Pakistan: The Hazara Killings – Why Is The World Silent?

In the past decade many Hazaras are being singled out and murdered cold-bloodedly in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. They are subjected to an ethnic onslaught by extremist Islamist and religious networks roaming over-freely across the city.

A group of Hazara Children in Daikundi Central Afghanistan. Photo: Iqbal Ahmed Oruzgani, used with permission

The Hazara minority are Hazaragi/Dari speaking people. They are ethnically Hazara and religiously Shiite Muslims. However, there are considerable number of Ismaili and Ahmadi Muslims among them. Mainly they live in the central highlands of Afghanistan called Hazarajat or Hazaristan. They make the third largest ethnic minority in the country.

Hazaras have faced numerous ethnic cleansing attempts from various rulers and they escaped the genocide from Afghanistan and migrated to the neighboring countries including Iran and Pakistan.

The Hazaras mostly live (approx 700,000) in Quetta, Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan, along with the Balochs & Pashthons. In recent times at least 700 members of Hazara community have been gunned down mercilessly and thousands left permanently disabled.

Mohammad Zia Sultani, a Hazara social activist, writes in Hazara People blog:

They are law abiding citizens. [..] Today this community being in minority is to be retaliated and has to pay the debt of their sincerity and services for the achievement of today’s Pakistan.

Hazaras have been suffering from sectarian violence by the extremist terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) during the past decade. These terrorist organisations are Anti-Shi’a and, aim to transform Pakistan into a complete Sunni state, essentially through violent means. SSP and LeJ have claimed for having part in almost all of the incidents occurred on the Hazara minority in Quetta.

These terrorist organisations don’t even attack anonymously, they also publish videos of the scene of tragedy while slaughtering the Hazara community and send open letters to frighten the community members even more. The banned terrorist outfit LeJ published an open letter addressing the Hazara community, in the letter they stated that: ‘Hazaras are worthy of killing and we will rid Pakistan of these unclean people.’ These fears have made many Hazaras flee the country in recent years.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi also published horrible videos of the massacre of Hazara pilgrims in Mastung District- where passengers were forced off a bus, and sit on the ground. Seconds later the terrorists opened fire with Kalashnikovs, with the resulting carnage being graphically recorded.

The Pakistani government have failed to provide the citizens security. While talking to the media outside Parliament house, Balochistan’s chief minister (CM) Aslam Raisani said: “I will send the victims family, a truck load of tissues to wipe their tears!” In April 2012, the security forces in Quetta managed to arrest some terrorists.

Hazara Democtratic Party's leader, Abdul Khaliq Hazara believes that, “Some negative elements in government are, who support the terrorists.”

Hazara minority scheduled a worldwide protest demonstration in October 2011 as the killings increased. They demonstrated in different European, American and Australian cities, to ask the Pakistani government take serious actions for ending the series of Hazara target killings.

But, once again the series of killings continues in Quetta. In March, 2012 more than 40 innocent members of Hazara community were gunned down in at least a dozen different attacks.

The Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) scheduled worldwide protests to condemn the Hazara killings, for the second time. According to the schedules thousands of Hazaras demonstrated in London, Hamburg, Canberra, Newyork, Toronto and many other cities around the globe.

Hazaras protest to condemn Hazara Genocide in Quetta, Pakistan. Photo by author

The protests were held in front of Pakistani Embassies to ask the Pakistani Government to take actions for preventing Hazara killings. They also aimed to draw the attention of the world and media to the on-going Hazara killings. The Resolution for the worldwide protest produced by Hazara People can be read here.

Aziza Zafari, a social activist and blogger writes:

The Pakistan Government and the United Nations apparently do not wish to be held accountable for the barbarianism and discrimination directed towards this small and defenceless group of people who just want to get on with their lives without the daily fear of being threatened by guns and other violent methods of attack.

Abdul Hekmat a Human Rights advocate and youth worker stats in his article posted in On Line Opinion:

The plight of Hazara maybe invisible to the world as they are not in the headlines but what is unfolding in Quetta is genocide with the implications for peace far beyond Pakistan. Hazaras stretch out their hands to the world and hope the human rights groups, governments and peace loving people will act soon before it is too late.

Asmatullah Yaari a Human Rights activist writes:

Whatever, the game would be, the innocent, minority Hazara nation of Quetta is put to knife edge, owing distinct Mongoloid features.

#HazaraKilling, #HazaraGenocide , #Hazara, #Quetta and #ShiaHazaraGenocide hashtags are being used on Twitter to share the information:

@Aushpaz (Haider Changezi) : 800 killed, 0 ARRESTED! “Police hav failed 2 apprehend single suspect in incidents, alegations continually being made against FC&ISI”~CJP #Hazara

@Sajjad_Changezi (Sajjad H. Changezi) :  A commoner #Hazara can't travel, run a shop, a #Baloch activist can't campaign while #banned outfits enjoy liberty.

@AhmadShuja : Quetta ppl are unsure how to protect themselves or who the enemies are, which means anyone could be enemy for furious, gun-toting young men.


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