Posted by: Editor | May 1, 2012

Protest in Lahore against Genocide of Hazaras

Protest in Lahore against Hazara genocide in Quetta.

Lahore: The Institue of Peace and Secular Studies held a protest demonstration in front of Lahore Press Club on April 28 to condemn the criminal silence of Government on Hazara killings in Quetta, Pakistan.

Speakers said the security establishment must crackdown on sectarian terrorists who are on a killing spree in Quetta targeting the Hazara ethnic minority for their Shia faith. The urged human rights organizations to raise voice for the plight of Hazaras, as it is a humanitarian crisis. Protesters were holding banners and placards with slogans that read: “Why the UN is Silent on Hazara Genocide”, “Down with Balochistan Government”.

Posted by: Editor | May 1, 2012

Protest in Vienna, Austria against Hazara Genocide

Thousands rallied in Vienna, Austria against genocide of Hazaras in Quetta, Pakistan.

Vienna: Thousands of protesters marched on streets of Vienna, Austria on April 28 condemning the systematic genocide of Hazaras in Quetta, Pakistan. The protesters rallied in front of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and speakers urged the European Union to condemn a humanitarian crisis in Quetta city of Pakistan, where an ethnic minority is living under constant fear and trauma because of routine attacks by sectarian terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who kill them for their Shia faith.

Protesters were holding banners and placards condemning the Government of Pakistan for its utter failure to provide security to Hazaras. Banners read: “Stop Genocide of Hazaras in Pakistan”, “UN Take Notice”. Speakers said that more than 700 members of the Hazara community have been killed, but not a single killer is prosecuted by the Government. They added that the strong security establishment of Pakistan and its military intelligence agencies have given free hand to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to mass-slaughter Hazaras. They urged the international community to stop a humanitarian crisis. Thousands of Hazaras have migrated from Quetta, and people have stopped traveling from one part of the city to another, and living under constant fear of attacks.

The speakers said if the Pakistani security establishment does not launch crackdown against LeJ operatives in Quetta, Balochistan, they will have to take further steps by knocking the doors of International Court of Justice and United Nations.

Posted by: Editor | May 1, 2012

Islamabad: Protest, Seminar on Hazara Genocide

Hazara Students Federation and National Students Federation held a seminar in Islamabad Press Club on Hazara genocide.

Islamabad: Speakers at a seminar on Saturday, April 28 termed that the target killings of Hazara community in Quetta a systematic way of genocide.

The Hazara Students Federation (HSF) and the National Students Federation co-hosted a seminar at the National Press Club, Islamabad to explore reasons and causes behind continued targeted killings of the Hazara people in Balochistan.

A panel consisting of Alia Amirali, Sajjad Changezi of the HSF, and prominent security analyst Dr Ayesha Siddiqa spent three hours presenting a history of the Hazaras and Balochistan, and an analysis of the drivers behind the province’s excessive levels of violence.

“There is an attempt to pit the Hazara against the Baloch. They try to tell us that it is a Rind, or people from Mastung, who have targeted us. They attempt to pin the blame on the Baloch. But we have always known that it is not the Baloch that are behind these killings,” says Changezi.

“The same goes for relations between the Pashtun and Baloch. The Frontier Corps (FC) is behind the killings of the Baloch in the province. If you look at that dynamic closely, you will notice that Pashtuns dominate the ranks of the FC,” Amirali continued.

“Hazara killings have been framed as an example of ‘sectarian violence’. We think this sort of framing is unfortunate, because it fails to appreciate the link between the broader violence that is being inflicted on Balochistan, and the killings of the Hazara people,” Amirali said.

“Some also link us to Iran, just because we are Shia. It is these sorts of misconceptions that create an environment, where Hazara families receive letters from Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, telling us to leave Quetta before 2012. They think we’re here to bring about some sort of Shia revolution. This is completely and utterly untrue,” Changezi explains.

