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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

All voices of tolerance silenced in 2011

The year 2011 has seen the country lose key political figures to religious extremism and this has set an alarming trend for the years ahead, states the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in its year-ending report on minorities and the state of human rights in Pakistan...Continue Reading...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Another bad year?

If 2011 was a "bad year" for Pakistan, 2012 could turn out to be no better. Consider.

The assassinations of the Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, and the Christian leader Shahbaz Bhaati, in January 2011 were tragic precursors to the mass murders of Shia Hazaras in Balochistan province later in the year by sectarian extremists. Lack of decisive action to stamp out such dangerous elements from the body politic by provincial and federal "law enforcement" agencies will remain a hallmark of 2012 because of political and administrative reasons. The onset of Elections will lead to a mad scramble for votes and compel the mainstream political parties to make tactical alliances with such organizations at local levels, especially in Punjab province where such organizations have a significant footprint in many areas....Continue Reading.....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A critical review and response to Najmuddin Shaikh’s “What does Pakistan want in Afghanistan?” – by Liaquat Ali Hazara

When we look at the history of Pakistan since its birth, we understand that a particular autocratic mindset has always to tried to keep the general public at bay in terms of having the reign in their own hands. With the time passing, this cunningness of deliberation gained momentum to leave the majority of stakeholders being ruled and taken-granted at all time...Continue Reading...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What does Pakistan want in Afghanistan?

Since April, 1978, when the Saur Revolution brought down President Daud’s regime, Afghans have been at war against the local communists, against invading Soviet forces and then, against each other. This last power struggle caused greater material losses than the decade-long Soviet occupation. Taliban rule was a continuation of the same strife. The internecine war and then the Taliban ascendancy both had ethnic overtones — massacres of Hazaras by the Tajiks and then the Taliban, the killing of Uzbeks and then the slaughter of the Taliban in Mazar Sharif...Continue Reading....

Pakistan confirms death of 37 nationals in Indonesian ship sinking

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan Tuesday confirmed that 37 of its nationals have died after a ship sank in waters off the Indonesian East Java this month.

The wooden ship carrying about 250 illegal migrants seeking for asylum to Australia sank at about 40 nautical miles from TPI Prigi beach of Trenggalek district of East Java on December 18.

Pakistan Interior Ministry said that it has made efforts to facilitate the transportation of dead bodies of 37 Pakistani youths drowned in the Jawa Sea.

All those died belong to Pakisran's southwestern Balochistan province, an Interior Ministry statement said.

Federal Secretary Interior met with the Indonesian Ambassador in Islamabad and thanked Indonesian government for their all-out support provided to the Pakistan Embassy in Jakarta for transportation of dead bodies of 37 Pakistani youths and searching for the survivors.

The Indonesian Ambassador said that they have issued visas to six relatives of the victims for identification of the dead bodies and helping in the arrangements of their shifting to Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, the statement said.

The ill-fated ship was heading to Christmas Island of Australia, according to Indonesia officials.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry Monday referred to unconfirmed reports that the passengers also included over 50 Pakistani nationals.

The Ministry said that Pakistani Embassy in Jakarta has set up an emergency cell which is working round the clock in coordination with the relevant authorities in Quetta for identification of the nationality of the deceased.

The Consular Team of the Embassy has already met six Pakistani survivors in Surabaya Island, he said.

Indonesia has been a favorable transit points for illegal immigrants from the Middle East heading to Australia. But, they are frequently encountered with sea accidents as they take the journey with lack of safety standard, and the huge waves in the ocean could hit and collapse their small ship or boat, leaving dozens fatalities.

Xinhuan News

Balochistan security review: Sharp fall in target killing of settlers

By Shehzad Baloch
Published: December 28, 2011

QUETTA:
While violence appeared to have declined in Balochistan in 2011, its contours also changed, data available to The Express Tribune suggests.
There was an unprecedented decline in the number of target killings of settlers from other provinces, particularly from Punjab, but it was coupled by a sharp increase in the discovery of bullet-riddled bodies of missing persons, sectarian violence and kidnappings for ransom.
“Target killing has been controlled in the province,” insists Rao Amin Hashim, inspector-general of Balochistan Police, pointing to records that suggest that as many as 59 settlers were targeted this year – significantly lower than a triple-digit figure for 2010.
Abductions
Kidnappings were on an unprecedented high this year, sending shock waves through the province. Traders and businessmen, particularly those from the minority Hindu community, were very vulnerable.
As many as 480 people, including Hindus and Parsis, were kidnapped by criminal gangs. Most victims were released after paying huge amounts in ransom but those who failed to furnish the amount were killed. The police managed to bust a few of these gangs, but their performance left much to be desired. “Police personnel do not have mobile phone trackers and other modern equipment. There is also a lack of proper investigators and senior and qualified officers,” Hashim explained.
Sectarian violence
Ninety-one members of the Shia community were killed this year in Balochistan.
In Quetta alone, as many as 65 people were killed in 15 incidents of sectarian violence while 26 pilgrims were shot dead in one incident in September in the neighbouring town of Mastung.
But police says that sectarian violence has been controlled by increasing security for Shia people in Quetta and ‘restricting’ their movement outside of it.
“After heavy deployment of police and other law enforcement agencies’ personnel to protect Shia Muslims, violence has been controlled,” Hashim argued, saying that the measure had been taken despite a lack of human resources. “We promoted 25 junior officers but despite the federal government’s orders, they have not joined their
duties in Balochistan because of deteriorating law and order.”
Missing persons
The trend of ‘kill-and-dump’ operations continued unabated throughout the year. Protests were organised in spite of hampered political activity, even in provincial capital Quetta.
Around 231 mutilated bodies were found throughout the province, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
“Demonstrations or public gatherings were rarely held in Quetta but towns in interior Balochistan, particularly Makran Division and central Balochistan, remained shut for weeks in protest over recovery of mutilated bodies,” says Tahir Hussain, chairperson of the HRCP’s Balochistan chapter.
Family members, many of whom blame security forces for kidnapping and killing of political opponents, have registered cases but little progress has been made even in the Supreme Court.
Arson
Armed Baloch nationalist groups continued to target public property, such as gas pipelines and railway tracks. Rockets were also fired in various areas, including Dera Bugti, Nasirabad and Makran divisions and Quetta.
The Balochistan Republican Army claimed responsibility for most attacks on railway lines.
As many as 218 personnel of law enforcement agencies were killed in exchange of fire and bomb blasts.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2011.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Independent Appeal: An education in making sure that Afghan girls keep going to school

It is a bright and chilly morning in the remote district of Jakawlang in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province.A wood-burning stove keeps the classroom warm and cosy despite the lack of desks and chairs...Continue Reading....

