broad daylight, despite the heavy security check posts in Quetta, and kill innocent people.

Sectarian militant groups claim responsibility for most of such attacks. For the latest previous attack on Hazaras this month in Hazara Town, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility. Heads of militant organizations like LeJ and Sipah-e-Sahaba move around the country freely, holding rallies in Karachi and Lahore, but security agencies do not bother with them.

Posted by: Editor | May 8, 2011

Newspaper Editorials about Attack on Hazaras

Following the rocket attacks and firing on Hazaras in Quetta on Friday, May 06 2011 that killed 8 innocent people, most-read newspapers of the country have run editorials about this genocide that is going on from the last 10 years.

Below is the text of editorial in The Daily Times titled “Attack on Hazaras

A terrorist attack on members of the Hazara community in the ground and adjacent cemetery in Hazara Town of Quetta left eight dead and 15 wounded. People were taking an early morning stroll, playing sports in the ground or praying at the graves of dead relatives in the adjoining cemetery when the attack took place. Preliminary police investigation reveals it was a sectarian attack. The audacity with which this attack has been carried out boggles the mind. In a highly coordinated assault, after firing rockets from the nearby mountains, about a dozen terrorists appeared on the site in vehicles, lobbed hand grenades and started indiscriminate firing. This continued for about 20 minutes before they fled, leaving behind a trail of blood and gore. The death toll could have been much higher had this happened in an enclosed compound instead of an open ground. According to media reports, banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for this incident. In reaction, the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and Hazara Democratic Party observed a shutter-down strike in Quetta.
Extremist Wahabi outfits such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba consider Shias wajib-ul-qatl (worthy of murder). The Hazaras are a Shia community straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is not the first time that they have been targeted due to their religious orientation. There is so much fanatical hatred amongst these extremist groups that it really does not matter to them if they are killing unarmed innocent people, including women and children, as long as the targeted persons fit their description of being ‘infidels’. It is alarming that, despite being banned, these outfits are operating with impunity in the length and breadth of Pakistan. Strangely, in a highly sensitive area such as Quetta, which is in the grip of an insurgency, no prior intelligence was available to law enforcement agencies about this attack. Frontier Corp and intelligence agencies have gained notoriety for their highhandedness in dealing with Balcoh activists, whom they illegally detain, torture and murder. How is it possible that they did not know of the presence of sectarian outfits and their activities in the area? Where was the police when this was happening? It is time the law enforcement agencies revamped their priorities and focused on protecting the citizens by rooting out militant sectarian networks and remaining vigilant about any such presence in their area. Otherwise, violence will not stop here.

The other editorial is from The Express Tribune titled “Chapters in Carnage

The chapters telling the story of violence in Balochistan, written out on the sands of the province, seem to be growing longer and longer with each passing day. They tell a tragic story of growing chaos and of killings based on motives that range from the nationalist to the criminal, with many shades in between. Sadly, unlike most marks made in sand, these are not so easy to wipe out and have coloured the province a deeper and deeper shade of red, as spilled blood continues to seep deep into its hungry soil.

The latest attack seems, at first sight, to be sectarian in nature — though it may be too early to rule out an ethnic motive. Eight members of the Shia Hazara community, gathered at a graveyard on the morning of May 6, were killed and some 15 others injured when unknown assailants drove up in two cars and fired rockets at them. This was followed by a volley of gunfire as bodies tumbled to the ground amidst the graves. The attack took place in a predominantly Shia area of Quetta. Across the province, attacks on both sectarian and ethnic lines have taken place before. There have been no claims of responsibility, but it seems likely extremist forces were behind the killing, carried out with deadly precision and an obvious element of prior planning.

The extent to which the once laughing city of Quetta has changed tells us, in a nutshell, much about Pakistan. Into the early days of independence, relatively cosmopolitan Quetta enjoyed a reputation as a glittering urban centre where entertainment flourished. Today, grime and dust have taken away the city’s sheen, marking the transformation of Quetta in more ways than one, turning it into a place where militants of many different kinds brandish arms and where no one feels entirely safe. Will it ever recover its lost identity and its abandoned gaiety? We do not know — but as more weeping households receive the bodies of those they loved, there appears tragically to be no sign of this.

The prominent online-newspaper from Balochistan, the Baloch Hal, has an editorial on the Hazara Town attacks and target killing of Hazaras. Emphasizing on the secular traditions of Balochistan in past, Baloch Hal says the Government has to “hunt down” rogue elements inside the security establishment who are supporting sectarian militant outfits. Baloch Hal thinks the attacks on Hazaras are of sectarian nature, and “cannot be termed ethnically motivated”. It also demands Baloch nationalist parties to be more outspoken in raising voice against the target killing of Hazaras.

Here we are presenting the whole text of Baloch Hal Editorial.

Historically, Balochistan has remained a secular and tolerant society. It has remained home to Muslims belonging to all sects of Islam, Hindus and other religious minorities. It was the only province of the country which was not abandoned by the Hindu minorities at the time of Partition in 1947. For the people of Balochistan, a person’s affiliation toward another sect has always been a personal or at least a communal matter. It was only two decades back when Sunni kids used to attend Shia religious processions in different parts of Quetta. This clearly demonstrated a deliberate ignorance of the members of our society toward the scourge of sectarianism.

Sectarian harmony has always been the hallmark of the society in Balochistan. This tradition must be upheld at all costs.

Increasing sectarianism in Balochistan is not solely the result of social unrest but is a clear exhibition of bad governance. The provincial government’s inability to dismantle gropes that are targeting the members of the Hazara tribe and Shia community is highly regrettable. This issue has to be fixed only by hunting down the rogue elements within the security establishment.

Balochistan Police have enormously suffered in its operations against sectarian groups in a plenty of attacks. A lot of policemen have been killed in such assaults which the perpetrators claimed were either in response to the arrest of their supporters or as a warning to the government to stay away from the Sunni-Shia battle. Yet, the police department has not fully owned the challenge of fighting this ugly battle.

The fresh killing of six innocent civilians in an incident of rocket firing in Quetta is disturbing. It just came as a reminder that the threat of sectarianism was not over and the Hazara tribe living in Balochistan continued to remain vulnerable.  It is important to understand that the bulk of Shias living in Balochistan belong to Hazara tribe. While almost every Hazara is a Shia, all Shias, on the other hand, are not Hazaras. Thus, these attacks cannot be termed as ethnically motivated. They have religious ambitions. Attacks on Shias in Balochistan mostly take place in Quetta because most of them live in the provincial capital. However, as some Shias have started to live in areas like Mastung and Bolan, the constituency of violence directed toward members of the Shia community has  also gradually expanded.

It is encouraging to see that the nationalist political parties and trade unions  have joined hands to condemn the killing of the members of the Hazara tribe by observing a complete shutter down strike  in Quetta, Balochistan’s capital, and elsewhere in the province. There is a greater need for all the political and social stakeholders to cooperate with each other to retain the secular and tolerant qualities of this society.