Changezi explained that the Hazara people came to Quetta from Afghanistan, where persecution of the Hazaras at the end of the 1800s forced them to migrate to neighbouring countries. The Hazaras refused to recognise the reigning Amir. In retaliation, the Amir massacred more than 60 per cent of the Hazaras in the area.
“When we moved to Quetta, we were welcomed. I am proud to have grown up there,” Changezi said.
“But now, our 500,000 strong community is threatened by violence. As many as 700 people have been killed in these areas. This is a case of one-sided violence, because the Hazaras have never supported any militant group. There is talk of a systematic genocide,” Changezi concluded.
“It is difficult to ignore the role of the state, and the security forces, in this spate of violence,” said Changezi. According to Changezi, the continued violence indicates that the state has either failed to protect its citizens, or is complicit in the violence.
‘Hazaras not treated as human, Muslim or Pakistani’ Dr Siddiqa, the last speaker, started out with clasping her palms.
“I want to use this opportunity to ask the Hazara people for your forgiveness. We, the civil society that many of you talk about, and appreciate for our so-called support, have done nothing. We stay in our homes, and do nothing,” Dr Siddiqa said.“I am a human, a Muslim and a Pakistani. This state takes away your right to call yourselves this. Because for this state, the assets in Balochistan are more important than the people,” said Dr Siddiqa.
She went on to explain that the state was fighting a war for Balochistan’s riches, failing to pursue a people-centric policy in the province.
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa said, “The situation in Balochistan reflects the establishment’s unwillingness to allow a substantive political process to take root which empowers all of Balochistan’s ethnic communities.” She said that over the years, the volume of funds provided for strengthening religious seminaries in Balochistan is higher than the education budget of the provinces. “The province is infested with intelligence operatives from all of the country’s agencies,” she said.

Later, the participants also record a brief protest outside of the press club, holding banners and placards condemned the killing of the Hazara community.

Sources: Dawn and Express Tribune 

Sajjad Changezi of HSF, Alia Amirali of NSF and prominent security analyst Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa speaking in a seminar about Hazara genocide.

Posted by: Editor | May 1, 2012

Protest in Karachi against Genocide of Hazaras

Quetta: A protest demonstration was held in front of Karachi Press Club on April 28 against the genocide of Hazaras in Quetta. Participants were chanting slogans against the utter failure of Government in maintaining law and order in Quetta, where members of an ethnic minority community are being killed routinely by sectarian terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Speakers said elements in the Provincial Government are involved in the systematic genocide.

The protesters demanded the United Nations to take notice of a genocide-in-making before the eyes of the world, while the Pakistani Government is ignoring. They alleged complicity of some elements from within the Administration, who have given free hand to LeJ operatives to slaughter Hazaras.

Posted by: Editor | May 1, 2012

Protest in Germany against Hazara Genocide

Protest demonstration in Germany against Hazara genocide in Quetta, Pakistan.

A protest demonstration was held in Hamburg city of Germany on April 28 to condemn the genocide of Hazara ethnic minority in Quetta city of Pakistan. Protesters were holding banners and placards with slogans urging the international community to take action and stop a genocide-in-making. Placards read “Stop Hazara Genocide” in German language.

A stall was set for passers by to get information about the persecution of Hazaras in Quetta. Photos of the victims were on display to show how a merciless group of bloodthirsty sectarian terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have besieged a an ethnic minority of of 600,000 people in Quetta, Pakistan.

Speakers strongly condemned the Government of Pakistan for its negligence of the killings. They said not a single LeJ terrorist has been prosecuted. They also talked of administration complicity in Hazara killings, saying top LeJ terrorists broke away a high-profile jail in 2009, and since then attacks have become a routine.

The protesters urged the international community, United Nations and human rights organizations to stop a genocide-in-making by putting pressure on Pakistani Government to launch a crackdown against a bunch of sectarian terrorists.

Protest in Hosselholm, Sweden against Hazara Genocide in Quetta, Pakistan.

A protest demonstration was held in Hosselholm city of Sweden on April 27 against the genocide of Hazaras in Quetta, Pakistan. On the same day, another protest demonstration was also held in Stockholm. A week ago, another demo was organized in Malmo city of Sweden.

The protesters urged the international community to stop a genocide-in-making in Quetta city of Pakistan.

Hundreds protest in Stockholm, Sweden against Hazara genocide in Quetta, Pakistan.

A protest demonstration was held in Stockholm, Sweden on April 27 against the systematic genocide of Hazara ethnic minority in Quetta, Pakistan.