ناصر علی شاہ نے انڈونیشیا میں پاکستانی سفارت خانے کے تعاون کیلیے درخواست کی


‎Hazaranews Quetta اس ھفتے کے اوایل میں انڈونیشیا کے جزیرے جاوا کے قریب رونما ھونے والا کشتی کا المناک حادثہ بلاشبہ ھزارہ قوم کیلیے ناقابل برداشت حد تک درد اور تکلیف کا باعث بنا جسکی شدت اب بھی برقرار ییں ، بلخصوص سوگوار خاندانوں میں اکثر افراد سکتے کے عالم سے گذر رھے ییں ، ایسے کرب کے عالم میں قوم کے تمام افراد اور اداروں کو متاثرہ خاندانوں سے ھمدردی کا اظہار کرکے انکے زخموں پر مرھم رکھنا چاھیے ۔ ایم این اے سید ناصر علی شاہ نے اس سلسلے میں وزیر داخلہ رحمان ملک سے ملاقات کرکے انھیں ساری صورتحال سے آگاہ کیا جس پر وزیر داخلہ رحمان ملک نے مسلے کو بہتر طور پر حل کرنے کیلیے ایک کمیشن کا قیام عمل میں لاتے ھوے متاثرہ افراد کی فوری طور پر فہرست مرتب کرنے اور انکے لواحقین سے رابطہ کرنے کی ھدایت بھی کی ۔ اس سلسلے میں آسٹریلین سفیر اور انڈونیشین سفیر سے باضابطہ طور پر تحقیقات مین مدد دینے کیلیے بھی درخواست کی گیی ، وزیر خارجہ حنا ربانی کھر اور سیکرٹری خارجہ سے ملاقات میں سید ناصر علی شاہ نے انڈونیشیا میں پاکستانی سفارت خانے کے تعاون کیلیے درخواست کی جس پر وزیر خارجہ حنا ربانی کھر نے متعلقہ سفارت خانے کو حکومت انڈونیشیا سے اس معاملے پر رابطہ کرنے ، مکمل معلومات کے حصول اور مسلے پر ابتک ھونے والی پیشرفت کیلیے رابطہ کرنے کی ھدایت دی ییں دونوں وزرا نے اس واقعہ پر سید ناصر علی شاہ کو مکمل تعاوں کا یقین دلاتے ھوے ھزارہ قوم کے ساتھ پیش آنے والے واقعہ پر اپنے گہرے رنج وغم کا اظہار کیا ، ادھر جکارتہ میں پاکستانی سفارت خانہ اور اس مسلے پر کام کرنے والے ذمہ دار سفارتی عملے سے بھی سید ناصر علی شاہ نے رابطہ کرکے مسلے پر ابتک ھونے والی پیشرفت اور تعاون پر بات چیت کی ۔

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hazaras seek govt help for return of boat victims’ bodies

By Mohammad Zafar

QUETTA: Hazara community has sought the federal government’s help for the safe return of the bodies of boat accident victims from Indonesia. Addressing a news conference, representative of Hazara Community former Provincial Minister Sardar Sadaat Ali Hazara said his community has formed a delegation that will leave for Indonesia to identify the bodies belonging to Quetta.

There was still confusion over the exact figure of illegal immigrants as Hazara said over 190 people were onboard when the boat met the deadly incident. “90 people belonged to Quetta and majority of them were from Hazara community. Besides, there were some Pashtuns and people from other ethnicities,” he said. He appealed Indonesian authorities and United Nations to not punish the survivors as they were fleeing due to the deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan where sectarian violence is rampant.

Assistant Director Relief Faisal Naseem said Hazara community had handed over a list of 35 people; however, CNIC numbers and other legal documents of some of the victims are missing. He said that the bodies would be identified through DNA test or any other given information.

Daily Times

List of targeted killed Hazaras in Quetta

Please click open the link below to get pdf file including the list of 435 Hazaras targeted killed, their father names, professions, places, dates of their martyrdom and places of their burial...

List of targeted Killed Hazaras in Quetta

A week on, govt ‘takes notice’ of boat tragedy

QUETTA: The tragedy occurred a few days ago but for the families of both, victims and survivors, the misery is not yet over. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, taking notice of the Indonesian boat tragedy which claimed lives of over 37 Pakistanis from Quetta, directed the Indonesian ambassador to help ensure arrangements in bringing their bodies back to Pakistan...Continue Reading...

Friday, December 23, 2011

India Group Seeks $7.8B Funding for Afghan Iron

By Rajesh Kumar Singh - Dec 22, 2011 10:31 AM PT

An Indian government-backed group that won rights to mine Afghanistan’s biggest iron ore deposit has sought $7.8 billion in state aid and loans to develop the venture, two people with direct knowledge of the plan said.

India’s steel ministry backs the proposal by the Afghan Iron & Steel Consortium, which comprises seven companies led by state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), the people said, declining to be identified because details of the plan are confidential. The ministry will seek approvals from the foreign and finance ministries, they said, without giving a timeframe.
The group plans to spend $11 billion to mine the Hajigak deposit west of Kabul, build a steel mill, a power plant and transport links. The project will help India overtake China as the biggest overseas investor in Afghanistan, which the U.S. says holds $1 trillion in untapped mineral reserves, and increase its strategic presence in the war-ravaged nation.

“We have told the government that it will be difficult to raise debt for the Afghanistan project and the government should help us in getting that funding either through sovereign guarantees or any other means,” Steel Authority Chairman C.S. Verma said by telephone yesterday, declining to give details.

The group is seeking $5.5 billion of 30-year interest-free loans to fund the debt component of a planned 6 million metric ton-a-year steel plant and $2.35 billion in aid for building an 800-megawatt power plant, railway, road and power transmission lines around the project, the two people said. The seven companies will contribute about $3.2 billion toward equity in the venture, they said.

Hajigak Rights

President Hamid Karzai’s Cabinet last month awarded the Afghan Iron & Steel Consortium the rights to mine three out of four blocks of Hajigak, a series of rugged mountain ridges 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Kabul. The deposit holds an estimated 1.8 billion metric tons of ore, almost as big as India’s largest iron ore mine.

The group includes state-run companies Rasthriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. and NMDC Ltd. (NMDC), and non-state companies JSW Steel Ltd. (JSTL), JSW Ispat Steel Ltd., Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. (JSP) and Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd. (MISP) Seshagiri Rao, chief financial officer for JSW Steel and JSW Ispat, didn’t answer four calls to his mobile phone. Spokesmen for the other companies and secretary at the steel ministry declined to comment on the details of the plan.

“The consortium will request for sovereign guarantees for providing financial assistance to the consortium by way of interest-free long-term loan, grant-in-aid, etc., for steel, infrastructure and port related projects,” Steel Authority said in a Nov. 30 statement.

Chinese Investments

The group has separately proposed building a 900-kilometer railway line from Bamiyan in Afghanistan to Zahedan in Iran at a cost of $4.3 billion. The railway line will help ship ore from Hajigak back to India via Iran.

The Indian venture overtakes Metallurgical Corp. of China plan to spend $2.9 billion on the Aynak copper deposit as the biggest overseas investment in Afghanistan. The Chinese state company won the right in 2007 to mine the biggest copper state deposit in Afghanistan by pledging to build a coal mine, power plant, smelter and railroad.

This year, China National Petroleum Corp. offered the highest royalty and a refinery to win Afghanistan’s first oilfield auction last month, using a strategy that helped Chinese companies gain access to African resources. Chinese companies have announced $43.35 billion in energy and mining acquisitions overseas this year, compared with $3.91 billion by Indian companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rajesh Kumar Singh in New Delhi at rsingh133@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg

Malik takes notice of 55 drowned Pak nationals in Indonesia

South Asian News Agency (SANA) ⋅ December 23, 2011 ⋅

ISLAMABAD, (SANA): The Interior Minister Rehman Malik on the directions of President Asif Ali Zardari took serious notice of the drowning incident of 55 illegal Pakistani immigrants in Indonesia belongs to Quetta.

The interior minister directed the Pakistani High Commissioner in Indonesia to make arrangements to send the dead bodies of immediately to Pakistan and provide health facilities to other injured people.

The interior minister directed the interior secretary that he should contact the foreign office and the high commissioner in Indonesia to inform the Balochistan government and the relatives of concerned people to aware them with the real situation.

It is worth mentioning here that 55 residents of Quetta were on the way to illegal immigration to Australia via boat out of which 37 people were drowned in the see of island of Indonesia while the condition of remaining migrants is stated to be critical.