Since former military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq inducted his suspicious policies of Islamization, Shias of Balochistan, like their compatriots elsewhere in the country, have enormously suffered because of his insane wave of violence. Thousands of innocent people have been butchered by underground Sunni militant groups. Over the years, no federal or provincial government prioritized the issue of uprooting sectarian violence in the country. While it is almost impossible to exterminate sectarianism itself, combating sectarian violence is still possible if the government makes it a top priority.

Baloch political parties must play a more proactive role in condemning such violent incidents inside the province and offer all possible cooperation to the members of the Shia and Hazara communities. The Hazara Democratic Party, for instance, has always backed the Baloch demands and strongly condemned the oppression and operations against the Baloch. At this critical juncture, they must be offered unqualified assurance and support from every responsible citizen of the province.

The government of Balochistan should also work on areas requiring improvement in the domain of law and order. It is pathetic that no First Investigation Report (FIR) of the shootings had been registered until the writing of this editorial.  Quetta Police have claimed to have randomly detained at least ten suspects which is unlikely to genuinely address the matter itself.  The provincial administration should do whatever it takes to defeat sectarianism.

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Quetta: Government officials in Islamabad have kept mum on the brutal attack in Hazara Town killing 8 innocent Hazaras on Friday. President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani of Pakistan Peoples Party have not even bothered with a condolence statement for the victims of rocket attack that has grieved the Hazara nation.

Mutahida Qawmi Movement (MQM) has condemned the terrorist attack in Hazara town calling it a conspiracy to provoke sectarian clash targeting peaceful people of particular section of society. MQM Central Committee demanded the Government, which the party has recently joined back, to arrest terrorists responsible for the attack.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) has also condemned the killing of innocent Hazaras. In a statement, Vice President PTI said that the law and order situation in the province had worsened. He said terrorists were killing innocent people on a daily basis through firing and bomb blasts while the government was not taking measures against them. He added the government had failed to maintain its writ in the province.

Posted by: Editor | May 7, 2011

Shutter Down in Quetta

Quetta: A complete shutter down strike was observed in Quetta on Saturday on the call of Hazara Democratic Party over the killing of 8 people in Hazara Town. All the shops remained closed with less traffic on roads. Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Baloch National Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and trader unions also announced support for the strike.

The banned militant outfit and Al-Qaeda affiliate Lashkar-e-Jangvi has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Posted by: Editor | May 6, 2011

HDP Calls Shutter Down, US Embassy Condemns Attack

Quetta: Hazara Democratic Party in a press conference on Friday criticized the Government and security agencies for target-killing of Hazara and security failure. Abdul Khaliq Hazara, General Secretary HDP told media that it was the two-sided policies of our security establishment turning blind eye on the militant outfits that today the country is a epicenter of international terrorists, and local militants. He called on the policy-makers to crack down on the state-grown sectarian militant outfits.

HDP called a shutter down strike in Quetta on Saturday.

The US Embassy in Islamabad also condemned the attack on Hazaras killing 8 innocent people. In a statement, a US embassy Spokesman said, “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the victims and their families. The senseless killing of innocent civilians is an affront to the people of Pakistan and to all humanity. All must stand together in common purpose and take resolute action to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat terrorist organizations”.

HDP Press Release

Posted by: Editor | May 6, 2011

8 Hazaras Killed in Rocket Attack, Firing

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Hazara Town: 8 people have been killed and 15 others injured in a rocket attack and firing early morning on Friday in Hazara Town area of Quetta. The attackers were some unknown armed men on two vehicles who fired rockets and Kalashnikov on people playing football and exercising early in the morning at 6am.  The injured have been moved to Bolan Medical Hospital, where doctors say some inured are in severe condition. Angry protesters blocked the Bypass Road, and police have arrived in the area. Police say the incident is a sectarian attack.

Hazaras have been victim of sectarian and ethnic target killing in Balochistan for many years. In previous incidents, different sectarian groups have claimed responsibility, among them are the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and Al-Qaeda related Lashkar-e-Jangvi. Such target-killing include suicide attacks on Hazara mass gatherings and hit-and-escape firings on individuals, that number more than 300 in 2010 alone. Friday’s incident is first of its kind when attackers have come in more than one vehicle and fired rockets, then Kalashnikov. Hazara victims of such attacks are mostly common people, but professionals like politicians, doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, laborers and Hazaras in police and other security forces have also come under attack.

Police and other security forces have totally failed to arrest terrorists responsible for the attacks in 2009 and 2010 killing more than 400 Hazaras. In Nov 2009, police claimed to have arrested a mastermind of Hazara target-killing and member of notorious militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jangvi. However, during last two years, not only the attacks have increased, but the mastermind Hafiz Usman has not been punished to death by court, despite admitting for the attacks in front of media cameras.  Previously, some top terrorists behind Hazara killings broke away from a high-profile jail in Quetta.

After all such attacks, that happen everyone once in a month, police label it “sectarian target killing” and then nothing happens in investigation. The whereabouts of all militant outfits including SSP, Lashkar and other groups are known by the intelligence agencies. For instance, leaders of SSP and Lashkar roam freely in public in Karachi and Lahore. Despite the fact that these outfits are banned, they operate under new names and have public activities.

The target killing of Hazaras make small one-column news on all national and local newspapers in Pakistan, and headline for an hour on TV channels, but media have never bothered to follow with in-depth investigative reports and questions from law-enforcement agencies. Only Geo TV did a documentary last year on the target killing of Hazaras. In a recent report, the Pakistan Human Rights Commission said about 300 Hazaras were killed in 2009 and 2010, and police had failed to arrest any killer.

The Federal Government of Pakistan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and intelligence agencies should pay attention to the genocidal target-killing of Hazaras in Quetta.

Posted by: Editor | March 19, 2011

White Lies; Milk & Creamer Deception to Consumers

Public Awareness Message from HazaraNewsPK

By Our Contributor

White lies are minor lies which could be considered to be harmless, or even beneficial, in the long term. They also considered to be used for greater good. However there is one such ‘white lie’ which is definitely not beneficial in the longer term.

As the population of the world has exploded to six billion plus souls; its resources remain constant and are being depleted at a faster rate than ever before in history. The widening rich and poor gap and the failure of governments to provide basic facilities to its citizens are exacerbating the problem of affordable living standards. The very basics of life which include food, drinking water, health care, education and security have become a luxury.

This milieu is further complicated with the dominance of the capitalist system on the economics of this planet. The capitalist system is basically driven by profits – infinite profits. The race to increase that bottom line forces corporations and companies sometimes to undertake activities which are treading on the line that separates the ethical from the unethical

In pursuit of this ‘profit-obsession’ dream; dairy companies in Pakistan are making and marketing products in Pakistan and exporting to Afghanistan, which come under the garb of blatant consumer deception.

Packaged Milk as per the food laws of Pakistan (and some what similar to international food laws – which are dictated by global food standard’s guideline called Codex Alimentarius) should consist of 87% water and 13% Milk Solids. The milk solids are further divided into Dairy Fat 3.5% and Dairy Solid Non-Fats (DSNF) 9% (DSNF = Proteins, Calcium and other milk nutrients).

Regardless to say both Dairy Fats and DSNF’s play a vital role in providing the nutritional requirements to the body. Dairy Fat especially is required more for children as it helps in physical development of their bodies – adults on the other hand can do without the additional fat and use skimmed milk. Skimmed milk has reduced fat but is high in DSNF.

