Posted by: Editor | May 3, 2013

Hazara on Hazaar rah?

By Haider Changezi

I have come across the slogan ‘Hazarahaayejahanmutahidshavid’many a times and have to admit that it has a ‘feel good’ factor associated with it. It gives a sense of identity, purpose and is immersed in emotionalism. But moving beyond rhetoric what does it actually mean for me as a Hazara of Quetta? and I am sure many other Quettagis must have pondered on this point. Election Day is just around the corner and we see the Hazara electorate as divided as ever. Divided? This is surely one way of looking at it; the other way is having ‘diversity of opinion’. Is it not a healthy sign in any community that it harbors diversity of thought and ideologies? After all this is how the process of evolution moves forward, with debate and competition. The fittest survives and the meek perish eventually benefitting the community.

But doesn’t this diversity negate the slogan of ‘Hazarahaayejahanmutahidshavid’? If all Hazaras are supposed to unite then how can we have diversity of thought, ideology, political affiliation, religious shades etc…? Does being united mean we all act as bots and live a regimental life under the allusion of one ‘supreme Sardar’ or aHoly Akhund and act as per theirpersonal diktats and absolute wisdom?If this were the case then with in the Hazara community what happens to all the Taifas? The naw (new) and koona (old) Quettagi-divide? The Qawmi vs. Mazhabi divide? And moving beyond Hazaras how will this slogan fit in with our relations with other neighbourly ethnic groups (Pushtun, Baloch and Punjabi), and what about the Shia-Sunni divide?

Is it really possible to be ‘mutahid’? Or is this mere rhetoric which sounds good but means nothing?

The answer to this question depends upon each individual’s ideology. The ideologies most prevalent in our society can be broadly boxed in three compartments;

1)      If I were a staunch nationalist then my worldview would mean that my allegiance will have to be with ‘Mazarism’. After all the bedrock of Hazara nationalism is in Hazaristan and not on the roads of Quetta. The party which represent this thought is the Hazara Democratic Party.

2)      If I were rabidly religious, then for me Qom will hold a sacred position and the clergy will have a central role in determining not only my religious views but also my political associations. MWM being the sole custodian of religion and politics here.

3)      If I were a jingoistic patriot, Islamabad or more appropriately Pak Fauj will be my forte.We see how the neo-Sardars have benefited from this relation.

This one-liner; Hazarahaayejahanmutahidshavid has to be viewed through the prism of reality. The reality is Hazaras are not living an isolated life in a peaceful country and progressive society but to the contrary living in a most complex environment, surrounded by religious traditionalism, ethnicdiversity, Geo-political unrests etc. To give some context:

  • Hazaras(apart from Baloch) are the only people living in the only three ‘Islamic’ countries in the world; Islamic Republicof Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran and Islamic Republic of Pakistan. No other Muslim country in the world has ‘Islamic’ in its name.
  • In Afghanistan they associate us with the Mongol invasion hence the label of ‘outsiders’ and along with this because of our religious beliefs we are also viewed as ‘The Others’. In Iran they consider Hazaras as Afghans and hence view us as Barbaris (Barbarians) never wholeheartedly embracing us and in Pakistan in some quarters we are now viewed as pro-Iranianbecause of our religious association with Shi’ism and also as being anti-Taliban because of Hazaras being part of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.
  • Within Pakistan we live in Balochistan, here the political realities are that we are affected with the Baloch-Islamabad conflict. Being émigrés (with no lands) Hazaras have benefited immensely from serving in the Government (Armed &Civilian forces). How do Baloch view us because of this? Whose side should we take? Baloch or Islamabad’s?
  • Although Hazaras are religiously diverse as we have Sunnis, some Christians and Atheists, and within Shi’ism; Ismailis and Twelvers but within Pakistan we are viewed exclusively as Shias. As a result of this, Hazaras have suffered the most in the LeJ’s terror onslaught on Shias of Pakistan. No other ethnic group has suffered so much and feel as much abandoned by the society as the Hazaras do.

Question arises: Do we stick with the Shia religious parties and follow their diktats of ‘marg bar Amreeka’ (and yet we go to the West and seek asylum)? But we also need to be cognizant of the fact that Iran is areality that we have to live with. It is after all a regional power and cannot be sidelined.

In short, there is no easy answer to this question – but these realities help us:

No nation/ethnic group is singular in its religious/political beliefs. It is artificial and harmful. As it stymies intellectual growth and development – it is a sign of a dead/dying people to have paucity of intellectual development.