Indonesia boat tragedy: PDMA Balochistan sets up special cell

Published: December 23, 2011

QUETTA: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Balochistan has set up a special cell to coordinate with families of the missing and those who survived after a boat capsized 90 km off the coast of Java (Indonesia) on December 19.
More than 200 passengers were reported to be missing after the boat capsized.
According to a statement by PDMA Balochistan, the desk at the authority’s office has been set up to help families identify the victims, most of whom belonged to Parachinar and Quetta.
The Hazara community has claimed that at least 70 people who belonged to Quetta were on board the boat when it capsized.
“Around 30 people have been rescued, while 40 are missing,” relatives said on the condition of anonymity.
PDMA has requested the families to provide the relevant details of the victims, including photos and copies of CNICs.

Express Tribune

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mengal’s timely warning

By Imtiaz Gul
Published: December 21, 2011
The writer is the executive director of the independent Centre for Research and Security Studies, and a fellow of International House of Japan/Japan Foundation, Tokyo
The Veteran Baloch nationalist, Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal’s warning that atrocities against the Baloch have pushed the situation to a “point of no return” is timely. After his meeting with Nawaz Sharif in Karachi on December 19, Mengal came down hard on the Pakistani security establishment, holding ‘the Punjabi army’ responsible for inhuman acts against the Baloch people.
“The Baloch youth don’t want a Pakistan in which they receive mutilated bodies of their compatriots … they are being systematically eliminated and forced to seek refuge in the mountains,” said the former chief minister of Balochistan and the founding chief of the Balochistan National Party.
Mengal also accused Interior Minister Rehman Malik of hurling threats at the Baloch in the same way former president General Musharraf did. While many in Pakistan might dismiss part of Mengal’s loaded criticism of the centre and the army, the multiple crises in Balochistan do merit serious and urgent consideration.
There is little doubt that Balochistan is most probably as much a microcosm of Pakistan’s security and political crisis as is Fata. Almost 450 murders since January so far; dozens of abductions and hundreds of attacks on key security and utility installations suggest that the province is currently going through one of the worst political, economic and security crises in its history.
The growing influence of religious extremists in the province is noticeable from the fact that the highest number of attacks on Nato supplies were carried out in Balochistan during the last four years, apparently by Taliban or pro-Taliban elements. The unusual number of target killings of Hazaras also bears testimony to the increased involvement in sectarian terrorism of outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Most Pakistani security agencies, officials and people at large, usually suspect external forces such as Afghanistan, the US and India of stoking and supporting nationalist violence to allegedly force Pakistan to accept their demands, which include serious tackling of organisations such as the so-called Quetta Shura and the Haqqani network, and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
Based on the trends the Centre for Research and Security Studies observed since January this year, one could probably narrow down the current wave of violence in Balochistan to four key categories i.e. Baloch separatists, sectarian, external and internal forces (security agencies). All of them are so intricately intertwined that no easy deduction is possible to pinpoint the culprits behind most violent incidences.
Sectarian violence, the data suggests, claimed the second highest number of deaths after those caused by the nationalist militancy during the period starting from 2003 to December 2011. Shia were the primary victims of sectarian attacks and a majority of these attacks occurred in Quetta (237) and Jhal Magsi (36). Hindus were also affected by this violence, which forced them to migrate to other parts of the province or the country. Suicide attacks were the major cause of death (150) followed by non-suicide fatal attacks (114) and bombings (10). Officially banned organisations, mainly the Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, were the ones that often claimed responsibility for such attacks and the minority Hazara community living in the region was the major victim of this violence.
Dr Malik Baloch, a balanced nationalist leader, also draws attention to the alarming circumstances that currently prevail in Balochistan. He, too, dismisses the Balochistan package, scorns the predominance of the security forces in governance and security matters and considers them to be a major source of discontent among the Baloch people in particular. Despite all these misgivings, Dr Baloch still pretends to be optimistic. Speaking at a seminar in Islamabad recently, he said that the dominant majority of the Baloch people are probably still pro-federation if their bruised egos are assuaged. The present provincial parliament, he said, had lost its relevance and only a fresh mandate could probably help restore the trust of the Baloch in the political system, which is leaking and creaking under misgovernance, violence and apathy of rulers.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2011.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan demands urgent Govt action after Indonesia boat tragedy

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Commission said: “HRCP is saddened by the tragedy in Indonesian waters where the crew of a boat carrying around 170 Pakistanis as well as another 80 people of other nationalities
Lahore, December 20: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed deep sorrow at the death of at least 55 young men from Quetta’s Hazara community when a boat carrying around 250 people, 170 of them from Pakistan, capsized off Indonesia. HRCP has called upon Islamabad to help the families learn about the fate of the passengers as well as urgently address reasons that force Hazaras and other people from Balochistan to leave Pakistan even in the face of grave danger to their lives.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Commission said: “HRCP is saddened by the tragedy in Indonesian waters where the crew of a boat carrying around 170 Pakistanis as well as another 80 people of other nationalities, abandoned their passengers as the boat capsized in a fierce storm. At least 55 Hazaras from Quetta are believed to be dead and scores of Pakistanis remain missing. The passengers included over 70 youth from Quetta’s Hazara community. That the Hazara young men chose to leave Pakistan by taking such grave risks is a measure of the persecution the Hazara community has long faced in Balochistan. Other Pakistani passengers, also from Balochistan, were believed to be unemployed young men looking for a way to improve their life as well as businessmen who felt insecure amid growing incidents of kidnappings for ransom in the province, particularly in Quetta.
HRCP sympathises with the bereaved families and would investigate the matter further. As the identities of those who have drowned and others who are still missing remain unknown, the anxieties of the families in Pakistan are beyond description. Irrespective of how the young men ended up in Indonesian waters, the government must immediately facilitate the families’ access to information about the fate of their loved ones, ensure that the survivors get help and the recovered bodies are brought home.
HRCP also calls upon the government to take a long hard look at the state of affairs in Balochistan and reflect on the reasons that compel young men to take such grave risks in order to escape persecution, insecurity and poverty. The government must also identify and punish those who contributed to the death of the boat’s passengers by illegally ferrying them across borders. In view of its obligation to protect the lives of all citizens, the government must also take urgent steps to find a way to put an end to the persecution of the long suffering Hazara community.”