Milk is mainly used for three main purposes; Drinking (Adult & Children), Tea Making and Cooking. The tea consumed in Pakistan has milk in it (where as in Afghanistan black tea is consumed). Keeping the tea market in mind another specialized category has been developed called ‘Packaged Tea Creamers’. Since Tea is a product which is used as a relaxing beverage and not as a nutritional one therefore the laws determining it is different from that of Packaged Milk. As per food laws of Pakistan and Codex Alimentarius; a Tea Creamer can consist of a higher percentage of Fat (7%) and lower Solid Non-Fat (3%).

Double Trouble:

The ethical twist comes when it is allowed by law that the Dairy Fat in the Tea Creamers can be replaced with Vegetable Fat and the Solid Non-Fat levels are also lowered.

Most dairy companies replace the Dairy Fat with Hydrogenated Palmoline Oil (HPO) which is a Vegetable Fat. The sole reason behind this is higher profit margins. Vegetable Fat is cheaper as compared to Dairy Fat and it does not alter the ‘sensory’ qualities (taste, smell, mouth feel, viscosity etc.) of the product. However the nutritional value is no where near the Dairy Fat. Not only is the fat content vegetable based the Solid Non-Fat level is also lower in Tea Creamers significantly reducing the nutritional value of the product.

The Packaged Tea Creamers are deceivingly strikingly similar to Packaged Milk – in fact better tasting as they are high in Fat content thus giving the consumer a false impression that since it’s a high fat product hence it has more nutritional value. The deception comes in because the Tea Creamers look like, taste like, smell like and perform all sensory functions like milk where as it is NOT MILK.

The labeling laws are also favorable to the ‘Big Business’ and allows companies to not explicitly print on its packaging that this product is ‘NOT MILK and SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER IN NUTRITIONAL VALUES’.

Also since the cost of production of this product is lower hence its selling price for the consumer is also lower. Hence the masses that try and manage the household budgets in these inflationary times are misled into thinking that they are buying Milk and give this to their children for drinking oblivious to the dire consequences.

The above information is being shared so that this can be told to as many Qawma as possible to ensure that our young generation to not grow up on this White Lie i.e. Artificial Milk – because a healthy body is a healthy mind and we want our future generation to be healthy in every aspect of life.

 

Tea Creamer brands in the market:

Everyday by Nestle

Tarang by Engro Foods

Tea Max by Haleeb Foods

 

By Guest Contributor

Women. Half of humanity, half of civilization, the nerve in any family, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, teachers, nurses, politicians, doctors, dancers, singers, artists, soldiers, leaders, victims, beggars, prostitutes, namoos, commodity, at times natures most precious creation, at times the only resilient half of the human race. Where women have risen to the heights of social leadership, others have been reduced to the dark corners of the harem of horny men, padded and wrapped inside the cover of male insecurities.

Growing up in a marketplace of outdated ideas, we are all for the most part of our upbringing oblivious to the artificial and superficial barriers of cast, gender, race, tribe, religion, sect, region, ideology, political affiliation, place of origin, profession; oblivious to the point that many of cherish these divisions. After all, people seldom care to care for affairs unless they are personally affected. Who cares if a non-Hazara is being whipped up by kids on the streets in Hazara Town, who cares if a mob of momineen kills a murtad kafir, why should someone worry if a women next door has hung herself to death, why bother questioning the stories coming out of the local mosque, why should someone care if a women in burqa with a very young kid are out on the street begging for food and money in the dead of the winter, why care if a joowan is yelling abuse at some women for not covering up, why concern yourself with the guy who, despite having 3 wives, went away to wed a young girl less than half his age, what’s wrong with men deciding how and why women should live while asking the women to zip it up when they open up to share their concerns, why worry about the area ‘maatameen‘ who spend half their free time calling names and lies after girls passing the street? why but why care for stories of the victimisation of others?

I remember her exuberant face, the confidence with which she would walk up to the front of the class and express herself. I remember like it was yesterday. While the rest of us plagiarised content or came up with the laziest commentary for a class topic, she would tell the class of her genuine aspirations, her dreams, dreams about the great things she wanted to do with her life. Then. Then her life was cut short. She went home one day, tied the one end of a rope around the off-white ceiling fan and tearfully put on the noose of disappointment. She died and took to grave her aspirations, her dreams. dreams about the great things she had wanted to do with her life.

As a 10 year old kid, I cared more for the afternoon football match in the maidani than for the death of a classmate from the Language center where I learned English, as per the wishes of my parents. Friends told me that she had been sold of to someone fat-cat rich guy living in Saudi Arabia. They told that she had refused to be wed off to some fat-cat rich guy living in Saudi Arabia. They told me that she had been subject to torture and unspeakable physical punishment at the hands of her dear brother and her respectable father. They told me that there wasn’t going to be a police inquiry. And they told me that since she had committed suicide she didn’t qualify for a proper fatiha and proper burial. She was a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend and she was dead.

We all know bits and pieces about stories so sad, lives so tearful and deaths so similar. We all know girls, young girls who have been sold off to some stranger, we all know of girls forced to leave schools and studies to become wives and mothers to ten kids, we all know of girls forced to go around in peacock shuttle burqas and saddist black veils against their wishes, we all know of girls instructed to kill their dreams and murder their enthusiasm, we all know of women being respected but given no dignity, we all know of a corner of our world where people take pride in “respecting” women but dead set refuse to give them any space, any power, any say and any authority. Yes, we all do and we all know that we did and said nothing about any of it.

We can watch, appreciate and endure while men dance, sing, clap, play, swim, walk, run, speak, laugh, cry, yell and kill but our collective consciousness is too insecure, too sick to watch a girl do any of it and once a barrier is crossed, perpetrators suffer and die at the hands of their honourable fathers, brave brothers, loving husbands and caring relatives.

We are a society of sick hypocrites, we all are. We are raised to model our lives on ideals created and practiced over a thousand years back and my goodness, we do it really well and with great efficiency. We refuse to let the wheel of history roll forward in time. Our elders, our books, our stories, our leaders, our mullahs, our society; they are all rotten, they smell and the smell is about to pollute the world.

Happy International Women’s Day!

مردوں کے لۓ ہر ظلم روا، عورت کے لۓ رونا بھی خطا
مردوں کے لۓ ہر عیش کا حق، عورت کے لۓ جینا بھی سزا
مردوں کے لۓ لاکھوں سیجیں، عورت کے لۓ بس ایک چتا
عورت نے جنم دیا مردوں کو، مردوں نے اسے بازار دیا
- ساحر

Posted by: Editor | February 16, 2011

The Unsung Heroes in Green

By Ali Hazara

My Sunday mornings are predictable; getting up around 9ish and walking out straight to the front porch to get the Dawn newspaper hoping that I would be the first to grab it, unroll it and enjoy the first read, which is usually while I relieve myself (this might be too much information!) but this has become a ritual. The flow of the read is also very predictable; front page, back page then work my way backwards through the international news and reviews to the editorials then the local news which gives way to the comic strips and then comes the sports section which is the last as the sports news is usually dominated by cricket; an affair which I find too dry.