Protesters and human rights activists were holding banners and placards that read; “Stop Hazara Genocide in Quetta, Pakistan”. Swedish human rights activists spoke to protesters and strongly condemned the Government of Pakistan for its utter failure to provide security to Hazaras in Quetta. They demanded international bodies to take notice of a genocide-in-making.

Some protesters were holding placards with signs criticizing media’s negligence of a humanitarian crisis with an ethnic minority in Quetta city of Pakistan, where people are living in fear, and thousands have migrated. They urged international media to highlight the plight of 600,000 Hazaras in Quetta, Pakistan, who are being killed routinely by sectarian terrorists with impunity.

Pakistani Ambassador to Sweden Addressing Protesters

Protesters Shouting Slogans in front of Pak Embassy, Sweden

A Speaker Addressing Protesters

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Posted by: Editor | May 1, 2012

Protest in Indonesia against Hazara Genocide

Protest in Indonesia on April 27, against Hazara genocide in Quetta, Pakistan.

A protest demonstration against the genocide of Hazaras was held in Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia on April 27. Hazara assylum seekers in the detention camp organized the demonstration to urge the international community and human rights organizations to stop a genocide-in-making in Quetta city of Pakistan, where hundreds of Hazara have been killed by sectarian terrorists.

The ethnic-religious minority Hazaras live in trauma due to routine attacks by sectarian terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who operate with impunity and the Government of Pakistan has failed to provide security to Hazaras. Thousands of youth have migrated from Quetta to seek asylum in the west, particularly in Australia.

"Stop Hazara Genocide"

 

Posted by: Editor | May 1, 2012

Protest in Colorado, USA against Hazara Genocide

Protest demonstration in Colorado, USA against Hazara genocide in Quetta Pakistan.

A protest demonstration against the genocide of Hazaras in Quetta was held in Denver city of Colorado state, USA on Friday, April 27.

Protesters urged the internaitonal community to take notice a genocide-in-making in Quetta city of Pakistan, where an ethnic minority is being killed routinely by sectarian terrorists with impunity. They strongly condemned the Pakistani Government for the genocide, saying not a single killer has been prosecuted, which shows the complicity of the administration.

The protesters demanded the Obama Administration to condemn a humanitarian crisis in Quetta city of Pakistan where an ethnic minority is living in constant fear and killed on daily basis.

Below is a photo-gallery of the demonstration.

Posted by: Editor | April 27, 2012

The ‘State’ of Failure

By Haider Changezi

 “The first observation that I would like to make is this: You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State.”

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s presidential address to the Constituent Assembly ofPakistan- August 11, 1947

We all know the law & order nightmare this country is going through, the war on terror, the sectarian violence, kidnappings, and persecution of minorities etc…it sounds like a hell hole down here. We can provide numerous reasons for this violence; ranging from international conspiracy, Islamic jihads, tribal clashes etc…but the fact of the matter is that people are dying and this nation has simply become numb.

Take the case ofQuetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. This is a multiethnic, multilingual and multicultural city of 1.2 million inhabitants comprising of Hazara, Baloch, Pusthun and some settlers. The city is nestled in a valley. It houses an entire Corps of the Pakistsn Army (XII), the HQ of the Frontier Corps, the Provincial Police HQ, a Pakistan Air Force fighter base ‘Samungli’ and in all likelihood a entire network of Intelligence Agency (keeping in mind that the War on Terror is taking place in Afghanistan & FATA and also to keep an eye on what is happening in Iran). So this tiny city of only 1.2 million people is virtually a security-city; with a big portion as the cantonment, fortified naturally by the mountains and home to security installations as explained above.

Logically this would mean that it should be one of the safest places in the country? But only if things would work as per logic in this country! There is sadly a systematic genocide of Hazaras taking place in this very city.

Although Hazaras can be found in other cities in Balochistan but they are mainly centred in Quetta. There population resides mainly on the Western (HazaraTown) and Eastern (Alamadar Road) ends of the city. They mainly adhere to the Shia sect of Islam and are readily recognizable from their Mongoloid features.