Zohra Yusuf
Chairperson

HRCP

’کشتی الٹنے کا سانحہ توجہ کا متقاضی‘

پاکستان کمیشن برائے انسانی حقوق نے انڈونیشیا میں کشتی الٹنے کے نتیجے میں کوئٹہ کی ہزارہ برادری کے کم از کم پچپن نوجوانوں کی موت پر گہرے دکھ کا اظہار کیا ہے اور حکومت سے مطالبہ کیا ہے کہ ان افراد کے خلاف کارروائی کی جائے جنہوں نے ان نوجوانوں کو غیرقانونی طور پر کشتی پر سوار کرایا۔
حقوق انسانی کمیشن کی جانب سے جاری ہونے والے ایک بیان میں کہا گیا ہے کہ حادثہ کا شکار ہونے والی کشتی میں پچپن افراد سوار تھے جن میں ایک سو ستّر پاکستانی شہری تھے۔
اسی بارے میں
انڈونیشیا سانحہ: پچپن افراد کا تعلق کوئٹہ سے
انسانی حقوق کمیشن نے حکام سے مطالبہ کیا ہے کہ وہ مرنے اور زندہ بچ جانے والے مسافروں سے متعلق معلومات کے حصول میں ان کے اہل خانہ کی فوری مدد کریں اور ان وجوہات کا سدباب کریں جن کے باعث ہزارہ کمیونٹی کے افراد اپنی زندگی خطرے میں ڈالتے ہوئے پاکستان چھوڑنے پر مجبور ہوئے۔
انسانی حقوق کمیشن کے مطابق’ہزارہ کمیونٹی کے نوجوانوں نے جس طرح سنگین خطرہ مول لیتے ہوئے پاکستان چھوڑنے کا فیصلہ کیا، اس سے بلوچستان میں ان پر ڈھائے جانے والے مظالم کی شدت کا اندازہ لگایا جا سکتا ہے۔‘
تنظیم کے مطابق دیگر مسافروں جن کا تعلق بلوچستان سے تھا، بیروزگار تھے اور اپنے حالات بہتر کرنے کی کوشش میں ملک چھوڑ رہے ہیں اور چند تاجر جو صوبے، بالخصوص کوئٹہ میں اغواء برائے تاوان کے بڑھتے ہوئے واقعات کے نتیجے میں یہاں خود کو غیر محفوظ تصور کرتے ہیں۔
بلوچستان کے حالات
"ہزارہ کمیونٹی کے نوجوانوں نے جس طرح سنگین خطرہ مول لیتے ہوئے پاکستان چھوڑنے کا فیصلہ کیا، اس سے بلوچستان میں ان پر ڈھائے جانے والے مظالم کی شدت کا اندازہ لگایا جا سکتا ہے"
ایچ آر سی پی
انسانی حقوق کمیشن کا کہنا ہے کہ کشتی کے عملے نے تقریباً ایک سو ستّر پاکستانیوں اور دیگر ممالک کے اسّی افراد کو اس وقت بے یارو مددگار چھوڑ دیا جب کشتی ایک شدید طوفان میں الٹ گئی۔
اس واقعے میں ہزارہ کمیونٹی کے کم از کم پچپن افراد ہلاک اور دیگر درجنوں پاکستانی لاپتہ ہیں۔
کمیشن نے اپنے بیان میں کہا ’حکومت، بلوچستان کے معاملات پر سنجیدگی سے تفصیلی نظر ڈالے اور ان اسباب کا خاتمہ کرے جن کے باعث نوجوان ظلم، عدم تحفظ ارو غربت سے بچنے کے لیے سنگین خطرات مول لے کر وطن چھوڑنے پر مجبور رہے ہیں۔‘
تنظیم کے مطابق حکومت کو ان لوگوں کی بھی شناخت کر کے ان کے خلاف قانونی کارروائی کرنی چاہیے جنہوں نے کشتی پر سوار مسافروں کو غیر قانونی طریقے سے بین الاقوامی سرحدیں پار کروائیں اور ان کی موت کا سبب بنے۔
’تمام شہریوں کی زندگی کو تحفظ فراہم کرنے کے لیے اپنے فرض کا ادارک کرتے ہوئے، حکومت کو فی الفور ہزارہ برادری پر ہونے والے ظلم کے سدباب کی راہیں بھی نکالنی چاہیے۔‘
اس کے علاوہ تنظیم نے متاثرہ خاندانوں سے اظہار ہمدردی کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ اس حقیقت سے قطع نظر کہ انڈونیشیا کے سمندر میں یہ نوجوان کیسے پہنچے، حکومت کو فوری طور پر متاثرہ خاندانوں کو اپنے پیاروں سے متعلق معلومات کی فراہمی ممکن بنانی چاہیے جب کہ زندہ بچ جانے والوں کی مدد کرنی چاہیے اور لاشوں کو وطن واپس لانے کا انتظام کرنا چاہیے۔

BBC URDU

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Uncertain endgame in Afghanistan

The country could do with more development and less fighting
TO the anxious question of what will happen to Afghanistan when foreign troops leave in 2014, Dr Abdul Qayum Mohmand had an unexpected answer. "Nothing will happen," the former University of Afghanistan assistant professor said. "Because nothing is happening now."...Continue Reading...

HRCP demands govt action after Indonesia boat tragedy

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed deep sorrow at the death of at least 55 young men from Quetta’s Hazara community when a boat carrying around 250 people, 170 of them from Pakistan, capsized off Indonesia.

HRCP has called upon Islamabad to help the families learn about the fate of the passengers as well as urgently address reasons that force Hazaras and other people from Balochistan to leave Pakistan even in the face of grave danger to their lives.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the commission said, “Pakistani passengers from Balochistan were believed to be unemployed young men looking for a way to improve their life as well as businessmen who felt insecure amid growing incidents of kidnappings for ransom in the province, particularly in Quetta. HRCP sympathises with the bereaved families and would investigate the matter further.”

The statement read, “HRCP also calls upon the government to take a long hard look at the state of affairs in Balochistan and reflect on the reasons that compel young men to take such grave risks in order to escape persecution, insecurity and poverty. The government must also identify and punish those who contributed to the death of the boat’s passengers by illegally ferrying them across borders.” pr

Daily Times

Desperate asylum seekers still willing to risk death

More may have survived asylum tragedy

Tom Allard and Kirsty Needham
December 20, 2011 - 5:04PM
The first rescued asylum seekers were taken to East Java, Indonesia. Now officials are investigating whether more people survived. Photo: AP
Hopes have been raised that another, large group of asylum seekers may have survived the tragic sinking of a people smuggling vessel three days ago and are sheltering on an island off the coast.

Police are taking seriously the information that an asylum seeker called his family in Pakistan late yesterday, saying he was with the group of people, some of whom were injured.

Armaghan Haider, an Afghan survivor of the disaster, said the news provoked a wave of optimism among survivors staying at the Grand Mansion hotel in Blitar, especially as it came just after 13 people were discovered yesterday on another island, Nusa Barung, some 200 kilometres from where the vessel laden with about 250 asylum seekers capsized on Saturday.

At least 47 people on the boat are now confirmed to have survived.

Mr Haider said the man who contacted his family was named Farhan, and urged them to get in contact with Indonesian authorities.

"He was not among the 13 people," said Mr Haider. "He called his family and told [them] that 'I'm safe. Among me is a lot of people who are safe. We are trapped on some island. I don't know where it is. My neck, my hand, my nose, everything is broken but a lot of people are still alive in this island'."

The information could not be independently verified. The Indonesian mobile phone number that Farhan' gave his family was out of range or switched off when called by Fairfax.

However, a police source said the information is being followed up with the utmost urgency. A Jakarta-based refugee advocate who knows many of those on the boat also confirmed that the information was relayed to him last night.

Two Indonesian men, believed to be crew of the vessel, were also found on a beach in East Java yesterday. They are in a hospital in Malang and being interviewed by police. It is understood they claim they are just fishermen who were tossed from a small boat.

However, police are treating their denials with scepticism.

In Australia, the asylum seeker issue took another political turn, with Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison today rejecting accusations by the federal government that the Coalition is unwilling to sit down and negotiate on offshore processing.

"At no stage has the Coalition rejected any discussions, but there must be something to talk about," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.

His press conference was hurriedly convened after immigration minister Chris Bowen earlier launched a broadside attack on the Coalition's refusal to meet to negotiate on border protection policy.

Releasing a trail of letters between the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, written in the week leading up to the most recent boat disaster, Mr Bowen said the federal government had warned that the worsening weather was increasing the risk to life at sea - and an offshore processing policy was needed to prevent another tragedy at sea and deter boat arrivals.

Mr Bowen said: "I don't believe the situation is acceptable to the Australian people. In fact I believe the Australian people have had a gutful of the politicking."

Ms Gillard had offered to recall parliament to pass legislation that had been stymied by the Opposition's refusal to support the Malaysia refugee swap, but a meeting had been repeatedly rebuffed by Mr Abbott in his replies, Mr Bowen said.