However, this particular Sunday had an unpredictable twist in it; whilst going through the Sports section I came across a report on the Hazaras reaching the final of the 5th All Pakistan NBP Football League being held in Karachi! The Hazara Green Quetta (Greens) had beaten Karachi Port Trust (big upset of the tournament) on penalties (5-4) to reach the finals (held on 13th Feb, 2011) – I just couldn’t miss the final and had to go and support our boys in Green! The venue details for this particular championship was not very detailed in fact only the name of the stadium (which I later realized was under construction) was given; ‘Community Sports Club’.

Where could this be? In this sprawling, confused and filthy mega polis which houses 20 million plus souls! Has to be in areas dominated by the Makrani Baloch’s, I think to myself; the only group in Karachi which has a love for this game – and this would mean a locality which one would not willingly like to venture to.

A football fanatic friend who has a good idea of the few grounds in this city should have an idea; but after texting him I realized this particular ground was unknown to him as well. So I ended up Googling it and got a lead; Malir Town! Now Malir is a city unto itself and this lead was akin to finding a needle in a haystack. In the end; I managed to get a good idea about the location from a friend who heads the Sales department of a tobacco company (Tobacco distribution is very extensive and the network covers every nook and corner of the city). The friend while giving the details also gave an advice; ‘just handover your car if confronted – no need to become a hero!’ Gulp!

The match was scheduled to kick off at 1530hrs; I left my place at 1430hrs. Although the drive was around thirty minutes but I had to ask for directions. After initially being lost I finally managed to locate the venue to my good luck as I barely managed to reach just in time for the kick off.

The final of the 5th All Pakistan NBP Leagues was about to get underway; the tournament which fielded 48 teams from the five districts of Karachi and 12 national teams (from Bahawalpur, Pishin, Peshawar, Quetta etc..) was underway since a month and a half. Two Hazara clubs (Pak Hazaras and Hazara Green Club) had participated and the Greens managed to reach the final; up against Singh Government Press (in Blue outfit). The SGP had defeated the NBP in their semi final match.

Amongst a plethora of local Hazara clubs, three clubs, namely; Hazara Green Quetta, Pak Hazara and Hazara Club are renowned and dominate the national football landscape. Three players from the Green’s also have the honor of playing for the Pakistan national side!

Back in the ground as I reached, the boys (Bachaha) in Green were warming up for the encounter!

The team formation on the ground was 4:3:3 (Defense, Mid field and Forward respectively). The playing eleven included:

Forwards: Aqeel (conspicuous by his red cleats; putting the ground on fire with his speed), Abdul Qayum (short in height but not on talent!), and Muhammad Ali Kakai (the Captain)

Midfield: Zakir Hussain International (also the coach), Saadullah and Hussain Ali

Defense: Dilshad  Ali International (also in the Pakistani National side!), Asghar Ali, Qasim and Naseebullah

Goal Keeper: Ajab Khan

The Green's

Standing from L-R:   Asghar Ali, Dilshad Ali, Zakir Hussain International, Aqeel, Saadullah, Qasim

Sitting from L-R:  Nasibullah Dadal, Mohammad Ali kakai (Captain),  Ajab Khan (GK) Abdul Qayum, Hussain Ali

It is worth noting that three players were Pushtun brothers in the Green outfit. This goes to show that the inter-ethnic harmony of Quetta is a beautiful reality. If we can train, play and win together on the sports field then why this can’t be extended to every aspect of life? I see no reason why!

The first ten minutes were spent in settling in by both teams but then the Greens upped the ante around the 20th minute, when the Greens first attack was almost finished off with a header by Dilshad only to be saved by the opposing keeper. Around the 25th minute Aqeel fumbled a chance and the score board remained unchanged to 0-0. The Greens continued to attack in the first half but the forwards were being called offside (more than 3 offside calls in the first half).  Around the 30th minute a collision took place between Kakai and the opposing GK which floored him. In the 35th minute a beautiful cross from Aqeel was not supported by others and thus wasted.

Three corners were awarded to the Greens and two to the opposing camp – but the score board remained unchanged on the half time.

Half time

Time to discuss way forward

(After the half time heading to the room to catch a breath and discuss way forward)

In the first minute of the 2nd half Aqeel pulled out a stunning move capturing the opposing team with surprise but their Goal Keeper managed a great save. The second half then swung in favor of the Blue’s and they managed to earn two corners in the 50th and 62nd minutes but were unable to capitalize on them. The first substitution of the game came in the 70th minute carried out by the Blue’s; interestingly the Green’s played the entire match with the same side as three first lineup players were injured before the game; rendering the Green’s at a disadvantage of experienced fresh legs.

Finally with some good footwork and coordination the Blues managed to penetrate the Green’s defense and scored field goal in the 76th minute (the scorer’s Bilal Afridi had also managed a hat trick in the semifinal match with NBP).

The Greens were now trailing and were forced to speed the game up. They managed to carve out a beautiful move through a corner but the Blue’s Goalie managed a brilliant save denying the Greens a goal. The game took an ugly turn when a Blue’s player was sent off with a red card for a very harsh move – the heat was now on the Blues trying to defend their one goal advantage with just ten men. From here onwards the game was played in the Blue’s half with the Green’s attacking by wave after wave with around five close attempts on the goal. But it was some dramatic goal keeping and an unlucky streak which kept the Green’s trailing for the rest of the game. The additional injury time of four minutes also didn’t yield the desired result for the Green’s and as the final whistle blew the crowds just swarmed the ground.

All in all, in the last ten minutes the crowd was on their feet cheering and jeering as the encounter was full of suspense. The crowd support was equally split between the Green’s and Blue’s and both were given a lively applause when the respective captains came to receive their trophies.

The Green's Bench

(The Hazara Green benches – Team Manager Sakhi Agha in the extreme right)

Red card

(Red card to a Blues player by Janahgir Khan; the referee from Quetta)

Kakai with trophy

(Runners up trophy by an MQM MNA)

As the prize distribution ceremony ended; I thanked the Hazara Green’s management (Asif Ali in particular) for being a good sport and entertaining (which also included invitation for dinner; reminding me of the very hospitable nature of our Qawma) a complete stranger (me) like one of their own.

The passion infused with humility in these greatly talented lads is simply a testimony of the true potential of our great Qawma – do keep in mind that these heroes in Green are managing an entire club on their own, with no official grant or assistance and they managed to beat clubs which are supported, financed and trained by established government institutions (KPT et al.). They are without a doubt the unsung heroes (all sports people) of our Qawma whose example we should emulate; the living example of ‘Passion knows no boundaries’. I would love to admit here, that I am truly glad to have witnessed this match as it has reinvigorated me with a spirit which was being dampened by all the negativity around us. I wish them success and victories in all their future endeavors – make us proud boys…Salamat Baashin!

(Asif – can’t play due to a knee injury; but supports the team as an organizer; True passion!)

Posted by: Editor | January 20, 2011

Talented Photographer Baqir Ali

Talented Hazara photographer Baqir Ali.

Muslim-photographer.com has interviewed talented Hazara photographer Baqir Ali. Hazara News Pakistan brings the below interview content to its readers.