Since the past decade, they have been the target of a vicious sectarian terror carried out by the hate spewing rabid militants of the ‘proscribed’ terrorist outfit ‘Lashkar –e-Jhangvi’ – although it can be safely assumed that this killing wave is not limited just to LeJ –as it is an entire ideology which is responsible for this genocide and whoever subscribes to this ideology will be bent upon the mission to kill all who are considered ‘unbelievers’.

There are lawless swathes of territory insidePakistanwhere there is virtually no writ of state – some of these include the volatile North Waziristan Agency, the interior of Sindh also maybe some neighbourhoods ofKarachi. However, the unrest in all of these areas can be explained. InNorth Waziristan, there is a full fledged war going on so the absence of state writ does not come as a surprise. The interior of Sindh is ruled by dacoits and gangs; this can be attributed to the remoteness of the area and the collusion of some local influential leaders running the racket. InKarachi, this is part of the turf war of the gangs vying to control the city and of course have political backing of all major parties.

None of these scenarios can be compared toQuetta– it is the provincial capital and not a remote, tribal territory or the interior of a province. There is no ‘gang warfare’ or political turf war going on inQuetta. So the question remains how can a handful group of terrorists roam about freely picking their innocent victims at will without any hindrance or checks?

In my opinion there can only be three possibilities…incompetence, unwillingness or complicity of the administration.

If it’s the first two, incompetence and unwillingness then the entire administration should be taken to court for being criminally negligent. The lives of 700+ innocent unarmed civilians have been forsaken and the provincial administration has remained simply impotent. The mind cannot accept this logic that for the past 10 years despite innumerable street protests, media outrage and international condemnation the administration has simply remained incompetent or been unwilling – there is more than meets the eye.

Remember how Usman Saifullah Kurd, the mastermind of Lashakar e Jhangvi was arrested and locked up in the high security prison situated inside the cantonment but somehow managed to escape! Did we see any findings of any investigation on this matter?

So logic leads us to believe that there is some level of complicity by some arm of the State. Which ‘arm’ exactly and what level of involvement will remain open to speculation and your guess is as good as mine.

This leads us to ask the question; whether as per the Quaid’s statement, “hasPakistanbecome a failed state?” as it is not only is unable to protect the lives of its subjects but is also at some level involved in taking their lives – flouting the first rule which was articulated by the founder of this state!

The author can be followed on Twitter @hachangezi 

Posted by: Editor | April 26, 2012

Suicide Attack in Hazara Town

Suicide bomber shot by Hazara boys on Kirani Road.

Quetta: A suicide bomber was killed when he was shot by Hazara youth on Kirani Road, Hazara Town on Thursday evening April 26.

The bomber was attempting to enter a vegetable market, when some Hazara youth stopped him. As he attempted to blow up, the boys pulled off the detonator to his suicide vest and foiled the attack. He succeeded in unplugging a hand grenade due to which his arm was cut and he tried to escape, when some local boys gunned him down.

Shamefully, police arrived in the area 30 minutes later. To cover its utter failure in the wake of continued attacks on Hazaras, Police officials told media that policemen had opened fire on the bomber. Eye-witness told HNP, the police claim is a lie and effort to cover their shameless failure to provide security to citizens.

The bomber was carrying 4-5 kg explosive material. Those who stopped him told it seemed he wanted to target the crowded vegetable market of New Hazara Town. His body has been shifted to Bolan Medical College and has not been recognized yet.

Posted by: Editor | April 26, 2012

Documentary: The Plight of Hazara People

Posted by: Editor | April 26, 2012

Hazara Genocide: Protest in Daikundi, Afghanistan

Residents of Daikundi province of Afghanistan held protest demo against the killing of Hazaras in Quetta Pakistan on April 25.

Thousands of people staged a protest demonstration in Daikundi province of Afghanistan on April 25 against the systematic genocide of Hazaras in Quetta Pakistan.

Protesters were holding banners and placards with slogans asking the Government of Pakistan to stop the killings of Hazara by sectarian terrorists in Quetta city. They called the international community to stop a genocide-in-making.

Posted by: Editor | April 26, 2012

Hazara Genocide: Protests in Bamyan, Afghanistan

Thousands of people marched in Bamiyan city against the systematic genocide of Hazaras in Quetta, Pakistan.