However, Mr Morrison said Mr Bowen had misconstrued the letters and it was the federal government that had been saying "no" on the issue by refusing to consider adopting elements of the Coalition's decade-old border protection policy.

"This government said no to temporary protection visas ... said no to turning boats back ... and also said no to amendments that would allow offshore processing," Mr Morrison said.

He repeated his comments of yesterday, that Mr Abbott wanted to see a specific proposal from the government in writing.

"The Coalition will accept any proposal from the government in strict confidence," he said.

Mr Bowen said the letters received from Mr Abbott, the most recent one sent last night, had stated that fresh meetings on the issue were "pointless".

"I don't believe there is anything pointless about meeting to try to save lives," Mr Bowen said.

The Coalition is refusing to allow legislation that would enable the federal government to send asylum seekers to Malaysia in a refugee "swap", and instead supports establishing an offshore processing centre on Nauru - which was the Howard government's policy.

Mr Bowen said an offshore processing centre, which the government wants located on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, wouldn't work to deter boats unless it was accompanied by the Malaysia arrangement.

smh

NYT; Indonesia: Crew Abandoned Passengers, Survivors Say

By REUTERS
Published: December 20, 2011

The crew and captain of an Indonesian boat packed with illegal immigrants grabbed life vests and swam away as it sank in a heavy storm, leaving more than 200 passengers missing, Australian news media reported on Monday. Surviving asylum seekers said passengers on the boat, which was heading for Australia, were left to drown as it broke apart in stormy seas about 55 miles off the coast of Java, Indonesia. “The captain and six crew took the life vests and started swimming away,” a Pakistani survivor, Saed Mohammad Zia, 18, told The Daily Telegraph of Sydney. Indonesian officials said 34 people were dead and 217 missing. An official of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency said that survivors were moved to an immigration office and that he did not know whether they would be deported.

New York Times

Survivors recall horror of Indonesia boat disaster

By Cucuk Tonartono (AFP)
LUMAJANG, Indonesia — From their hospital beds, shocked migrants on Tuesday recounted the horror of spending three days in violent seas clinging to wreckage after their overloaded boat sank off Indonesia, en route to Australia. Seventeen-year-old Afghan student Samin Gul Afghani broke down in tears as he described seeing his uncle and two younger brothers sink exhausted under the waters. Afghani, one of 13 survivors found Monday 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Saturday's capsize, recalled seeing dozens of fellow migrants drowning as they waited in vain to be rescued...Continue Reading...

Migrants feared drowned off Indonesia

Indonesia boat tragedy: 55 Quetta youth missing at sea

By Shehzad Baloch
Published: December 20, 2011

QUETTA:
The crew and captain of an Indonesian boat – packed with illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran – grabbed life vests and swam away as it sank during a heavy storm, leaving more than 200 passengers missing, including 55 people belonging to Quetta’s Hazara community.
Surviving asylum seekers said terrified passengers on the boat that was heading for Australia were left to drown as it broke apart in stormy seas about 90 km off the coast of Java (Indonesia) on Saturday.
“The captain and six crew members took the life vests and started swimming away,” 18-year-old Pakistani national Saed Mohammad Zia told the Daily Telegraph.
According to elders of the Hazara community in Quetta, there were a total of 70 people from the Shia community onboard the ship — all illegal immigrants hailing from Quetta’s Alamdar Road aged between 19 and 22 years.
Meanwhile, Indonesian rescuers found 15 people alive on Monday in the area where the boat capsized, raising hopes of more survivors. Survivors found on a dinghy 100 km from the capsize are receiving medical treatment in a temporary shelter on the outskirts of Jember city in eastern Java and most cannot walk, an AFP correspondent said.
“I got on the boat in Java to go to Australia. After six hours in rough conditions, the boat capsized, and rescuers only found us days later,” another Pakistani survivor Muhammad Mehdi told AFP at the shelter.
The fibreglass vessel had a capacity of 100 but was carrying about 250 migrants – mostly Pakistanis, Afghans and Iranians – when it sank on Saturday, 40 nautical miles off eastern Java.
Back home
“I was informed by one of my relatives that my brother is missing along with 55 other people from Quetta after stormy tides hit the boat,” said Mehdi, who only gave his last name.
“I talked to my relatives who escaped unhurt and swam to the shore last night. They said 15 people are alive and they contacted their families in Quetta while the rest are still missing.” Quetta resident Nasir Ali said his brother Khadim Hussain was also alive and was admitted in a hospital in Jakarta.
“The boat was overloaded with over 250 people, including children and women,” Nasir told The Express Tribune, quoting his brother who he spoke to on Sunday.
Those escaping unhurt uploaded their photographs on Facebook and other websites in order to inform their families that they were still alive.
According to one of the survivor’s families, 30 people on average leave for Australia solely from Alamdar Road, an area dominated by the Hazara community and Shia Muslims in Quetta.
“We were just praying to God that someone would help us. We thought it was the last of our life story,” said Esmat Adine, 24, from Afghanistan.
“People were dying in front of us. The bodies were lying in front of us in the water, women and children mostly,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
How the immigration process works
Explaining the procedure of illegally migrating to Australia, Nasir Ali said his brother first travel to Thailand and then to Malaysia.
“An agent takes around $5,000 on arrival in Indonesia. Then the agent is paid $4,500 when the client reaches Australia,” he said.
Another member of the Hazara community told The Express Tribune that Shia Muslims, particularly Hazara people, show themselves as Afghan nationals in Indonesia in order to get Australian nationality citing threats to their lives in Afghanistan.
Rahem Jafferi, Ferhan’s cousin who is one of the missing illegal immigrants, said:
A man can easily earn Rs0.5 million every month in Australia. Five boats left for Australia from Indonesia out of which four boats reached safely.”
Quetta region Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Assistant Director Sultan Afridi said most of the people travel to Thailand or Malaysia with valid travelling documents.
“The FIA cannot arrest people or stop them from travelling as long as they possess valid documents. We did, however, arrest two agents recently and their cases are in courts,” he said.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP, REUTERS)
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2011.

70 victims of sunk boat are from Quetta...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Robert Blackwill on the War in Afghanistan

Sydney dad desperately waiting for news of son missing on asylum seeker boat in Java

Gemma Jones The Daily Telegraph December 20, 2011 11:32AM
Sayed Nawruz holds a photo of his missing son Sayed Nazim in his Auburn home. Picture: Brett Costello Source: The Daily Telegraph

A SYDNEY father was desperately waiting for news about his missing son yesterday, two days after the asylum seeker boat he was on sank off Java.

Sayed Nazim, 24, called his wife Amina in Pakistan last week, telling her he was about to board the vessel for the start of what he hoped would be their new life in Australia.

Relatives in Auburn in Sydney's south west said he boarded with his friend Mohamed Zia, who was one of 34 people rescued.

"Mohamed called Pakistan and said Nazim was missing," his cousin Sayed Zahidi said.

"He last saw him on the ship and then the ship sunk and he lost Nazim.

"He called Pakistan. He said 'Nazim is lost."

His father Sayed Nawruz was distraught yesterday.

Mr Nawruz came to Australia by boat from Pakistan two years ago himself, Mr Zahidi said.

AUSTRALIA's borders are open to asylum seekers arriving by boat but closed to refugees waiting in queues, survivors of the disaster say.

A FURTHER 13 survivors and two crew members have been found after an overcrowded boat sank in
UPDATE: A further 18 survivors of the asylum seeker boat disaster have been found by a coal ship off an island in Indonesia's Jember region.

The family are Hazaras and claim they faced persecution or even death in their homeland.