Look at the Pushtuns, they are rabidly divided along Religious vs. Secular (JUIF vs. ANP/PkMAP), Sectarian differences (siege of Parachinar by Pashtun Sunni tribes), Afghan vs. Pakistani (Pashtun in Pakistan Army will fight to defend the Durand Line but the Afghan Pashtuns do not recognize it).

Also take a look at the Baloch, their ‘struggle for rights’ has suffered biggest setback because of Baloch themselves. They have Establishment backed vs Nationalists. (Changez Marri is in PMLN and a CM candidate but his brother Harbiryar Marri is fighting for outright independence, similarly Brahamdagh Bugti wants independence but his paternal uncle Talal Akbar Bugti is allied with the PMLN). Remember theJamalis, the Jams and the Rasianis who helped military operations against their own Baloch?

Punjabis carried out one of the biggest massacres of Punjabis because of religion – Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christian Punjabis all killing eachother. Partition of Punjab has to be the biggest massacre in this part of the world and it was essentially Punjabis killing Punjabis!

The reason to share the divisions in other ethnic groups is that we should not be too hard on ourselves by saying that we are not united and we should all work under one banner. However what we should be united on is the interest of the people. Our religious or political association should be a means to work towards improving the lives of Hazaras.

Now let us take a look at the main parties vying for Hazara votes:

–          HDP positions itself as a progressive, secular and nationalist party. However, they need to realize that they are not conducting their politics in developed societies of the Western world but in the religious & traditional streets of Quetta. It is a commendable effort that they are working towards inter-ethnic harmony and are against religious extremism of all shades. However, they seem to be too rigid in their stance of separating religion and politics. Although I am a firm believer of this principle but I also believe that in our society it is better to bring about this change in an evolutionary manner than a revolutionary one. A good case study here will be to view how MQM and ANP manage their politics. ANP is staunchly and rigidly secular and as a result it is very easy for JUI-F or MMA to simply label them as ‘kafirs’. On the other hand, MQM also is a secular party but it tries to ‘manage’ religion. It has appointed ‘religious’ personalities from every religious denomination in its team. For e.g. Abbas Komaili was a Shi’ite senator meant to influence the affairs of the Shia Urdu Speaking community. This approach can be termed as hypocritical as a secular party has overtly religious personalities but this is also called ‘politics of pragmatism’ which HDP needs to learn.

HDP urgently needs to learn that getting labelled ‘athiests/kafirs’ is damaging not only to them but also endangers the unity amongst Hazaras. They need to understand the Hazaras as a people and Quetta as a city is traditional and religious; HDP is not contesting elections in Atlanta but on Alamdar road and need to be flexible in their approach.

–          MWM, they position themselves as the ‘custodians of the Shias of Pakistan’. Reality is they are further fuelling extremism in a society fraught with extremism. We should not doubt the intentions of MWM. In their own capacity they think they are trying to do good for Shia-Hazaras of Pakistan. But what they do not realize is that they are further isolating Hazaras of Pakistan. Consider the following:

  • MWM will contest in all those constituencies which have a sizeable Shia vote bank. Mainly these will be areas like: Parachinar, Quetta, some areas in Karachi. Rest assured MWM will not be able to win in Parachinar because the local Turis are allied with PPP, in Karachi the Urdu Speaking are die hard supporters of their nationalist party; the MQM. The MQM will never allow MWM to make inroads in their constituency. Those vocal ‘Shia Activists’ who were initially supporting MWM have now all receded and now supporting their individual political parties (PPP & MQM).
  • If the MWM wins in PB-2, this will be the only constituency in entire Pakistan which sends Shia Islamist party to the assemblies. A party whose leaders openly gives allegiance to a political leader of another country (see Amin Shaeedi’s video message at 5’.15’ – ). So after watching this and if MWM wins, then others will not be wrong if they label us as pro-Iranians.

MWM’s role should be as guide for the people on religious matters and not get involved in political machinations. They are an important player and play a very effective role in getting all the Shias of Pakistan on a single platform when required but if they try and play politics they will be furthering MDM (ASWJ’s) agenda of further polarizing the society with sectarianism.

As Pakistani Hazaras, it is in our interest not to talk of Afghanistan’s interest or Iran’s interests. A Hazara of Afghanistan proudly calls himself an Afghan (even after all the excesses by the Afghan State) and an Iranian Shia will always be proud to be a Persian first!

We should have religious links with Iran& more importantly Iraq and we should have cultural links with Afghanistan. But when it comes to Politics we have to live reality of Pakistan.