We are pleased to introduce to you the talented graphic designer and photographer Baqir Ali.
We at Muslim-photographer.com are starting to believe that most muslim photographers are very well traveled individuals and our latest photographer is no exception to this seemingly common rule.
Muhammad Baqir Ali was born  in the early seventies in Quetta, Pakistan. Baqir (as he prefers to be called)  earned a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics, Statistics & Mathematics from Balochistan University, Quetta, Pakistan.  He has been interested in arts since his childhood, so in February 1992 he went to the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, Pakistan to study Arts. Where he studied architecture, graphic design, Textile design, Product Design, Ceramic Design, Painting & Photography. In  March 1996, he earned a  Bachelor Degree in Advertising & Photography whilst also maintaining a professional position in Islamabad as Graphic Designer.
In April 1997, he moved to Dubai (United Arab Emirates) for a better future and worked with well known local & international organizations including Sheikh Mohammed’s own website and Impact/BBDO.  He stayed there until Feb 2007, moving once again for a better future  to Toronto, Canada where he currently lives and working as a Graphic Designer.
He states that he has never used photography as a profession but as an art and more of a source of self expression.
He started photographing with a Nikon FA with a Nikor 50 mm prime, Nikor 100 mm prime and Sigma 75-210 mm. He loves the old days of 35 mm film photography & classic darkroom techniques which is now sadly part of the photographic history.
Nowadays, he is using the Olympus E 500 with Zukio Lenses 14-45 mm and 40-150 mm.He likes to express that there is a saying by the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) that we should attain knowledge from your mother’s lap till your grave.Taking a turn in his current studies he has taken on Real Estate hoping that he will soon attain his license in Real Estate, inshallah.
Having traveled to several countries which country do you find to be the most “photo-friendly” and what makes it so?
I find Canada the most photo-friendly country.
I think their culture plays an important role for that.

What differences are you aware of in regards to photography between Pakistan, Dubai and Canada?
i-In Pakistan you will find a rich culture, colors and historical places, (link)

catch if you can

ii-In Dubai you will find modern architecture,

Reflection

iii-In Canada you will find diverse culture and nature.

Being a graphic designer, does this give you a different approach to your photography? If so How?
I always try to make a layout of my shot before capture and follow the rule of thirds.
Sometimes I will be successful and sometimes not.

kissing tooth brushes

Your photography shows a mixed bag of skills, where did you learn your craft?

There is no limit for learning new things.
My school (NCA) is the milestone for me but practice makes a man perfect.

When it comes to software which is your preferred soft/s and can you recommend a good digital darkroom setup?

There are many digital editing softwares for the darkroom for example, aperture, photo paint etc. but Adobe’s Photoshop is my digital darkroom.

Which photographers do you respect the most and why?
I am inspired by many photographers but I respect Ansel Adams the most.
I think he was ahead of his time especially his BW photography.

Which is your favoured style of photography?
I love candid shots & expressions

If you could be anywhere right now, with camera in hand where would that be and why?
Somewhere amongst the people in general to capture their different moods and different expressions

Any advice for beginners or guidance for other photographers that you would like to share?
A professional clicks and make a story later on.
A beginner thinks & the scene has gone.
I believe that Ansel Adams once said,
You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

The young model

 

 

Prominent journalist Ahmad Rashid, author of the famous book Taliban, writes about Balochistan in his latest column for BBC.

He also mentions the target killing of Hazaras in Quetta saying,

The Taliban are also involved in killing Hazaras, because they say they work for the Americans in Afghanistan.

Read Ahmad Rashid’s column here.

Posted by: Editor | January 7, 2011

Snippets from the Past–Part 1

By Guest Contributor

The following letter is a substantial document of the now undeniable crimes committed by Mullahs on the behest of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The letter followed months of summary executions, imprisonments, public floggings, kidnappings, rapes and molestations under fatwas issued by the Grand Council of Hazara Mullahs in the early days of their boot-licking for Iran’s Welayat-e Faqeeh.

With the support of volunteers and religious elders from areas as far aways as Uruzgan and Kabul and on the behest of fatwas issued and signed in Qom and Mashhad, these Jehadis burned down offices and homes of the below mentioned political leaders and parties, their women and children were made homeless and in many cases molested, many including Shaheed Hussain Ali Yousufi were kidnapped and tortured, others were sentenced to hundreds of flogs in public in the dead of winter, at least a dozen people were summarily shot to death including Ali Madad Khan of Jaghori, whose dead body was then put on display on the roadside to be fed to jackals and wolves, his young daughters were assaulted as they tried to approach the body and relatives prevented from making a burial. Those shot were refused burial in traditional cemeteries and any ceremonies were but under a ban of Haram.

The Akhonds still had not had enough, they then wrote the following letter of shame to Pashtun Islamist groups to get help in capturing and killing those they labelled as ‘kafir’, a copy of which was obtained and sent over to refugees in Quetta by a sympathetic Pashtun who had previously himself been a refugee in Jaghori in the late 1970s.

The relevant tragedy in this little episode is the fact that today, about two decades after these barbaric acts took place, many of the perpetrators and labradoodles of the Islamic Republic of Iran are fit and fat and active in powerful positions in Jaghori and elsewhere in Hazarajat with blood stained hands and blood-filled jaws.

Again, as political fallouts from decades of Islamic extremism played out in the Cold War unfolds and we face religious extremism as an enemy, there are very active religious and sectarian groups within us who are led by potatohead mullahs in local mosques and Imambargahs. Using our communal victimisation as a pretext, they continue to fool more and more youth and push them towards extremism and religious fundamentalism by exploiting their ideological sentiments.

Again, there are signs that potato-heads are ready to play out the game of labeling people as ‘kafir‘, ‘gumraah‘, ‘agent‘, ‘amriki‘, ‘kamunist‘, ‘izreli‘ and every nasty thing you can imagine in order to further the socio-political control and terror of powerful potato-heads sitting in comfortable rooms in Madrassas and offices locally and elsewhere. Again, there appear to be signs of an upcoming inquisition on the horizon, ready to be played out by religious and sectarians elements without and within.

Disclaimer: The term mullah here does not exclusively refer to religious clerics, it’s a reference to religious and ideological extremism of all colours and shades by any group or individual. This is question your right to a religious belief but to encourage you to take a critical look at the packaged history and traditions you have been taught, this is to encourage you to get to your own truth through a logical understanding rather than a blind faith.

And hold fast, all of you together to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves – The Quran - 01/ 03/ 1983

Announcement of the Grand Clerical Council of Jaghori to the defiant Shiite and Sunni people of Afghanistan, who have since the April revolution of 1978, watered dear Islam with the blood of the martyrs

O brave people,

In the same way that you are at war against the Communists of Afghanistan and the USSR, be at war against the Chinese Communists too and support the trenches of Islam against the groups of Marx and Lennin.