Mr Zahidi said he was desperately trying to get a visa for himself and Mr Nazim's father to visit Indonesia but he had been knocked back.

Department of Foreign Affairs officials were assisting him yesterday.

"We want to access and see what is happening," he said.

Mr Nazim was travelling alone but had hoped his wife could join him in Australia.

"He was coming as a refugee, as a Hazara somebody could have killed him," his cousin said.

The family was yesterday gathered at Mr Zahidi's Auburn home and plan to visit Indonesian Consulate General in Sydney this morning.

Sydney refugee advocates expect more families will learn relatives are missing.

The Department of Immigration also expects some of those already in detention will know some of the hundreds of asylum seekers feared drowned in Saturday's disaster.

Officials have been preparing to support detainees.

The Telegraph

Deep interest

By Soumik Dey
Story Dated: Monday, December 19, 2011 14:4 hrs IST
It was nothing less than a diplomatic coup. Cocking a snook at the rival Chinese, hostile Pakistanis and murderous Taliban, and beating American and Iranian bidders, an Indian consortium has bagged three of the world's richest iron ore mines in the Bamiyan mountains of Afghanistan. The bid is awaiting a cabinet clearance for a $7.5 billion assistance from the Indian government.

The Hajigak mines in Bamiyan district, famous for the 6th century Buddha statues that the Taliban destroyed in 2001, store about 1.7 billion tonnes of high-grade iron ore. The consortium, called Afghan Iron and Steel Company and led by public sector steel giant SAIL, will get more than 1.28 billion tonnes of it. Exploiting blocks B, C and D in the mines would require a net investment of $10.8 billion over the next three years.

The consortium has sought a soft loan to set up mining facilities in Hajigak. “This would likely amount to $1.5 billion,” said a steel ministry official. Another soft loan of $6 billion is being sought to set up a 6.2-million-tonne capacity steel plant, a 800MW power plant and a 200km railroad link to an Iranian port.

SAIL and public sector companies NMDC Ltd and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd will hold 56 per cent stake in the project, and private players JSW, Jindal Steel and Power, JSW Ispat and Monnet Ispat and Steel the remaining. A team of experts from SAIL, NMDC and JSW will visit the project site this month. Mining will start next year, and the money will be needed over the next three years.

Once the consortium gets the nod, it will raise $75 million on its own to geologically map the three mining blocks. The steel ministry has already okayed the proposal and is awaiting formal clearance from the ministries of finance and external affairs. “We are expecting a cabinet note on this very soon, after which the finance ministry would specify the terms and conditions for the soft loan,” said a steel ministry official.

The project can change the fortunes of the war-torn area. About one per cent of the profit is to be earmarked for setting up medical and education facilities for the local people. “Negotiations are also going on with the Afghanistan government for fixing royalty contracts for mining iron ore in the area,” said C.S. Verma, chairman, SAIL. “They are optimistic and are very hopeful of the project creating a large number of employment opportunities.”

Once a hotbed of Taliban activities, Bamiyan is safer now and is inhabited by the Hazara tribes who have been friendly towards India. Most of these people were part of the Northern Alliance which fought against the Taliban and had received medical help from India. Hundreds of Hazara fighters have been treated in the Farkhor military hospital that India had set up on the Tajik-Afghan border. The Afghanistan government has also promised that it would engage the NATO forces, the India-trained Afghan Mines Protection forces and the Afghan National Police to provide security.

The consortium, however, is not willing to take any chances. It has demanded that the Indian government bear all damage costs in case of any adverse event at the project site. In its charter for aids, the consortium has also sought immediate relief from the government to minimise production losses or delays in execution of the high-value project.

THE WEEK

Rescuers find 13 on island off East Java

Tom Allard in East Java, Kirsty Needham
December 20, 2011

Despite losing his wife and son Dawood Waladbegi says he would try again. Photo: Getty Images
AT LEAST 13 people have been found and rescued on an island 200 kilometres from where a boat crammed full of asylum seekers suddenly capsized and foundered. Remarkably they stayed alive for almost two days after the disaster unfolded off the coast of East Java.

Amar, a search and rescue officer at nearby Jember, said 13 were picked up yesterday, discovered by a tugboat that had been scrambled as part of an intensive operation on air and sea by Indonesian authorities to find anyone who was missing.

The survivors were "tired, stressed and bruised" but otherwise uninjured, Amar said. They had been taken to a hospital for treatment, he added.



Searching for his nephew … Sayid Abas Sultani. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Meanwhile, Indonesian authorities believe they have found two of the Indonesian crew from the boat. They were discovered at 10am near Sendang Biru, a town on the coast of East Java. One was unconscious, the other in a state of high anxiety, said Sutrisno, the head of the East Java search and rescue agency. They are now in hospital in Malang.

The rescue means at least 47 people have survived the disaster. It is a rare slither of good news for the grieving survivors picked up earlier and now under guard in temporary accommodation at a Blitar hotel, Grand Mansion.

Dawood Waladbegi, an Iranian man at the Grand Mansion, is consumed by grief and desperately hoping for signs his wife, two children, brother and family may have survived although the odds are they have died.

But even as he frets and sobs, he stops to state that he would catch another boat to Australia if the opportunity arose.

"We will continue this way again. We will go again by boat. Let the Australian government know that," he says through an interpreter. "I lost all my family members. I have no one here. I don’t want this life."

Nursing an injured leg and unimaginable torment, the decision seems simple. Mr Waladbegi's brother Kamran lives in Melbourne. Life in Iran has been a nightmare and with the prospect of detention in Indonesia he talks about a hunger strike and his fears of being killed.

Such sentiment is widespread among the 32 traumatised and confused Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers staying at a hotel in Blitar, two hours' drive from where they were brought ashore by Indonesian fishermen who discovered them 40 nautical miles off the coast.

Interviewed by Australian Federal Police and Indonesian authorities, all they want to know is what comes next. Is it possible they could be flown to Australia? Maybe the US or New Zealand could take them?

Esmat Adine, 24, an ethnic Hazara who speaks fluent English and used to work for the US government's aid organisation in Afghanistan, says Australia's policy towards asylum seekers is unfair. Those who catch a boat to Australia are resettled quickly. Those who do not make it, or apply through official channels, are denied.

Why, then, he asks, ''does Australia not close the border?''

''We will do again. Because we have nothing. If we are going to die, our responsibility will be

with the Australian government.'' Mr Adine says he tried repeatedly though official channels in Kabul to apply to go to Australia as a refugee.

''They just sent me an email that I should apply in 2013 or 2014. I cannot … my life was in serious danger but nobody would answer me.''

Mr Adine was one of the few survivors from below decks. He climbed out a window and, being a strong swimmer, found his way to some debris to hold on to.

Mr Waladbegi was asleep near the captain's quarters. He watched as the crew evacuated in a small dinghy but could not reach his loved ones amid the screaming and chaos.

About 80 of the 250 people on board got off the boat before it sank, but barely half survived.

Australia has sent a navy boat from Christmas Island, and an Orion surveillance plane, to help with the search and rescue operation. Federal police also interviewed survivors amid suspicions that the accused people smuggler Sayeed Abbas - now in prison awaiting extradition to Australia - was involved.

Survivors were shown pictures of known smugglers and two were taken away for questioning by Indonesian police.

The whereabouts of the Indonesian crew - who abandoned the boat before it foundered, according to accounts by survivors - remain unknown.

In Sydney yesterday, Sayid Abas Sultani said he planned to fly to Indonesia today to look for his Hazara nephew Sayeed, 27. Mr Sultani's brother-in-law, Mohamed Riza Almeri, survived the sinking but has lost five friends and family. The family comes from Ghazni in Afghanistan, and Mr Sultani, who came to Australia in 2000, said the situation was worsening for Hazaras. ''Everyone is leaving.''