And within Pakistan, we should talk of the interest of Balochistan. After all this is our homeland in Pakistan. Political autonomy, rights of the province, moral support to the Baloch cause within the framework of law. Hence aligning with Baloch nationalist/secular parties is also a possibility, namely Balochistan National Party (Mengal), which has fielded Hazara candidates.

It is not easy being a minority within a minority in a country like Pakistan but this is the reality and we have to we pragmatically smart to ensure we work for the betterment of our people.

So who should you vote for on 11th May? This is your decision to make but please keep all the above factors in mind. One thing I will request you all is that do go and vote keeping the best interest of Hazaras of Pakistan in mind.We may all follow our own individual ‘Hazaarrahs’ but our destination has to be one; benefit of the Hazaras.

The author can be followed on Twitter @aushpaz

Posted by: Editor | January 20, 2013

Raisani the Victim?

By A Changezi

As per news reports, ‘key allies’ in the Balochistan coalition have given President Zardari an ultimatum to reverse the Governor Rule by 20th January otherwise Quetta Airport & the Railway Station will be paralysed through large scale protests.

I don’t profess to have the answers to the current predicament being faced by innocents in Balochistan but I have some questions for all to ponder on:

  • Why these corrupt and incompetent MPAs are showing an urgency & unity to defend a miserably failed cabinet? Why couldn’t they show the same resolve against countering the LeJ terror and save 100s of innocent lives?
  • What political legitimacy does the current Political Assembly enjoy? It does not represent the Baloch Nationalists, the Pushtun Nationalists and the lone Hazara MPA has also resigned from the cabinet.
  • What moral legitimacy (if these MPA understand the word) does the Provincial Assembly enjoy? It sat impotently over the brutal killing campaign against Baloch nationalists, the Hazara Shia Community and the harassment of the Hindu community.
  • The ‘Large Protest’ that these criminal coalition partners have announced is clearly a desperate attempt to copy the brave sit in of the Hazara Shia on Alamdar Road – they need to keep in mind that the Alamdar Road protest has become a symbol of peaceful yet unyielding protest in face of oppression. The Alamdar Protests did not disturb city life. Why are these Public Representatives threatening to disturb civil life and peace of the city?
  • A simple way to judge the progress of the Provincial assembly is the number of legislations passed, sessions held and the attendance of the MPAs in each session – can they present an update on how they have served the people of the province before they start giving ultimatums to reverse the Governor’s rule in Balochistan?
  • Isn’t it common knowledge that JUI-F (the party spearheading the restoration of the Cabinet) holds sway over the same constituency which houses the Quetta Shura (biggest Taliban presence in the country)? In its five year rule why didn’t the JUI-F ever talk so vehemently against Baloch Kill & Dump?
  • A Hazara cannot move freely in Quetta as the LeJ target killers are on the loose but JUI-F knows that no attack will take place on its rallies when they plan to take the Quetta Airport & Railway Station hostage – from where and why does it have this level of comfort?
  • Why is Raisani crying like a victim? Aslam Raisani is trying to come out of all of this as a victim. Raisani is the criminal face of this Jihadi-Criminal nexus that ruled Balochistan for almost five years. He is now desperately trying to play the ‘nationalist’ card and present himself as the one who has been sacrificed by ‘Punjab’. There were reports that in the 3 days when he was Missing In Action (initially in Dubai & then in London) he was trying hard to contact Baloch Nationalist leadership. But little did he realize that Baloch Leadership is too seasoned & mature to fall in his trap.
  • In which country does the army remain bunkered in their cantonments while innocent civilians are slaughtered mercilessly outside? What happened to the oath of defending the country against external AND internal threats that the soldiers undertake when they pass out from Kakul?

Fact is that Raisani has presided on one of the biggest massacre of Baloch, Hazara & Shia in history of Balochistan –and he simply tries to absolve himself of this by claiming that the FC runs a parallel government. Merely this statement does not absolve him of his criminal negligence which is to the level of collusion.

Imagine the power of the statement when a CM would stand on the floor of the house and summon the FC…did Raisani ever do this? NO – if he did not have the courage or the decency then he should not be allowed to play victim now.

Posted by: Editor | June 3, 2012

Born Pakistani, he died a Hazara

By Amir Mateen – The News

QUETTA: Major Shafaat died a sad broken man. Abandoned by his institution. Betrayed by childhood friends. Forsaken by his hometown. His only fault was to have been born different. A man with a flat nose and chinky eyes. An ethnic Hazara.