As the attacks continue on Hazara getting deadlier with each day, a worldwide protests is being held in Europe, Australia, America and Asian countries. Two large protest rallies were taken out in Hazarajat–the mainland of Hazaras in Afghanistan–in Bamiyan and Daikundi provinces on April 24 and 25.

Thousands of people marched on the main road of Bamiyan city on Tuesday, April 24. Human rights activists were holding banners and placards with slogans calling the United Nations to take notice of the systematic genocide of Hazaras in Quetta, Pakistan.

Speakers urged the international community to pressurize Pakistani security establishment to stop the genocide in Quetta. They marched to the regional office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and demanded them to convey their message to the UN Headquarters in New York to take notice of a genocide-in-making in Quetta, Pakistan.

Posted by: Editor | April 26, 2012

Hazara Genocide: Protest in Belgium

Hazara Foundation in Belgium held a protest demonstration in front of Pakistan Embassy against Hazara genocide in Quetta, Pakistan.

Hazara Foundation in Belgium held a protest demonstration in front of Pakistan Embassy in Brussels on Monday, April 23. Protesters were holding placards and banners demanding the Government of Pakistan to stop the genocide of Hazaras in Quetta.
Speakers highlighted the sectarian persecution of the people of Hazara ethnic minority in Quetta city of Pakistan. “If the Government of Pakistan ignores the worldwide protests against the genocide of a minority in Quetta city, we will have to knock the doors of International Court of Justice.”

The speakers strongly criticized the Government and intelligence agencies of Pakistan for negligence of the persecution of a minority community and demand them to take action against sectarian terrorists who operate with impunity.

Posted by: Editor | April 22, 2012

Hazara Genocide: Protest in Malmo, Sweden

Hazara diaspora held a protest demonstration in Malmo, Sweden against Hazara genocide in Quetta.

Malmo: Hundreds of members of Hazara diaspora and Swedish human rights activists held a protest demonstration in Malmo, Sweden against the massacre of Hazaras in Quetta, Pakistan. They were holding banners and placards with slogans asking Pakistani government to take action against killers in Quetta and provide security to the Hazara community.

Speakers condemned the continued killings of Hazaras, calling it a genocide and demanded the Government of Pakistan to take action against a bunch of sectarian terrorists. They also demanded the international community and human rights organizations to pressurize the Pakistani Government to launch operation against killers of the Hazaras.

Hazara diaspora is organizing protest demonstrations worldwide between April 20-30 in front of Pakistani embassies and human rights organizations to raise voice against the genocide of Hazaras in Quetta Pakistan.

Some protesters staged a drama depicting the role of Pakistani Government, their negligence and inaction against sectarian terrorists and killers of Hazaras.

Posted by: Editor | April 22, 2012

2 More Hazaras Shot Dead

By Shehzad Baloch – The Express Tribune

Quetta: Two members of the hazara community were shot dead near Brewery Road in the provincial capital on Saturday morning as violence against the community continued unabated.

According to the police, the victims were passing through the Brewery Road on a motorbike when an unknown assailant opened fire, killing them instantly.

“A man on foot opened fire at the men riding the motorbike,” local police official Amir Dasti said. He added that an investigation was under way.

Upon receiving the information of the killings, a heavy contingent of police and other law enforcement agencies reached the scene of the crime and shifted the bodies to Bolan Medical Complex. The deceased were identified as Boban Ali and Hussain Ali, both residents of Hazara Town.

Sources in the hospital said the victims had sustained bullet wounds in the head and chest.

The Frontier Corps (FC) claims to have arrested three suspects alleged to be behind the killings and have seized arms from their possession.

According to the FC, there were multiple attackers. Its spokesperson said the suspects had been arrested after FC personnel chased down the assailants with the help of locals. “The attackers, after targeting two persons, tried to escape from the scene. Security forces chased the killers with the help of local people,” stated a press release.

The two suspects were identified as Guharam Soori Khan and Mian Khan. Later, interrogation led to the arrest of another suspect. The suspects have been handed over to the police for further investigation.

Balochistan FC Inspector General Major General Ubaidullah Khan lauded FC’s timely action saying “the perpetrators will not escape if local people continue to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.”

Meanwhile, angry protesters belonging to the Hazara community staged a demonstration on the same road where the incident took place. They blocked traffic and torched tyres in the street, chanting slogans against the government and law enforcement agencies for their failure in protecting the Hazara community.