He did not know his brother-in-law was coming to Australia until he received the phone call yesterday saying the boat had sunk. While the boat journey was dangerous, so was staying in Afghanistan, he said.

The Melbourne family of Dawood Waladbegi is distraught. His brother Kamran says although Dawood survived, his one-year-old son Daniel is lost, as is his wife, Samana, 24. Another brother Mohamed is dead along with his six-year-old son. ''Please help me,'' cried their sister Somya in the Melbourne home. ''Two brothers, two children, all dead.''

The family came to Australia in March. Another brother is in the Curtin detention centre. ''Our family is in Australia because my country, Iran, is no good. It is very bad,'' says Kamran Waladbegi.

Back in Java, Mr Adine describes the boat's last moments. ''All of us felt that it was the end of our life story. We were seeing everywhere died bodies,'' he says. ''Someone was shouting, 'Oh God. If you are the human's God, help us now'.'' His survival was ''a miracle''. Even so, as he surveys his bleak prospects, he is not sure his prayers have been answered.



SMH

انڈونیشیا سانحہ: پچپن افراد کا تعلق کوئٹہ سے

آخری وقت اشاعت: پير 19 دسمبر 2011 ,‭ 16:03 GMT 21:03 PST

تین روز قبل انڈونیشیا میں کشتی سمندر میں الٹنے کے باعث دو سو سے زیادہ افراد ہلاک ہوئے تھے جن میں سے پچپن افراد کا تعلق کوئٹہ سے ہے۔
بلوچستان کے دارالحکومت کوئٹہ میں اس سانحے میں ہلاک ہونے والوں کے ورثاء نے حکومت سے پاکستانی شہریوں کی لاشیں وطن واپس لانے کا مطالبہ کیا ہے۔
تین روز قبل انڈونیشا سے ایک مسافر کشتی دو سو پچاس افراد کو لے کر آسٹریلیا جارہی تھی کہ راستے میں خراب موسم کے باعث سمندر میں الٹ گئی اور اس میں سوار دو سو سے زیادہ افراد ہلاک ہوگئے۔
ہلاک ہونے والوں میں زیادہ تر افراد کا تعلق پاکستان، افغانستان ، ایران اور عراق سے تھا جو غیر قانونی طریقے سے آسٹریلیا جانے کی کوشش کر رہے تھے۔
کشتی میں سوار ستر افراد کا تعلق کوئٹہ سے تھا جن میں پندرہ کو زندہ بچا لیا گیا جبکہ پچپن ہلاک ہوگئے۔ ہلاک ہونے والوں میں سے اکثر کا تعلق شیعہ مسلک اور ہزارہ قبیلے سے ہے۔
کوئٹہ میں ہلاک ہونے والوں کے لواحقین نے وفاقی حکومت سے ان کے رشتہ داروں کی لاشوں کو پاکستان لانے کامطالبہ کیا ہے۔ لواحقین کےمطابق جب سے کشتی الٹنے کی اطلاع آئی ہے ان کی نیندیں حرام ہوگئی ہیں۔
بلوچستان اور پاکستان کے دیگر صوبوں سے ہر سال ہزاروں کی تعداد میں لوگ روزگار کی تلاش میں غیرقانونی طریقے سے آسٹریلیا اور یورپ جانے کی کوشش کرتے ہیں اور ان میں سے کئی راستے میں نامساہد حالات کے باعث ہلاک ہو جاتے ہیں۔
اس بارے میں ایک شہری نے کہا کہ یہاں کوئی ادارہ انسانی سمگلنگ میں ملوث ایجنٹوں کے خلاف کاروائی نہیں کرتا۔ انہوں نے بتایا کہ لوگ اپنے گھربار فروخت کر کے اچھے مستقبل کی تلاش میں یہاں سے آسٹریلیا جانے کے لیے ایجنٹوں کو فی کس دس لاکھ روپے تک دیتے ہیں۔
کوئٹہ سے بی بی سی کے نامہ نگار ایوب ترین کے مطابق بلوچستان کی تحفظِ عزاداری کونسل کے صدر رحیم جعفری کا کہنا ہے کہ بلوچستان میں شیعہ اور ہزارہ قبیلہ کے لوگوں کو جس تیزی سے ٹارگٹ کیا جارہا اس وجہ سے لوگ جان بچانے کی خاطر آسٹریلیا اور دیگر یورپی ممالک جانے کے لیے یہ خطرناک راستہ اختیار کرتے ہیں۔
تاہم ہزارہ قبیلہ سے تعلق رکھنے والے صوبائی وزیِر تعلیم جان علی چنگیزی نے انسانی سمگلنگ کو ایک غیرقانونی عمل قرار دیتے ہوئے کہا کہ جو لوگ بھی غیرقانونی طریقے سے بیرون ملک جانے کی کوشش کرتے ہیں وہ اپنے خاندان اوراس ملک کے ساتھ ظلم کرتے ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ یہ درست ہے کہ پاکستان میں شیعہ اور ہزارہ برادری کو تحفظ حاصل نہیں ہے لیکن جب موت آتی ہے تو کہیں بھی انسان محفوظ نہیں ہے۔
یاد رہے کہ دو سال قبل بھی انڈویشا سے آسٹریلیا جاتے ہوئے ایک کشتی سمندر میں الٹ گئی تھی جس میں کوئٹہ سے تعلق رکھنے والے چھبیس افراد ہلاک ہوئے تھے لیکن آج تک اکثر کی لاشیں ورثاء کو نہیں ملی ہیں۔

BBC URDU

More than 50 were from Quetta in asylum seekers' death boat

Lekin - Talks About Baloachistan - 18 Dec 2011.avi

15 more survivors from asylum boat found

Sunday, December 18, 2011

AFP called in to help after asylum seekers left for dead by boat crew

Pakistani Shia Muslims 'Ali Hassan' martyred by Wahhabi Terrorists

The Wahhabi armed terrorists on Saturday gunned down the Shia Muslim Ali Hassan in Srayab road area of Quetta.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - According to informed sources, Ali Hassan was martyred by the Wahhabi terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban in the area of Quetta at Saryab road.

He belongs from the Hazara Shia Community of Quetta and he was working at Sardar Akber Bugti’s Home as a Gatekeeper,The armed terrorist gunned down him just after the Maghrib prayers.

The genocide of Shia Muslims was continued in Quetta from three decades but the government has failed to arrest the terrorists and their patrons involved in the genocide and target killing of Shiite Muslims in Pakistan. especially in Quetta.

The body of martyred Ali Hassan in Balochistan Medical College Hospital received many bullets in his chest and head.

ABNA

TOLOnews 18 December 2011 PURSO PAL

Sky News Report; Asylum boat sinks off Indonesia with 250

Yahoo News; Many migrants missing

Saturday, December 17, 2011

بیش از ۳۰۰ مفقود در اثر واژگونی قایقی در نزدیکی اندونزی

به روز شده: 02:04 گرينويچ - 18 دسامبر 2011 - 27 آذر 1390

امدادگران در اندونزی در حال جستجوی صدها نفر هستند که بیم آن می رود بعد از غرق شدن یک قایق ماهیگیری در جزیره جاوه مفقود شده باشند.
گمان می رود که این قایق چوبی عازم استرالیا بوده و مهاجرانی از ایران، ترکیه و افغانستان را نیز با خود حمل می کرده است.
یکی از مسئولان محلی، مسافران این قایق ماهیگیری را ۳۸۰ نفر ذکر کرده که از این تعداد ۷۶ نفر نجات یافته اند.
مقامات شرایط اضطراری می گویند که این شناور در حدود نود کیلومتری دریا بر اثر برخورد با یک موج سنگین شکسته است.
خبرنگار بی بی سی در استرالیا می گوید که قاچاقچیان انسان به دلیل انفعال دولت در برخورد با پناهجویان، جسورتر شده اند.