He lived a rich childhood frolicking up and down the Quetta streets with his Baloch, Pashtun, Punjabi and Hazara friends from school. Ethnicity did not matter at all in those days. Friends were—well—just friends. He was lucky that he was able to fulfill his ambition to join Pakistan Army. There is a long tradition among his community to join army dating back to 1830s when Captain Jacob—of Jacobabad fame—recruited Hazaras for the First Afghan war. Musa Khan joined Hazara Pioneers Regiment in 1904 as a sepoy and rose to become Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff and West Pakistan Governor. Shafaat admired General Musa and Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Sharbat Changezi as his role models from his community.

Shafaat, now a major posted in Rawalpindi, volunteered to be posted to his hometown about three years ago. He thought he would be better off serving in Quetta—among dear friends and family. The city had changed drastically by then. He found his non-hazara bosom friends avoiding him. Some of them even showed hostility. “I felt it was just because I had a flat nose and chinky eyes like most descendants of Mongol Khan, “ he said visibly Irritated. Disheartened, he took a leave and got himself enrolled in Balochistan University’s Mass Communication Department. He found the antagonism there even worse. It was a double jeopardy: Pashtun students aligned to Sunni parties saw him as a Shia outcaste liable, as their posters suggest, to be killed; Baloch suspected him as an army infiltrator who had been sent to spy on them. Here is the heart-breaker: He was not trusted even by his army colleagues back at the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) offices. He was kept out of the local intelligence loop. A new commandant had issued instructions not to let him see even the army’s movement roster. He was absolutely dismayed.

Shafaat shared his pain with me while we were traveling the length and breadth of Balochistan during one of my earlier visits there a few months ago. In all we spent about 62 hours together but now it appears like an entire lifetime. I had requested the ISPR to give me an attachment so that I could visit army’s remote outposts to get their side of the story. To my luck—came along Shafaat who was part journalist because of his Mass Communication degree. A highly sensitive soul, he was definitely way more knowledgeable and objective than your typical army officer. We travelled through Bolan Pass, Sibbi, Dera Allah Rar, Kashmore to Dera Bugti and back exploring some of the most explosive places in Pakistan. We had all the time during our long travels, sometimes 13 hours straight, to discuss Balochistan, particularly Hazaras.

We stopped by at Kolpur just outside the Quetta valley where, he told me, his ancestors had come as coal miners to escape the excesses of Afghan King Abdur Rehman in the 1890s. Kol means a cap in which they received their days’ earning and Pur means abode—hence abode of the cap-wielding people. Even today, a majority of Hazaras works on menial jobs as miners and labourers. We saw in Mach coal mines down the way that they remain as sturdy and hard working as they were a century ago.

Shafaat was constantly receiving calls from his family. He laughed that his wife and children were worried not because he was travelling to such dangerous areas but because they feared he might be targeted as a Hazara. “I don’t blame them,” I remember him saying, “such has been our life lately; I also fear the same every time my daughter goes to school or my wife goes to bazaar.”

Hazara are an easy target because they are easily distinguishable from the other ethnic groups because of their Mongol features. Over 700 Hazara Shias have been killed in the last decade.

As many as 39 Hazaras died in the last 19 days. Last September, religious processions organized by the community were targeted twice killing around 50 people. Then came the Mastung carnage the same month. It is not just the staggering number of Hazaras killed but the brutality that was shown by killers.

A bus carrying Hazara pilgrims to Quetta was brutally assaulted. All the 26 men and boys aboard were taken out of the bus, lined up and shot, as their mothers, wives and sisters watched from inside. Unafraid, the assailants had insured that the highway was blocked on both ends when they conducted that ambush. Two more Hazara men were killed after being dragged out of their cars at a traffic light in Quetta the same evening.The total death toll for the day was over thirty dead and scores more injured. It was mourning for almost every other house among roughly half a million Hazaras as most of them are related through marriages.

Shafaat said he too was sometimes seen as a suspect as many in the community blame the army. The argument goes that if the ISI can kill dump hundreds of Baloch, why cannot they get hold of a bunch of religious fanatics. “I am a suspect for me colleagues, my friends and my community,” he said sadly. His family wanted him to move to Australia. Thousands of Hazaras have moved to Australia and Canada in the last few years. Some take grave risks. Hundreds have died in containers, crossing borders, others in ship wrecks. Over 300 people died off the coast of Java last December, most of them Hazaras. So desperate are people from this cruelty that they are willing to take every risk to get out of here.