However, you are aware that since the beginning of the revolution against the Soviet heresy and atheism, Shola Javid has under the name ‘Union of the Islamic Mujahideen of Afghanistan’ with the treachery of the people of Tanzeem-e Nasl-e Nau Hazara Mughul resident in Quetta Pakistan under the leadership of the Abdul Hussain Maqsudi of Shola-e Javid, Haji Barkat, Ghulam Ali Haidari, Hussain Ali Yousufi, Karbalai Musa, Doctor Jawad, Ashfaq Hussain, Abbas Zargar, Engineer Akram, Moalem Khadim and other hypocrites and atheists aligned with China, under the name ‘Voice of Hazarajat’ and ‘National United Front’ and Saama and Sitam-e Milli and Akhgar and others, who under the guise of Islam through the government of Pakistan deliver weapons from the US and China to their servants and associates in Hazarajat. As a consequence we have observed the political and Islamic situation in Hazarajat being in danger and us, the Islamic groups aligned with Iran – followers of the path of Khomeini, have mobilised ourselves and have declared our cooperation against the atheism and heresy of Tanzeem-e Nasl-e Nau Hazara Mughul.

And however, it is clear to you that on December 14, 1982, the American and Chinese bases from the centre of Jaghori province and Malistan and Uruzgan and Qarabagh and the surrounding areas have been removed – their weapons, equipment and homes have been taken by the clerical council as war trophy and their personnel have been reduced to soil and blood and their unclean bodies have become food for wild animals and some of them have come under the grip of Islamic justice and some have been imprisoned and documents of their association with China and America are present in the Jaghori provincial office.

On these bases the Sunni brethren of Afghanistan are reminded to be alert and awake as this heinous Communist group intends to take back the land and property given to you under the rule of Amir Abdur Rehman.  Therefore you should kill the personnel of this group and those who take weapons and equipment from them wherever you find them and take their wealth and property as war trophy. They are condemned to death and worthy of being killed.

We the clerical council do not want the East or the West or China or their associates, we want an Islamic government.

Neither the East, nor the West , just the Islamic Republic!

Official of the ‘Groh-e Nahzat e Islami’:

Signed:Fayaz Governor of Jaghori

Signed: Official of ‘Groh-e Nahzat-e Islami

Signed: Official of the Martyrdom Base and Office of the Harkat-e Islami in Jaghori

Guest Post by a Contributor

Like many of my peers I had the misfortune of having been handed down packaged views and opinions as I was “educated” in a few schools in the suburbs of Quetta. The flow of the curriculum kept the environment highly charged and where it existed, the competition defined the length and quality of one’s stay at any school. As a curious pupil of the day I have scant memories of a year five experiment where our science instructor passed on whispered short stories starting with the students at the front passed on gradually to those at the corner end; the conclusion presented portrayed a version of the original story that wasn’t in either its longitude or multitude even remotely similar to the original version whispered to those in the front row.

In retrospect this small experiment conducted in an insignificant corner of a dismal part of the world speaks volumes about the potential for traditions and stories to change, not necessarily for the worse, as the tide of time perpetuates forward. An example in context is our obsession with the extremities; the protagonists in our stories are usually unimaginably gallant and profoundly pious while the antagonists are vile beyond measure and corrupt such that their presented description leaves no more room for any further degradation. Similarly people alive have little to no value but the instant they die, our recollections propels their characters into charades of good deeds, here death is a qualification for instant societal vindication.

In the same boat the diversions of our spoken history is also very interesting. As people we have always been on the good side of history, throughout our communal existence we have alone shouldered the last signs of civilization. We assume that we have always been vigorously autonomous, we have always had the superior culture and our political leadership, far from being judged on their conduct our religious and political figureheads’ appearance and symbolic positions alone have been in our best interests. Goodness me, we dare not question our past and present leaders, we dare not critically analyze our communal beliefs and behaviors. We live under a blanket of purity, immune to any historical miscarriages and worthy revisions. The businessmen specializing in the trade of beliefs and ideals can come up with any and all they please to; we abide and listen through our ears, eyes and wide open mouths. Thus in an incredible feat of traditional, cultural and historical misconduct, we, as a society, have turned into a pudding of conspiracies, fears, lies, fundamentalism and question marks.

Worry not, for this is the fruit of a corrupt, cancerous education system and a trainload of traditional and cultural nonsense where the essence of historical records is “preached” to the innocents in black and white. this education system is in turn a product of a culture that thrives on lost military glories, religious perversion and tales from “koh-e qaaf” and the Arabian desert and nothing in-between or outside. nowhere in the humanities textbooks is there a mention of lost battles, there are no body counts and historic wrong-doings have been twisted into moments of test and heavenly experiments where every social, economic, political and military turn is interpreted through a prism extended between the “seventh sky” and the preacher’s bedroom with direct phone-line available just in case.

Case in point; the events of September 3, 2010 are behind us but the legacy and carnage committed on that horrible day have left us with deep wounds. On the one hand there was the fanatic hot-head who took his own life as well as that of dozens of others in an monstrous act of terror, one the other hand were young kids, teenagers, students who, I dare say, would have had greater concerns about sports and movies than about the ignorance they were being lead by, more informed of the plot of a Bollywood movie than of even the recent history of the people they were claiming to protest for and against. Baby-faced youngsters repeating chants of potato-head Mullahs, kids who were attracted by the hustle and bustle of being in a mob than by the message the gathering conveyed, there were teenagers who had for ages been bombarded by issues dugout of the ruins of Babylon like kids brainwashed by the Taliban, teenagers who had never left the outer bounds of Quetta city but had been led to forming convictions about people and events on the other side of the world by listening to summarized news from the dark alleys of thousands of years of history. There were people there who could not have located their own coordinates on a map let alone finding the map of the countries they were verbally defending and abusing with “murda-bad”, “zinda-bad” and “marg bar …” This, my friends, was and has been the real atrocity; this was the crime we, as people, should be more worried about.

But this episode does not end here; to follow this up a bunch of hypocrite cheerleaders then went on a stage-managed campaign of exploitation and propaganda visibly on behalf of local and provincial shareholders based in Karachi and Lahore. Carefully orchestrated speeches, carefully photo-shopped images of the deceased decorated with emotional slogans, and cunningly chosen Q&A with grieving families of the victims; they stage-managed a manipulation of this heinous crime and the abuse of great loss of life in order to promote a socio-political agenda that promises far worse atrocities. Mothers were shown, on repeated videos, claiming to be proud of a young death, sons were displayed chanting big words and empty slogans from memorized speeches. Colorful posters on online social networks instructed readers to commit anything and everything to fulfill “the mission” of the deceased, missions the victims themselves never fully grasped but merely kept hearing from mosque loudspeakers and propaganda books carefully designed to use and abuse the religious convictions and emotions of the readers. This process is bridged between schools and madrassas where school books do the initial work through everyday prayers, nationalist jargons and colorful stories of thousand year old battles and then when in mosque, young brains are fully ready and available to digest nonsense and propaganda of any color as they are made ready to go even to the extreme lengths to kill and die for things they never understood – like starving sheep that would go mad at the sight of green grass, like little kids rejoicing at the sight of harmful junk food, like perverts climaxing at the sight of bare skin, like cattle being dragged here and there by herders seeking better price. Ask any of the Quds day protestors to narrate a 10 year history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and they will stare at you failed and ashamed, best of all they will parrot the exact lines of a propaganda book or the exact words of a potato-head Mullah or Sayeed. Ask them for names and the only names they know are of long-beards and empty heads, powerful people who barely know of the existence of the individuals protesting and dying for their propaganda, the only faces they would recognize are those portrayed in photo-shopped posters showing fake smiles and photo-shopped innocence but hiding decades of misery and tyranny. The history they are taught is one side of the coin painted with blind-faith and piousness, the side of the history they never get to see or read is the filth, blood, murder and atrocity committed by the same people they follow.