 

Posted by: Editor | April 16, 2012

Land for the ‘Pure’

By Haider Changezi

April 13, 2012 – Group Captain (Retd) Cecil Chaudry; a twice decorated war hero loses his battle against cancer; a sombre moment indeed. His passing away reminds me of the 1971 war – a war which Pakistanwas fighting with itself; it’s Eastern Wing. It ended on 17th Dec 1971 when the Pakistan Armed Forces surrendered and East Pakistan finally declared itself an independent country Bangladesh. This war reminds me of two war heroes;

The first hero is Wing Commander Mervyn Middlecoat. On the outbreak of war on 3rd Dec 1971 Wing Commander Middlecoat was sent on a strike mission inside enemy territory – on his way back from a successful mission he was engaged by enemy aircraft and in the ensuing dog fight shot down. He ejected but landed in Shark infested waters…his body was never found.

The other war hero is Flight Lieutenant Samad Changazi. On the last day of  this war (17th Dec’71) Flt. Lt. Changazi was flying his last mission (out of a total of 11 missions in ‘71) he was defending the skies of Pakistan when two Indian Mig 21s had intruded into Pakistan’s airspace – in the ensuing air battle his F-104 Star Fighter was shot down by an IAF aircraft. He did not survive.

Both gentlemen were awarded with Sitara e Jurraat for their supreme sacrifices for their nation. So both soldiers fought for their country and gave the supreme sacrifice – what’s unique about this you ask?

Both the gentlemen belonged to different minority groups of Pakistan – one belonged to the Christian community and the other to the Hazara Shia tribe of Balochistan – back then both communities (and probably all other minority groups too) felt pride in serving and defending their nation.

These people fought for this country in its darkest hours (1965, 1971, 1999) without hesitations – the question is; ‘did this nation fight back for their people when it mattered’?

In the present day Pakistan; we all know the plight of Christians – Aasia Bibi, Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti…Blasphemy is the weapon being used to vilify them. The entire community is mocked at and not accepted as equal Pakistanis. Being a non-Muslim in a Jihadi Islamic State is nothing short of hell.

So Pakistanis hell for non-Muslims, then what is the problem with Hazara Shia Muslims? The answer to this is that the definition of ‘Muslim’ in this ‘Land of the Pure’ has become dynamic and ever evolving – the ‘Islamic’ circle keeps getting smaller and smaller by the day and these days it seems the Shia sect has only one foot inside and the other outside that holy circle!

These days in Pakistan being Human and being Muslim are now two mutually exclusive entities – if you want to become a better Muslim you have to become less of a humanist. Once you have chosen to be a Muslim than you have to become a ‘Better’ Muslim – only being Muslim is not enough. The standards of ‘Better Muslim’ is set by the ones who are already ahead in this curve. It’s a race to ‘Out-Muslim’ each other and the competition is literally ‘cut-throat’ (you get ‘Halal points’ for slitting the throats of non-Muslims and lesser Muslims).

In the midst of this all what is worrisome is that the majority is simply silent to this radical evolution taking place in this country – engrossed in their daily lives and oblivious to the sufferings of the minority groups – but they do not realize that in this race everyone eventually is a loser as everyone will become a minority. As aptly put in this statement:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

~ Martin Niemoller

These days you hear the party of the youth shouting that change (Tsunami) is coming – and this will bring peace to Pakistan– someone should remind them that graveyards too are very peaceful!

The weekend just ended – I hope you all enjoyed yours because 32 Hazara families didn’t – they were busy burying their loved ones killed over the past two weeks in Quetta, Balochistan by Islamist groups who are on a state sponsored mission to Islamify Pakistan.

It seems that the Pakistan that Samad Changezi and Mervyn Middlecoat fought for was a different Pakistan, a Pakistan of a by-gone era never to return…and this Pakistanis only a ‘Land for the Pure’.