Shafaat was not the one to leave. He was too much in love with the Community that had held him in suspicion, the army that had disappointed him and Quetta that had scorned him. He was a proud Hazara, khaki as well as a Quettawal. Shafaat got a call while he was explaining his affection for the three. He turned suddenly pale. Another attack on Hazaras had taken place. Six were shot dead execution style while drinking tea at one of the many roadside stalls in Quetta. One of them was his relative. He almost fainted, sweating profusely. Being a small expert in cardiac symptoms, I could see it was serious. I got him a doze of aspirins and brain relaxants and requested him to “take it easy.” Obviously, he was very sensitive about the whole thing. On my way back I also talked to his family to keep him calm and away from such news.

I got a call from his number 15 days later. A big ‘hello’ came out of my mouth, without realizing that it was his daughter. “So where’s your dad,” I chuckled. “He died today,” she replied.

He was only 32. A noble honest man, but born with a flat nose and chinky eyes. Maybe he deserved to die because he naively believed himself to be a Pakistani. But in today’s Pakistan, he was just a Hazara.

Posted by: Editor | June 3, 2012

Hazara Taxi-driver Shot Dead

Ali Muhammad, only breadwinner of family has left five kids as orphans.

Quetta: A Hazara was shot dead on Joint Road on Wednesday May 30. The victim has been identified as Ali Muhammad, resident of New Hazara Town, Kirani Road. He was traveling on his bicycle after having lunch in a restaurant on Joint Road, when unknown armed men opened fire. Later, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in a phone call to Quetta Press Club claimed responsibility.

Ali Muhammad has left behind five children as orphan. A taxi driver, he was the only breadwinner of the family.

Posted by: Editor | May 16, 2012

Two Hazaras Shot Dead

Two Hazara Shot Dead on May 16. Photo Awaz Nasl Nau

The Express Tribune report

QUETTA: After an interval of a few weeks, sectarian targeted killings resumed in Quetta on Tuesday morning as two brothers belonging to the Hazara community were gunned down outside the regional passport office near Joint Road.

According to a senior police officer, Mohammad Tahir and Mohmmad Qadir had come to the post office to get their passports made and were attacked outside the main gate of the office at 7.15 am.

The assailants were on a motorcycle and fled the scene after opening fire at the two brothers. “Both men died on the spot and another man of the Hazara community received bullet wounds,” police said.

The bodies and injured were taken to Sandeman hospital where stringent security measures were adopted to thwart another attempted attack. The injured, identified as Manzoor Ali, was referred to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) for security reasons, sources in the hospital said. “It was sectarian target shooting,” another senior investigating officer said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the assault.

It is pertinent to mention here that around 28 people of Hazara community have been killed in the recent spate of target killings this year. Some police officers investigating sectarian killings, such as SSP Crime Investigation Department Shahnawaz Khan and sub-inspector Sayed Jamal Shah were also gunned down in Quetta in the recent past. On the other hand, some religious scholars of Sunni sect were also victims of targeted attacks in the provincial capital and religious parties believe that some elements are trying to instigate sectarian violence in Balochistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2012.

Protest rally in Toronto, Canada against Hazara genocide.

Toronto: A protest rally was held in Toronto, Canada against the systematic genocide of Hazaras in Pakistan. Protesters marched down to Dundas Square holding banners and placards with slogans against killing of Hazaras by sectarian terrorists in Pakistani city of Quetta. The rally was organized by Hazara Association of Canada.

Placards read: “Stop Genocide of Hazara People in Pakistan”, “We Canadians Want Our Government to Pressurize Pakistan to Stop Killing of Hazara People”, “Stop Supporting Taliban”, etc.

Speakers urged human rights organizations, the international community and United Nations to take notice of the systematic killing of Hazara minority in Pakistani city of Quetta. They said a community of 600,000 are besieged and living under constant threat and fear. People cannot travel from their homes to schools, universities, bazaar and markets due to daily killing of Hazaras. They strongly condemned the Government of Pakistan for its utter failure to maintain peace. Speakers further questioned the role of powerful military intelligence agencies in Pakistan, asking how could a bunch of sectarian terrorists operate with impunity, it is not complicity of elements from within the law enforcement agencies.

The protesters urged the Canadian Government to use diplomatic pressure to stop a humanitarian crisis in Pakistani city of Quetta.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

BBC Urdu, posted with vodpod
Posted by: Editor | May 14, 2012

76-page Investigative Report on Hazara Genocide

Quetta: Minority Support Pakistan has released a 76-page independent investigative report by a fact-finding mission of international observers and legal experts who came to Quetta in November, 2011. Titled, “The Shia Hazara of Pakistan; a Community Under Siege”, the report is a detailed documentation and evidence of attacks on Hazaras in Quetta since last ten years.