Another tradition is that of practices of Moharram where potato-head kids gather to beat and torture themselves top to bottom by claiming that it’s their heritage when clearly, many of the practices did not even exist a hundred years go but were brought in by travelers to the Middle East. These are people claiming to be celebrating a time when the righteous stood its ground in the face of powerful but evil people – point taken and you have every right to do so but I question your hypocrisy in practice, the ignorance you preach using Moharram as a pretext by actively trying to subvert any and all people who are weak but would disagree with you and your beliefs and practices. In your “momin” society women can’t walk their streets and girls can not escape their lazy eyes without psychological social torment, abuse is rife, your men have to right dress as they please but girls have to be locked in a black cage. This is a society where in the dead darkness of the night, thousands of people, mainly women, flock to a local “mojiza” mosque to go crazy over a sparkle of moonlight reflection forgetting that the actual great work to celebrate was when a human being invented the light bulb or discovered the mechanism for the flow of current or worked on penicillin or so on and so forth.

Why the hypocrisy?

Well, they did this a thousand years ago and so shouldn’t we?

Why would you do that?

Well, that mullah and his book said so.

That guy would say anything and you would believe and do it?

Well, that mullah quoted this guy who quoted that person who overheard that while speaking to such and such person about such and such topic on the question of the contents of such and such book by another person who had overheard it from such and such source.

Further point in context, your hypocrite Mominin have enough to buy chains, blades and new black costume but they have little care for the old fruit-seller who stands on a road side all day long in freezing cold weather to make 50 rupees for the day, they don’t have enough for the poor widow who has to sell herself to the fat and smelly Haji or mullah in sigha as that’s the only way she can earn protection in a brutal, hypocrite and stupid society; they don’t have enough for war stricken refugees who they label as this and that; they don’t have enough to fill the holes they dug up in the local public road but they have all the money to pay for the akhond and bodyguards, for khoms, for travels to Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and for the pockets of Wilayat-e Faqih. The rituals are jargon; many practitioners are hypocrites and the slogans shallow and meaningless. Lately a few Mominin who chose to run and lie for their lives have taken the disease to the streets of Europe and Australia where Sayeeds and Akhonds get a golden day to morph in to a socially superior breed.

If they cared, they would weep for the millions of dead in Darfur, if they cared they would speak of the genocide of Armenians under the Ottoman Caliphate; if they cared about good and bad, they would know of the 60000+ people murdered by the Islamic regime in Iran; if they cared, they would protest for the thousands who died in Irani concentration camps of Sang-e Safeed and Tal-e Siyah; if they cared they would protest for the hundreds of thousands of victims in Afghanistan brutalized under the Communists and the Mujahideen/Taliban; if they cared, they would protest for the rights of millions in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran who have no food to eat, no place to call home and no clothes to keep them warm; if they cared they would pay for their hospitals, roads, schools, parks and other facilities they need but lack; if they cared they would treat their women as equals not as if they needed the control of men as if social paradigms never changed in over a thousand years; if they cared big fat men would not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to perform Hajj when their neighbors have to work and die in coal mines to find food. If they cared, they would think of themselves and the laughing stock of humanity they have become.

They did not care, they still do not care and unless something really drastic takes place overnight, they will not care. What is bought and sold in this market place of conspiracies are ignorance and arrogance.

Don’t label this as heresy or apocalypse. Get out of the box you have been pushed into, open its doors and there is a world out there that is far more complex, more complex than your wildest imaginations. You are not the only people in the dark, there are bad people and good people out there. Agree and disagree with any and all but without perversions. Stopped listening to the same old story every year if you are never going to learn anything from it; please stop listening to the same bunch of people every year who do it as profession to earn a living in deceit and who will go to any lengths to play with your emotions and beliefs. Find a mirror, look at yourselves and think of where you stand in world and among world cultures. Think of and for yourselves, your communities. Think of the people who have been manipulated and brainwashed by decades of propaganda and think of how easily they are manipulated. And … DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Posted by: Editor | December 17, 2010

Balochistan’s Sectarian War

It seems like the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is hotting up in this area also

The Friday Times; December 17-23; Vol XXII; No. 44

By Ejaz Haider

Twenty minutes into reaching Quetta and en route to a meeting, the message came: “CM just survived a suicide attack.” Some start to a four-day visit to Balochistan, I muttered to myself, and dialled the source to get details.

Nawab Aslam Raisani had got out of Sarawan House and was headed towards the Assembly when, at the Saryab Road railway crossing a suicide bomber blew himself up. Raisani remained safe because of the armour plating of his vehicle, but some officials in his security detail, as also a few unfortunate passersby, got injured, some critically.

The responsibility was taken by three different groups: Lashkar-e Jhangvi, TTP, and Balochistan United Liberation Front. Malik Iqbal, Inspector-General Police Balochistan told me that the BLUF was bluffing because, while it was early to pin down responsibility, the attack was conducted along the lines of sectarian terrorists that are also linked to the TTP. He could be right because the crime scene confirmed the attack was mounted by a suicide bomber whereas the BLUF spokesperson said the group had used a remote-controlled device.

“During these days, sectarian terrorism is our biggest concern,” IGP Iqbal said to me as we ate lunch from boxes from the Usmania Tandoori Restaurant. He is right. With Yaum-e Ashur just days ahead, Quetta is tense. The fear of unknown during the Moharram procession pervades the city. “If something happens, there would be repercussions. We have buried too many people over the last four years and the youth is preparing for retaliation,” a Hazara elder told me in the Marriabad locality of Quetta that lies in the foot of Koh-e Murdaar.

Hazaras, descendents of the Mongols, predominantly comprise the shia population of Quetta. Having migrated from Hazarajat in western Afghanistan, the Hazaras are a socially mobile minority. They generally enlist in the army and the police and can also be found in the civil services. General Musa Khan, the commander-in-chief, was a Hazara.
As I sat in the house of his grandson Sardar Mehdi Hasan Musa, a tall man who now lives and carries out his business in Karachi, I could see that the Hazaras pride themselves on their identity and being the descendents of Changiz Khan. “Have you been to the Martyrs’ graveyard?” Musa asked me. “Yes, I have,” I said to him. Earlier in the day I had driven there. There are two graveyards where the Koh-e Murdaar range begins to get diminutive. One, to the side of the main graveyard, is dedicated to those killed in several sectarian attacks. “You can see how many we have buried,” my guide had said to me. Nearly four hundred it seems since 2006.