The author can be followed on Twitter @hachangezi 

Posted by: Editor | April 16, 2012

Newspaper Editorials on Hazara Killings

Hazara Killings – Editorial – Dawn – April 16, 2012

YET another series of attacks against the Shia Hazara community in Balochistan over the weekend has raised fresh questions about the state’s inability or, as some quarters darkly suggest, unwillingness to take on the sectarian killers in the province headlined by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Balochistan. To be sure, with only a small number of hardcore militants believed to be involved, stopping them will not be easy. But there are disturbing signs that the killings are yet to shake the political and security apparatus in Balochistan out of its stupor. Even more problematically, members of the provincial government are being accused by the Hazara community of either providing sanctuary to the killers or of turning a blind eye to their presence in certain areas.

What is clear is that Balochistan has a growing problem of radicalisation. A network of madressahs and mosques has mushroomed in Baloch areas like the districts of Mastung, Khuzdar, Noshki and Kalat. With little to no oversight of their operations, the network has injected into parts of the Baloch population a growing intolerance along sectarian, i.e. Sunni-Shia, lines. Add to that mixture the recruiting of LJ type militant outfits and a relatively small problem can snowball. In Balochistan, the surge in targeting the Hazara community this year and particularly in the last few weeks is not well understood. It could be that a ‘deadline’ for the Hazaras to leave Quetta, for example, set by the militants has expired. Or with the space for sectarian attacks in other parts of the country somewhat reduced, the Hazaras in lawless Balochistan are an easier target.

Whatever the reasons for the surge in killings and attacks, the matter seems to be beyond the control of regular law-enforcement agencies. Police in Quetta are themselves targets of sectarian killers and do not have the resources to fight back or defend themselves. And if the police’s political bosses in the provincial government are disinclined to take on the sectarian militants, there’s little the police can do anyway. Which leaves the intelligence apparatus. The LJ in Balochistan is precisely the kind of entity that intelligence agencies are meant to track and help dismantle. The damaging war against Baloch separatists being led by the intelligence agencies is real enough but it’s not reason enough to preclude other actions by those agencies. But what if the agencies see strategic reasons to leave some groups untouched? The Hazaras of Balochistan are truly caught between a rock and a hard place.

Hazara Community’s Sorrows -Editorial- Daily Times – April 16, 2012

With eight more Hazara community members killed in Quetta on Saturday, the litany of the sorrows of the community seems unrelenting. In one incident, assailants ambushed a taxi on Brewery Road, killing the six occupants, in an eerie repeat of an earlier such ambush on a vehicle carrying Hazara community members. Minutes after the first incident, the assassins killed another two members of the community in a rickshaw in the same area. Virtual riots broke out in the city in reaction, with arson and violence on display against the police and authorities. The sky was punctuated by aerial firing, which wounded a student. The authorities responded by deploying the police as usual and calling in 10 more Frontier Corps (FC) platoons to beef up the security presence. That may have helped defuse the immediate violent reaction, but whether this post-facto response is the answer to what is by now clearly a pattern of attacks on the Hazara community is shrouded in doubt. Quetta in particular has become the theatre of this sectarian genocide. It must be stopped before the peaceful Hazara community loses patience and decides to protect and defend itself against the sectarian terrorists by force of arms, given that the Balochistan government and the FC have signally failed to do their duty. The ‘absent’ Chief Minister Aslam Raisani made the ritual announcement of doing all within the government’s power to bring the sectarian mayhem to an end. Balochistan Home Secretary Nasibullah Bazai offered a mealy-mouthed response, saying the government could not provide complete security to citizens. Let alone “complete” security, what security has the provincial government provided to any citizen? He goes on to assert that a comprehensive security plan has been devised that would be implemented after approval by the higher authorities. Nobody takes these ‘declarations’ seriously any more. Amidst the announcement of days of mourning, the Shia community in Quetta has called for the inept Balochistan government’s resignation. Governor Balochistan Zulfikar Magsi, a frequent critic of the provincial government’s (lack of) performance, warned the other day that if the provincial authorities could not handle the situation, the army may have to be called out. What would remain of the tattered credibility of the provincial government if this were to come to pass?
The Shia community is under attack in the country from Khurram Agency to Gilgit-Baltistan to Balochistan. The sectarian terrorists aligned with the Taliban and al Qaeda are seeking to sow the seeds of sectarian strife to such an extent throughout the country, from north to south, that a sectarian civil war breaks out to destabilise the country as a whole. While the Shia tribes in Khurram Agency are under the pressure of the Taliban and their mentors the intelligence agencies to allow safe passage to the Taliban for attacks in Afghanistan on pain of death, the Shias of Gilgit-Baltistan are being massacred without let or hindrance. Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s proposal of a judicial commission on the sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan is a non sequitur. It does not take a judicial commission to know the facts on the ground when Shias are picked off en masse every other day. Protests of solidarity with the Hazara community in Balochistan and Shias throughout the country were held on Saturday in Islamabad and even Washington. The purpose of the sectarian terrorists should leave no one in any doubt. Pakistan is to be reduced to rubble through a sectarian civil war that could destroy democracy and the country itself. They must not be allowed to succeed in their nefarious designs by pussyfooting authorities or inept law enforcement. It is in the interests of the system and all governments, federal and provincial, to rise to the challenge and conduct an effective campaign of suppression against these mad fanatics.