The report combines a number of diverse elements including: extensive background information on the Hazara people and province of Balochistan; detailed accounts and a summary record of the now 20-year history of sectarian violence in Quetta; extensive anecdotal evidence from survivors of recent attacks; photographic documentation; legal petitions and proceedings from the Balochistan High Court; narrative analysis from senior members of the community; and a synthesis of news media and community accounts highlighting the negligence and ineptitude of local, provincial, and national law enforcement agencies. The conclusion of the report provides a series of actionable recommendations to be undertaken by various agencies and stakeholders in law enforcement, judiciary, legislature, the media, and Pakistani civil society at large.

Download the report in PDF here.

Posted by: Editor | May 7, 2012

Another Hazara Shot Dead

Quetta: A Hazara man was killed by unknown gunmen Mastung on Sunday, May 06. He was working at his tyre shop in Dasht area of Mastung, when unknown armed men riding on a bike opened fire and killed him at the spot. The victim is identified as Muhammad Ali.

Posted by: Editor | May 6, 2012

Protest Outside UN against Hazara Genocide

Protest in front of UN Headquarters in New York against Hazara genocide in Pakistan.

The Nation report

UNITED NATIONS – A large number of people on Friday staged a rally in front of United Nations Headquarters in New York to protest the targeted killing of Hazaras in Quetta, and urged the world body to help in protecting the community members.

“Stop Killing Hazaras,” the protesters shouted. “We want justice …Wake up UN,” they demanded while shouting anti-government slogans.
Speakers at the rally called on the Pakistan government to provide adequate protection to Hazaras, crack down on the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants and bring the culprits to justice. A memorandum to this effect was submitted to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Click to Read BBC Urdu report of the protest.

Dawn report.

DAWN report.

Posted by: Editor | May 6, 2012

France24 Report on Hazara Genocide in Pakistan

Read full report on France24 here.

Rally in Kabul against Hazara genocide in Pakistan.

Hundreds of Hazara Shia have taken to the streets of the Afghan capital, Kabul, to protest against what they call the targeted killings of members of their minority group in neighbouring Pakistan.
Protesters, numbering about 400, hoisted placards reading “Death to Terrorism” and “Shame, Shame Pakistan” on Friday as they called on Pakistan to protect members of the ethnic group after dozens of Shia were killed in the southwestern province of Balochistan in the past few months.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Fatima Jahfari, a female protester, asked when the killing of Hazara would stop.
“Until when will being a Hazara be a crime? Until when will we be told that because we are Hazara, we have to be
martyred and until when will we be martyred because we are Shia?” she said.
Kazim Waheedi, organiser of the protest, said the killing of Hazaras in Pakistan was on the rise.
“In the past two months ,150 Hazaras have been killed, which shows a huge increase. And the reason of our
gathering is against this inhuman action by Pakistan,” Waheedi, a medical doctor and activist, said.
The heavily guarded demonstration was blocked by Afghan police officers from reaching the Pakistani embassy in
Friday’s protests come weeks after other similar rallies in major world cities, including protests last month in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, where a tight-knit community of about 500,000 Hazara Shia live.
Violence against Shia in Afghanistan has been fairly rare since the ousting of the Taliban from power in 2001, but more common in Pakistan, where many Afghans have migrated during the decades of war in the Central Asian nation.
A Pakistani embassy official in Kabul dismissed criticism that Hazaras or other Shia were being neglected.
In a sign of growing worries about security, protesters on Friday divided into three groups to avoid possible attacks like a series of blasts in December, 2011, on Shia ceremonies in Kabul and two other areas that killed scores.


Posted by: Editor | May 6, 2012

HDP Protest in Hazara Town

HDP Chairman Abdul Khaliq Hazara addressing thousands in Hazara Town on May 04.

Quetta: Hazara Democratic Party held a large protest sit-in at Aliabad Junction in Hazara Town on May 04 as part of the worldwide protest rallies against Hazara genocide in Quetta.

Thousands of Hazara Town residents attended the sit-in addressed by HDP leaders. Masses were chanting slogans against the Provincial Balochistan Government for complicity of Administration officials in support Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who kill Hazaras routinely with impunity.

HDP Chairman Abdul Khaliq Hazara said the elements from within the Provincial Government are involved in killing of Hazaras. He also criticized the security establishment saying that Taliban and militant-minded religious groups are strengthened in Balochistan to weaken secular nationalist forces, who have mass support.