“My father, Sardar Mohammad Hasan Musa, was killed by LJ in Karachi in 1997,” Musa told me. His house in Karachi’s Defence area was also attacked. I wanted to see the route of the Moharram procession and was given a tour of the area. The procession starts on Aalamdar Road near Nachari Chowk and then turns towards Wafa Road on the right and moves on to Toghi Road and goes to Mezan Chowk on Liaquat Road before returning via Prince and Mechongi Roads back to Alamdar.

It is not a very long route and the head and tail of the procession meet at the peak of the mourning. But the area is difficult to monitor against a suicide bomber bent on seeking immortality by killing those who he considers apostates. There are small alleys along the route and the area has shops owned by Pashtun businessmen. “The problem is that in case of any such incident, the retaliation could lead to a fire-fight between the Hazaras and the Pashtun,” my Hazara guide told me. He pointed out that the Pashtun are not really a party to the sectarian conflict but “anything can happen when emotions are running high”.
This has already happened. The attack on the Yaum al-Quds rally killed 17 shia. But then firing started and the toll went much higher. “The LJ activists operating in this area are mostly Baloch,” the IGP said. One of the top sectarian terrorists, Saifullah Kurd, belongs to Mastung, just south of the Quetta district.

An intelligence officer who did not want to be named, said to me that the Iranians are now actively funding the shia population and have managed through money and proselytising to convert some Kurds to shiaism. “They have also given money to build some imambargahs,” he said. It seems like the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is hotting up in this area also. Further south and southwest, there is Jandullah which, according to Iran, is being funded by the Americans and the Saudis to foment trouble in Sistan-Baluchistan, the Iranian side of Balochistan.

There is some truth in this because while officials do not admit that Pakistan is looking the other way as Jandullah gets funds from the Saudis and the Americans, they counter by pointing out Indian activity through its consulate in Zahidan which goes unabated under the Iranian patronage.

The sectarian proxy war in this case links up with other issues of concern for the states in the region. But the sectarian issue itself is becoming big and has already taken much toll of the Hazaras.

The day after I had met with the IGP, someone killed a police sub-inspector in Quetta while he was on a patrol duty. As I went to the spot to get details, I was not much surprised to be told that he was a Bangash shia from Hangu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. “It does seem like the sectarian terrorists have very good intelligence on shias,” I said to another police officer. “Yes, they do,” was the grim, staccato answer.

I mentioned this to journalists in Quetta while sipping kehwa at the Quetta Press Club where I had come to witness a protest gathering by the Baloch agitating the issue of missing persons. Ali Shah, the Dawn News bureau chief, said all of them were fearful of what might happen on the 10th of Moharram. “The fear is real; we have seen the shia being struck too often,” Shah said. Like other journalists, he is convinced that an attack makes perfect sense for those who want to destabilise the state further.

An officer who deals with internal security told me that Jandullah was now linked up with LJ and the latter had also some operational and logistical connections with Baloch nationalist groups. “The Baloch groups move back and forth between Pakistan and Afghanistan through the Pashtun territory and they have some arrangement with the TTP; they also have the Baloch connection with Baloch terrorists from LJ. The idea is to help each other to destabilise the state,” he said.

Which is why one hopes, desperately, that the coming 10th, Friday to be precise, sees no untoward incident. But the hope, given the situation, may be unfounded.

The writer is Contributing Editor, The Friday Times


Posted by: Editor | December 16, 2010

3 Hazaras Killed

Three Hazaras were killed on Wednesday Dec 15.

The News Report

In a fresh wave of target killings, three people were killed and another injured seriously when unidentified armed men attacked them at two different places of the provincial capital on Wednesday.

Police said that three members of a family were travelling in a car from Mariabad to Hazara Town when their vehicle reached at Arbab Karam Khan Road, it was attacked. The attackers opened indiscriminate firing killing Muhammad Hussain and his four-year-old son Mehdi on the spot. Police sources said Barat Ali also sustained injuries and was shifted to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital for medical treatment. The condition of the injured is stated to be serious, according to the hospital sources.

In another incident, some unidentified armed men attacked Muhammad Sulman when he was on his way to home near Kirani Road. The attackers fired several rounds of Kalashnikov killing him on the spot. Meanwhile, SHO Saryab Wahid Bukhash was dismissed from services on the charges of showing negligence in maintaining law and order in jurisdiction.

Posted by: Editor | November 15, 2010

Geo Documentary on Target Killing of Hazaras

Below is a Geo TV documentary on the target killing of Hazaras in Quetta.

Posted by: Editor | November 6, 2010

Target Killing of Hazaras in Karachi

Asad Hazara was killed last week.

There has been a wave of Hazara target killing in Karachi recently. Last week Asad Hazara alias Gudo was killed on Oct 22 Thursday night at Mughul Hazara Goth area. He was on his way back home with friends when some Gilgati armed men opened fire and killed Asad. A couple of days prior to this incident, Sakhidad Hazara was also killed near the same area by Gilgati armed men. These Gilgatis have threatened Hazaras of Mughul Goth previously too. They are backed by some Iran-supported religious groups. The Hazaras of Karachi are critical of the law enforcement agencies due to security failure and Hazara target killing at the hands of Gilgatis.

Mirza Yousaf, a Gilgati, is the leader of Shia Action Committee and staunch anti-Hazara. He is behind the Gilgati campaign to terrorize Hazaras of Mughul Goth. Other groups such as Imamia Students Organization and Majlis e Wahdat e Muslimeen are supporting the Gilgati campaign against Hazaras. Maulana Yousaf of Shia Ulema Council also supports them. The main purpose of Gilgati terror campaign against Hazaras of Mughul Goth is to kick Hazaras out of the Hazara Mughul Goth area, a name that was registered on the name of Hazaras in Government documents decades ago.

Five Hazaras have been killed in this terror-campaign so far, while 1 Gilgati has also been killed. The conflict has been intensifying since last three years. The Government and law enforcement agencies must take notice to avoid further killings of innocent victims. Two Hazaras have been killed just in last two months. Gilgati leaders Mirza Yousaf and Saghir Hussain Abidi had promised to end the conflict by compensating the family members of dead Ali Khan son of Juma Khan. But they never met their promise. The same promise was made for murder of Ibrar Ali Changazi son of Babo Ali Raza, but the promises were not made.

Sakhidad Hazara was also killed by Gilgatis.

A Ring Gang of Gilgatis is involved in Hazara killing. Kumail Shah son of Raees and Kazim alias Bichu are prominent in the gang behind target killing of Hazaras. Others known by their nick-names are Badshah and T.T.

Whenever there is an FIR against them, Gilgati leaders rush to Gulistan Johar Police Station and pressurize the Station House Officer through the bigwigs.

About 10 years ago, leaders of the above-mentioned religious groups had come to Hazara Mughul Goth elders requesting to let the Gilgatis, who had come newly to Karachi, to live in Hazara area. Since then, Gilgatis have been flooding in the area, and now Hazaras are a minority in their own area. Since the last target killing a couple of weeks ago, Gilgatis have been threatening Hazaras. A Peace Committee was formed to resolve the issue, but it didn’t work.

The Government and security officials in Karachi must take immediate notice of the target killing of Hazaras in Hazara Mughul Goth area of Karachi. Mirza Yousaf should be kept under intelligence-monitoring, as he is the main figure giving fire to the conflict.

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