Posted by: Editor | March 6, 2008

February Election 2008: Ground Realities, Impact and Hopes for Hazaras

This Op-Ed By Ms. Sadiqa Sultan, Our Correspondent

More of her work…

The 2008 elections remained the center of discussion in all quarters of society. In a country where democracy is yet to flourish, electoral process is vividly criticized for not being transparent and impartial. Pre-poll rigging allegations were chanted by different political parties which were not heard by Election Commission of Pakistan and were continuously denied by ruling party. Law and order situation was another cause for concern during elections. Anyhow, despite security risks, people across the country came out of their houses on 18 February contributing their share in electoral process and building the turn out up to 45.6 percent, second highest turn out in the history following 60 percent in 70’s elections.

Balochistan, a dry, rocky and vast land area, cut off from national mainstream, breeding decades old insurgency in its core against federation, is still politically deprived and struggling for due status.

Election 2008 did not have a good charm for people of Balochistan, no special hustle and bustle was observed in pre- and post-election scenario in the province. Since masses deprived of basic facilities of life, set apart by ethnicity, besieged by tribalism and out wearing social set up have given up all hopes for betterment. None of the Governments since Pakistan’s inception paid attention to this part of the country, capable of bringing glories and uplift to the entire region. Whatever the reasons may be behind this, as a matter of fact, Balochistan is intentionally kept backward resulting in deplorable economic and social condition of masses besides militancy disturbing the peace of province and creating hurdles for development.

Hazaras with a total approximate population of 500,000 and creating two Provincial Assembly constituencies PB-2 Quetta II and PB-6 Quetta VI besides a seat of National Assembly NA-259, Hazaras are striving for political rights and social influence besides strengthening the hope of an enduring future. With reference of Pakistan particularly Balochistan, Hazaras live in a slightly developed political landscape engraved by bounded racial, linguistic, tribal and sectarian elements. If keenly observed, we would come to know that Hazras with quite good literacy rate are divided into clannish conflicts (thaifa perusti), which, of course, greatly affects their political and social existence. Election 2008 brought no significant change in political scene in Hazara society. Decades old trends were followed by the parties and individuals taking part in election. The said constituencies, having mixed population, required to be tackled wisely or we had to lose. Our tribal elite once again rendered their negative role disintegrating one Hazara into many clans. Each of them trying to have a candidate of their own clans to show their existence and vowed full support to him, indifferent to the fact that we are going to lose in this way. Thaifa Perusti was on its peak during election, showing the non-political and non-democratic attitude of masses.

There were many candidates for PB-2 Quetta II (Mehrabad) and PB-2 Quetta 6 (Hazara Town), including four main Hazara candidates, each for both constituencies. Abdul Kaliq Hazara, Jan Ali Changazi, Ghulam Raza, Colonel (Retd.) Younis Changazi and Syed Zahir Shah for PB-2 Quetta II and Hussain Ali Yousafi, Syed Abbas Hazara and Colonel (Retd.) Muhammad Younis Changazi for PB-6 Quetta 6. Many efforts were laid to create consensus on nominating one or more–possibly two strong–candidates in each constituency so as to minimize division of votes and enhance the chances of victory of Hazara candidates. Unfortunately, all went in vain. For the seat of National Assembly, two candidates were in the ring; namely, Abdul Khaliq Hazara and Syed Abbas Hazara. Abdul Khliq Hazara in the wider interests of the nation decided to withdraw in favor of Syed Nasir Ali Shah just before elections, giving a rational gesture for others to learn from.

Election campaigns must be discussed here as the worst non-political rather non-humanitarian acts were demonstrated by all candidates. Mud-slinging on each other, references to each other’s past misconducts, criticism of each other’s personality and character were merely a matter of joke for them. The public was fed up with all such acts and statements but no had way out to get rid of them. Publishing Pamphlets of unique form, crossing all ethical limits and increasing confusion of masses, continued till the last date. In their corner meetings and public gatherings, each candidate tried his best to disgrace his opponent instead of projecting their own manifesto.