Khaliq Hazara further said that those behind the killing of Hazaras in Quetta want to bring different ethnic groups of the city at war. He added,

“Our enemies want us to go at war with Baloch and Pashtun of Balochistan. But by massacring Hazaras, our enemies will not bring our community morale down. Our enemies should know that Hazara will never indulge in violence. We will fight peacefully. Hazaras have proved throughout history that we are a peace-loving nation and will not go violent.”

Thousands attended HDP’s Hazara Town sit-in on May 04.

He thanked Hazara diaspora across the globe for organizing worldwide protest demonstrations to raise voice against the genocide in Quetta, and urged them to continue the struggle to bring Hazaras’ plight to the notice of international community and civilized world.

Member of Central Committee HDP, Zaman Dehqanzada said:

“Pakistani security established has grown militant groups to counter and silence the secular nationalist forces in Pakistan. All such killings are aimed at defaming the civilian democratic government so that people are compelled to prefer military dictatorship for security. We know we are facing the worst time of our history in Quetta, but Hazara will not resort to violence. We will remain peaceful and the hardships will make diamond out of every member of our community.”

Information Secretary of HDP Raza Wakil said:

“We know some strong elements from the security establishment want to create sectarian and ethnic rifts in Quetta. But they will never succeed in provoking Hazara to violence against any other ethnic groups with whom we have been living in peace and harmony for centuries. It was a Baloch passerby who helped a Hazara injured on Sabzal Road when terrorists killed two others in an iron-smith shop. It was a Pashtun passerby who helped the Hazara cab driver on Spini Road when terrorists escaped after killing several.”


Protest in Turin, Italy against Hazara genocide in Pakistan.

Turin: A protest demonstration was held in Turin city of Italy on May 01 against the systematic killing of Hazaras in Quetta city of Pakistan.

Hazara immigrants rallied on streets of the city to protest against the Pakistani Government for negligence and complicity in the on-going terror campaign of sectarian militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi against an ethnic minority in Quetta city. They were holding banners and placards with slogans against the Government of Pakistan and pleading the international community to pressurize Islamabad to stop a genocide-in-making in Quetta.

Hundreds rallied in Oslo, Norway against Hazara genocide in Pakistan.

Oslo: Protesters marched on roads of Norwegian capital Oslo on April 30 against the genocide of Hazara in Pakistan. They were holding banners and placards against the systematic killing of an ethnic minority for their Shia faith, and urged the international community to help stop the killing of Hazaras in Quetta city of Pakistan.

They were holding banners calling the UN to take notice of a genocide-in-making in Quetta, Pakistan. A child was holding a placard that read: “Massacre of Hazaras in 21st Century is a Shame for Humanity”.

Speakers condemned the security establishment–Army and Intelligence agencies–of Pakistan for negligence of the situation in Quetta where victims accuse complicity of Government elements supporting the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, who have killed more than 700 Hazaras in the last ten years, without one prosecution.

The speakers said it was a humanitarian crisis. An ethnic minority of over 600,000 people are besieged in a small multi-ethnic city of few million population. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is a militant sectarian organization that kill Shias. In a letter thrown in streets of Quetta, Hazaras have been warned by LeJ to leave Pakistan by 2012, or Quetta will be turned into their graveyard. Only in the last few weeks, over 40 Hazaras have been killed.

Protesters urged the international community to pressurize Pakistan to stop the merciless killings of Hazaras.

Protest in Denmark against Hazara genocide in Pakistan, April 30.

Copenhagen: A protest demonstration was held in Copenhagen, Denmark against the systematic genocide of Hazaras on April 30 in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Protesters were holding banners and placards pleading the international community to help stop the systematic killing of Hazaras in Quetta city of Pakistan, where more than 700 people of this ethnic have been killed during last ten years.

Speakers strongly condemned the Government of Pakistan for its utter failure and negligence of the situation in Quetta where Hazara are besieged by a bunch of sectarian terrorists who operate with impunity. They urged the United Nations to take notice of the killings. They termed it a “systematic genocide” and called the international community to stop a humanitarian crisis.

Protesters urged the international community to stop a genocide-in-making.

Protest demo in Rome, Italy against Hazara genocide.

Rome: A protest demonstration was held in Rome, Italy on April 28 against Hazara genocide in Pakistan. Protesters were holding banners and placards with slogans urging the international community to raise voice against genocide of a minority community in Pakistan.