Slide into Anarch – Editorial – Express Tribune – April 16, 2012

Balochistan’s slide into veritable anarchy and chaos is hardly difficult to ignore. There has been much comment on it everywhere. But it is rather frightening when a top official of the land himself concedes that the province is in a state of anarchy, and asks why the government is doing nothing about this. The Governor of Balochistan, Zulfikar Ali Magsi, appeared genuinely upset by the situation as he spoke to a delegation of the Hazara Democratic Party, which had called on him to protest the repeated incidents of targeted killing in the province. Six more members of the besieged community, as well as a police constable were killed on April 13, taking the toll to over two dozen dead in the past few weeks. That these killings continue to happen again and again means that either the law-enforcement agencies are completely inept, or complicit. The governor’s warning that civil war could lie ahead is a frightening one. Certainly the warning appears to be one that carries weight.

The fact that the governor has spoken openly, without restraint or the mincing of words, may perhaps have a silver lining. He has asked why the deaths continue in the presence of the Frontier Corps and police, deployed across Quetta and also other cities. This is certainly a question many of us would like to ask, and also get good answers to. The state of affairs in Balochistan is worsening as we watch. This is not something that can be tolerated — with distrust and hatred worsening by the day. The governor has warned that if things do not improve the army will need to be called out. This is something we need to avoid given the Baloch distrust for the military, as well as the paramilitary FC. While it is clear the killing spree needs to end, the question arises also of the need to think out a longer term solution for the province.  They need to be dealt with in an organised manner, with all parties involved, so that a way can be found to restore the calm Balochistan so badly needs and restore peace to a province in chaos. A first much-needed step will be a halt to the abductions of suspected troublemakers.

Posted by: Editor | April 15, 2012

Hazara Killings: Complete Strike Observed in Quetta

By Shehzad Baloch — Express Tribune

QUETTA: A complete shutter down and wheel-jam strike was observed in the provincial capital, paralysing the business activities on Sunday.

Stringent security measures were taken to maintain law and order, with the deployment of paramilitary troops Frontier Corps (FC), police and other law enforcing agencies in and around Quetta.

The strike was called by the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) and was backed by the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) to protest against the recent wave of sectarian targeted killings that left 18 killed in the last four days.

All the shops, markets, eateries and even chemists shops in Liaquat Bazar, Mezan Chowk, Abdul Sattar Road, Prince Road, Jinnah Road, Zarghoon Road, Brewery Road, Hazara Town and Marriabad remained closed.

The strike was observed partially in Saryab and the nearby areas as markets and shops were functional as usual.

It is pertinent to mention that half of the business community in Quetta observe weekly holiday on Friday while remaining shut their businesses on Sunday.

Police and security forces also booked over 200 people for violating the ban on pillion riding in the city.

Security personnel increased their patrolling in Quetta to restore order. However, panic and fear continued to plague the city as people preferred to stay indoors and most of the streets and roads presented a deserted look, with very thin traffic plying on the roads.

Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani presided over a high level meeting to review the law and order situation in the aftermath of targeted killings of Hazara community members.

Provincial Ministers, Inspector General Police (IG) Balochistan, Home Secretary and other senior officials attended the meeting, which was convened to devise a strategy to deal with the situation. The meeting was underway when this report was filed.

The HDP Chief Abdul Khaliq Hazara in his statement said his community was being compelled to pick up arms to protect its members from the targeted attacks.

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