Polls were conducted on 18th February without any major untoward situation in these two constituencies. Jan Ali Changazi and Syed Abbas Hazara were declared successful while in PB-6 Quetta VI we had to face defeat. People were delighted on the victory of two candidates but at the same time defeat of candidates in PB-6 Quetta VI grieved masses too. The need here is to find out reasons why we lost. Of course mutual differences, personal enmity, thaifa perusty, individualism, lack of coordination, political will and political attitude spoke most loudly on the eve of elections.

There are many lessons for us to learn regarding election 2008 if one critically analyzes the whole scene. Actually we never learn from past experiences, and keep repeating mistakes. This was high time we had realized that if we have to survive in this racial run, we have to unite our strength, ignore differences, get rid of thaifa perusti, equip ourselves with education, skill and art, seek out a conciliated long term political strategy, make a strong platform and above all, ensure participation of youth in actual political process so as to produce new leaders equipped with tools of modern politics and knowledge of the present and the past.

The new day will bring new challenges which, if not met accordingly, will throw out the one lagging behind. We must recognize ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses so as to approach the real destiny of capacity building and growth coupled with political and social influence in the province.


  1. To the Daugher of Hazara Sadiqa Sultan,

    Undoubtedly, your efforts are praiseworthy and your work is milestone for the rest of the people in the Hazara community. I don’t reckon and claim that your work ONLY can be an outset of guideline and source of encouragement for other female population of Hazara community because I don’t believe in gender discrimination, and I firmly believe that it’s only hardship and labour which pay off and wipe out all pre-occupied judgments and attitude about gender discrimination. So never reckon that your work has been appreciated by Hazara females only because the male members of the Hazara community also acknowledge your masterpiece and tribute their heart-felt honor to you, and I am the one among those.

    Your personal opinion and analysis about the critical issue of Elections 2008, in Pakistan, notably, Hazara community, truly portray the collective unconscious of the masses. There’s no argumentation about the controversial role of clans – influencing the decision of community members and determining their future political lives. Being the living social animals, people’s attitude and behavior are highly influenced by their social institutions and the elements in their cultural heritage. Hazara people, who’re much more inclined to their cultural heritage than modern science of politics, participate in their social activities on the basis of their clannish identification because their marriage parties, funeral ceremonies, and religious congregations are mainly arranged by the elders of their so-called clans which as a result, determine their future decision in terms of their national participation. On the other hand, the political and social institutions seem rather inactive to influence the community members’ attitude and behaviour on all national issues and interests because lack of collective thinking and political will among the masses have made them fearful to take part in the team work activities. Thus, the opportunist elements – the so-called clan elders – manipulate their emotional sensitivity and exploit them for their own personal cause and interest.
    Therefore, to smash the superficial role of the so-called clans in determining nation’s political and social presentation, it is of high significance that the society must generate rooms for such social organizations which can offer opportunity to the members of the community to share their common goals and actively participate in exchanging of their political views on national and religious issues. This will definitely limit the unnecessary and undue influence of so-called clans for the wider interest of nation. Otherwise, blaming the existence of so-called clans and criticizing the influence of so-called clan leaders will cause personality clash and division in unity of nation.

    I hope my own personal observation of the scenario would add more to portray the ill-effects and harms of the so-called clannish involvement in sabotaging the national cause.

    With best regards and lots of care for the entire Hazara nation.

  2. sorry a little bit spelling mistak ok but dontworry ok.

  3. hey sis jan i think a very good article. hope you do best in the future ok keeo it up. welldone. this marvelous. do batter then this next time ok byee.

  4. Many thanks rspected sister Sultana, and by the way I should add one thing taht most of our poeple are involved in the sadism illness, which they don,t want others victory,improvment,progress and development which indirecly and direcly will surely impact on them as well.Any how we hope that we could learn from our these mistakes.Please keep continue your presious writinn such as this one in order to bring social information and concept.
    Many thanks.

  5. first of all i would like to say a big thakyou to abbas for creating such helpful and special blog.Next i want to express my view over sadiqa jan’s great job. i think u are doing a fantastic and incredible job, becuase we need girls like u that could lead us (hazara’s) future to a brighter and advanced future. however i do not intend to say that u being an online journalist could change our future but my intention is that other girls like me could also find some interest over doing some important sacrifice for our hazaras.