Speakers highlighted a brief history of the killings of Hazaras by sectarian terrorists in Pakistan since last ten years. They strongly condemned the negligence and complicity of law enforcement agencies for their utter failure to control the situation. A speaker said the strong military intelligence agencies of Pakistan have given free hand to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and other Al-Qaeda allied sectarian outfits who are killing with impunity. He demanded the UN to take notice of a genocide and stop a humanitarian crisis in Pakistani city of Quetta.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has launched Human Rights and Democracy: The 2011 Foreign & Commonwealth Report on Monday, April 30. The report is a comprehensive look at the human rights work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) around the world in 2011.

Pakistan remains among the countries of “serious concern”. The report mentions Hazara killings and says,

In particular, we are concerned about targeted attacks on the Hazara population in Balochistan in the second half of 2011 and the Ahmadi community in Pakistan.
The High Commission in Islamabad and the FCO in London has held meetings with representatives from the Christian, Ahmadi and Hazara communities to hear of the persecution that they face, and has had regular engagement with the Ministry of Human Rights and civil society groups engaged in promoting religious tolerance and dialogue, many of whom have received death threats.
Read the full report in PDF here. Read British Foreign Secretary William Hagues speech at the launch of the report.
Posted by: Editor | May 2, 2012

Al Jazeera Show on Hazara Genocide

Increased attacks on the Hazara community in Pakistan have raised questions about the nature of these crimes. Some label them as a wave of sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis while others warn of a systematic targeting of this ethnic minority. Why are the Hazara targeted? And what is the Pakistani government doing to protect minority groups?

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Ahmad Shuja, a writer for UN Dispatch; Major Nadir Ali, Senior Leader of the Hazara tribe in Quetta; and Abdul Khaliq Hazara, Chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party.

Check the full report on Al Jazeera’s AJ Stream show.

British Ex-Home Secretary and current MP Alan Johnson joined protest in London against Hazara genocide in Quetta, Pakistan.

LONDON: Britain’s former Home Secretary Alan Johnson joined hundreds of protestors outside the High Commission of Pakistan here to condemn the wave of killings of ethnic Hazara Shia in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.
The Labour MP criticised Pakistani government for failing to take effective steps against the sectarian killers who persecute Hazaras routinely and with impunity.
“I am here to stand in solidarity with Hazaras who face ethnic cleaning in Balochistan yet the government of Pakistan is showing no concern. In the last 10 years more than 700 Hazaras have been killed which is a scandal. The government doesn’t seem concerned and has shown no interest in catching the killers,” said the former Home Secretary, who called on Interior Minister Rehman Malik, his former counterpart, to take action and not only rely on issuing statements.
The protest organised by Hazara Progressive Alliance drew Hazaras living in the UK from various towns and cities, many of them direct victims of sectarian terrorism unleashed by banned sectarian groups Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jehangvi and other pro-Taleban/Al-Qaeda militants who target Hazaras due to their distinctive features.
Ali Raza Mogul told the protestors that Hazaras were forced to come outside Pakistan High Commission after failing to get any attention from the Pakistani government over the heart-wrenching killings. “There is a heavy presence of the law-enforcement agencies in Quetta city but it is matter of great concern that Hazaras get killed on daily basis. The government has failed to catch terrorists.”
Syed Inayat Shah said that terrorists had been given free hand by the state security agencies to act as it suited them. He said Lashkar-e-Jangvi had publicly claimed that it will turn Quetta city into a big graveyard of Hazara Shias but no action was taken against them. He criticised Rehman Malik and Balochistan’s Chief Minister Nawab Raisani only played to the cameras and were concerned about their own media publicity and were “involved in the politics of dead bodies”. He said Hazaras didn’t enjoy political and financial might in the country and that was the reasons why the establishment didnít want to upset the ruthless sectarian elements who were still seen as “security assets” in some circles.
The protestors presented a memorandum to Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s High Commission to the UK and stated how different meetings with the High Commission officials had failed to produce any results, forcing Hazaras to protest on the streets of London.
The memorandum said: “We have had no option but to gather here to cry out loudly so that our voices are heard by those responsible for the safety and security of innocent Hazaras of Quetta. If this doesn’t work and the government continues to give us the impression that our community members in Quetta are living in Jungle, we will have to seek recourse to further legal but more radical avenues for the redress of our grievances. This may please be noted for your record.” They demanded that the genocide of Hazaras be immediately stopped; the government work out a viable plan to initiate a comprehensive and rigorous targeted operation against the LeJ terrorists and all other religious militants in and around Quetta city immediately; and that the victims and the affected families must be financially supported in order that they can overcome financial constraints.

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