Thursday, September 22, 2011
September has proven the cruellest month for the Hazara tribe in Balochistan. This Tuesday, a bus carrying Shia pilgrims to Iran was intercepted by armed men who lined up the travellers and shot 26 of them dead in cold blood in Mastung. In September last year, 65 Shias were killed in Quetta when a procession became the target of a bomb blast. This May 6, six members of the Hazara Shia community were gunned down while another seven were killed on May 18. In June a Hazara policeman was killed only two days before Olympian boxer Syed Abrar Hussain was shot dead. The list of attacks is long but only one group has claimed responsibility: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. In the ever-deteriorating security conditions in Balochistan, sectarian outfits have found the perfect playground. The Hazara community has been the target of violence since the mid-1980s though the attacks have intensified since 2000 when their top leader Sardar Nisar Ali Hazara was gunned down in Quetta.
According to confessions of arrested LeJ activists, independent experts as well as the Hazara Shias themselves, the violence against them is not ethnic but sect-based. The Hazaras, divided between the Alamdar Road in the east and Hazara Town in the west of the city, feel cut-off and besieged in the wake of the violent attacks on them. Representatives of the Hazara Democratic Party have repeatedly informed the provincial home department and the IG police that extremists are planning to step up attacks against them. But not much action seems to have been taken. All Hazara killings during May and June this year took place only a small distance from security check posts. The LeJ has given the Hazaras an open deadline to leave the province by 2012 and has warned of further attacks. But the police have still remained helpless, leaving the Hazara community to believe that the security establishment is protecting the perpetrators. The mysterious escape of the local head of the LeJ, Usman Saifullah, and a key leader, Shafiq Rind, from a very well guarded Anti-Terrorist Force jail in Quetta Cantonment, is a case in point. A deadly pattern is emerging: terrorists are on a murderous rampage against Pakistan’s minority sects while authorities have failed to prove themselves capable of taking them on.
Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras and Hazarajat...The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they are facing on daily basis...Hazaras have been the victim of active persecution and discrimination and one of the reasons among many has been the lack of information, awareness and disinformation...... To further awareness against violence, disinformation and discrimination, we have launched a sister Blog for youths and youths are encouraged to share their stories and opinions; Young Pens