    I am sure that ur beautiful analysis of the events will enable other proud hazara girls to take part in such important and useful issues.
    wow i am really proud of you and i would recommend u to retain doing a great job..
    pari form UK

  6. salam az taraf azma barai kul hazara hai jahan. e khuwarim ziyad khub gaba wa khub da tariqe shi newishta kada wa ma umid warom ki dar ainda amitar jari mela. wassalam (king rajabali hazara az chimtal mazar-e-sharif)

  7. first of all sallam for all hazara wat ever and where ever they are in the world I apritiate for this blog and most apritiate for those who send their beautiful comments to make the blog more beautiful and I congratulate for election 2008 in quetta and well wishing for future

  8. Thank all you all for your compliments. They will help encourage Sadiqa, one of the first of only a few Hazara girls writing online journalistic analyses.

    Yama: In the byline, it is mentioned that the piece of an “op-ed,” which means it is an opinion piece, and the writer can write their opinion in it. In contrast to strictly objective news “stories,” op-eds are supposed to be opinionated. The use of adjectives, by virtue of being her opinion, is both journalistic and acceptable.

    But yes, there is always room for improvement.

  9. I think it is not a big deal if a girl is writing an online article. They should do more!! However, I do not want to downplay Sidiqa’s efforts to give analysis of political process around her.
    Though, I have some criticism of her writing style.
    First of all I should say that her effort is praise worthy. Her prose indicates a talented writer’s birth.
    BUT her excessive and unnecessary glorification and admiration of Hazaras in a journalistic article is unprofessional and immature. It deflates the value of article and worst of all shows a psyche of national inferiority.
    We should never forget; there is always room for improvement.

  10. well presented and analyzed. Hope in future we might get the better results of such public trust and mandate. Thanks about the whole news.

  11. I think sadiqa sultan has done great job… Writing news for internet not easy. Being a girl and doing this is very commendable.

    You should continue to do this because it will be a good lesson for other girls in the society.

    Again i appretiate your excellent work.

    Good luck.

  12. Very well done, sister Sadiqa. I didn’t know our sisters in Quetta are coming to the world of online journalism. I think you are a pioneer. Let’s hope other sisters will follow your path. Please keep writing. We are all proud of you!

  13. Dear sister Ms. Sadiqa Sultan!
    I have so much to tell you but all in one that we all Hazaras around the world are so proud for having of such a talent sister journalist. and specialy im very proud of you for posting of news in this site.

    Please keep your work high.
    With best wishes & regards to all my bueatiful great Hazaras in Quetta city.

    Manji from Norway

    Note! Administrative Team of Hazara Network will live broadcast some scenes of Dawood Sarkhosh’ Concerts in Moscow, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.

    In this regard all members have been requested to invite their friends from all over the world. Live broadcasting will happen on Dawood’s personal website:

    مژده به اعضای شبکه هزاره!

    مدریت شبکه هزاره صحنه هایی را از جریان کنسرت داود سرخوش در مسکو، ملبورن، ادیلاید و سیدنی بصورت زنده از طریق انترنیت انتشار خواهد داد. لذا از تمام اعضای این شبکه تقاضا می نماییم تا این پیام را برای دوستان شان در سراسرجهان برسانند!
    Visit our new site to find your all old friends from around the world.

    With best wishes and regards,
    Manji of

  14. Administrative Team of Hazara Network( will live broadcast some scenes of Dawood Sarkhosh’ Concerts in Moscow, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.

    In this regard all members have been requested to invite their friends from all over the world. Live broadcasting will happen on Dawood’s personal website:

    مژده به اعضای شبکه هزاره!

    مدریت شبکه هزاره صحنه هایی را از جریان کنسرت داود سرخوش در مسکو، ملبورن، ادیلاید و سیدنی بصورت زنده از طریق انترنیت انتشار خواهد داد. لذا از تمام اعضای این شبکه تقاضا می نماییم تا این پیام را برای دوستان شان در سراسرجهان برسانند!
    Visit our new site to find your all old friends from around the world.

    With best wishes and regards,
    Manji of

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