BBC FARSI

N ex-lady councillor among three dead in Balochistan

By: Bari Baloch | Published: December 18, 2011

QUETTA - Three people, including former lady councillor from PML-N, were killed in separate incidents of firing in different towns of Balochistan Saturday.
According to police, unidentified gunmen stormed the house of house Fahmida Qadir Bakhsh and shot her dead on the spot.
Police rushed to the site and moved the body to the Turbat Civil Hospital. A case was registered and investigation was underway.
In another incident, unidentified armed men shot dead a man at Kechibaig area of Quetta. Police said the deceased, identified as Ali Hassan, was on his way when he was targeted. His body was taken to hospital. The deceased belonged to the Hazara community, police added.
Meanwhile, police recovered a bullet-riddled body from Sakran Road in Hub. The deceased was identified as Dad Muhammad Marri. Hospital sources said the victim’s body bore torture marks and multiple bullet wounds. Police shifted the body to morgue after completing legal formalities.

THE NATION

Migrant boat sinks off Indonesia

A media report says an ship carrying more than 200 migrants from the Middle East has sunk off Indonesia.

USAID in Bamyan

Noam Chomsky: New U.S.-Afghan Deal 'part of a Global Program of World Militarization’

BYAFGHAN YOUTH PEACE VOLUNTEERS

DECEMBER 17, 2011


[Editor's. note: This is a transcript of a conversation between members of the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers and Noam Chomsky, which took place on September 21, 2011. Each question was asked in Dari and translated by Hakim.]

Hakim: We are speaking from the highlands of Bamiyan in central Afghanistan, and we wanted to start off by thanking you sincerely for the guidance and wisdom that you have consistently given through your teaching and speeches in many places. We want to start off with a question from Faiz.

Faiz: In an article by Ahmed Rashid in the New York Times recently, he said that “after 10 years, it should be clear that the war in this region cannot be won purely by military force…. Pakistanis desperately need a new narrative… but where is the leadership to tell this story as it should be told? The military gets away with its antiquated thinking because nobody is offering an alternative, and without an alternative, nothing will improve for a long time.” Do you think there is any leadership in the world today that can propose an alternative non-military solution for Afghanistan, and if not, where or from whom would this leadership for an alternative non-military solution come from?

Noam Chomsky: I think it is well understood among the military leadership and also the political leadership in the United States and its allies, that they cannot achieve a military solution of the kind that they want. This is putting aside the question of whether that goal was ever justified; now, put that aside. Just in their terms, they know perfectly well they cannot achieve a military solution.

Is there an alternative political force that could work towards some sort of political settlement? Well, you know, that actually the major force that would be effective in bringing about that aim is popular opinion. The public is already very strongly opposed to the war and has been for a long time, but that has not translated itself into an active, committed, dedicated popular movement that is seeking to change policy. And that’s what has to be done here.

My own feeling is that the most important consequence of the very significant peace efforts that are underway inside Afghanistan might well be to stimulate popular movements in the West through just people to people contact, which would help impose pressures on the United States, and particularly Britain, to end the military phase of this conflict and move towards what ought to be done: peaceful settlement and honest, realistic economic development.

Abdulai: Dr. Ramazon Bashardost told the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers once that the people of Afghanistan have no choice because all available options in Afghanistan are bad. So, Afghans have no choice but to choose the least bad of the bad options. In this situation, some Afghans, and in particular many in Kabul, feel that the least bad option is to have the U.S. coalition forces remain in Afghanistan. Do you think that the continued presence of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan is the least bad option? If not, what are the possible truly good options for ordinary Afghans?

Noam Chomsky: I agree that there don’t appear to be any good options, and that we therefore regrettably have to try to seek the least bad of the bad options. Now, that judgment has to be made by Afghans. You’re on the scene. You’re the people who live with the consequences. You are the people who have the right and responsibility to make these delicate and unfortunate choices. I have my own opinion, but it doesn’t carry any weight. What matters are your opinions.

My opinion is that as long as the military forces are there, now, they will probably increase the tensions and undermine the possibilities for a longer term settlement. I think that’s been the record of the past 10 years largely, and that’s the record in other places as well—in Iraq, for example. So, my feeling is that a phased withdrawal of the kind that’s actually contemplated may well be the least bad of the bad options, but combined with other efforts. It’s not enough to just withdraw troops. There have to be alternatives put in place. One of them, for example, which has repeatedly been recommended, is regional cooperation among the regional powers. That would of course include Pakistan, Iran, India, the countries to the north, all of which, together with Afghan representatives among them, might be able to hammer out a development program that would be meaningful and cooperate in implementing it, shifting the focus of activities from killing to reconstructing and building. But the core of issues are going to have to be settled internal to Afghanistan.

Mohammad Hussein: It has been announced that the foreign forces would leave Afghanistan by 2014, and transfer responsibility for security to Afghans. However, what we have before us appears to be a very deceitful, corrupt situation of the U.S. government signing a Strategic Partnership agreement with the Afghan government to place permanent joint military bases in Afghanistan beyond 2024. It feels as if, to the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, that the withdrawal by 2014 is therefore inconsequential in light of the larger long term plans to keep forces in Afghanistan. Could you comment on this?

Noam Chomsky: I’m quite sure that those expectations are correct. There is very little doubt that the U.S. government intends to maintain effective military control over Afghanistan by one means or another, either through a client state with military bases, and support for what they’ll call Afghan troops. That’s the pattern elsewhere as well. So, for example, after bombing Serbia in 1999, the United States maintains a huge military base in Kosovo, which was the goal of the bombing. In Iraq, they’re still building military bases even though there is rhetoric about leaving the country. And I presume they will do the same in Afghanistan too, which is regarded by the U.S. as of strategic significance in the long term, within the plans of maintaining control of essentially the energy resources and other resources of the region, including western and Central Asia. So this is a piece of ongoing plans which in fact go back to the Second World War.

Right now, the United States is militarily engaged in one form or another in almost a hundred countries, including bases, special forces operations, support for domestic military and security forces. This is a global program of world militarization, essentially tracing back to headquarters in Washington, and Afghanistan is a part of it. It will be up to Afghans to see if, first of all, if they want this; secondly, if they can act in ways which will exclude it. That’s pretty much what’s happening in Iraq. As late as early 2008, the United States was officially insisting that it maintain military bases and be able to carry out combat operations in Iraq, and that the Iraqi government must privilege U.S. investors for the oil and energy system. Well, Iraqi resistance has compelled the United States to withdraw somewhat from that, substantially, in fact. But the efforts will still continue. These are ongoing conflicts based on long standing principles. Any real success in moving towards demilitarization and reconstruction of relations will have to require primarily the commitment of Afghans, but, as well, the cooperative efforts of popular groups of the Western powers to pressure their own governments.

Faiz: After three decades of war and being at the raw end of regional and global military interference in Afghanistan, the people are feeling lost and without hope. People are even losing hope and not confident that the United Nations, whose charter is to remove the scourge of war from all generations, would be able to offer an alternative solution. We have talked with peace groups about the possibility of a blue ribbon or blue scarf team of individuals, perhaps including Nobel Laureates, who could speak out and make a statement about the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and perhaps throw open a debate to the world about alternatives for ordinary Afghans who are losing all hope. Do you think that there is any possibility of the United Nations stepping in to offer a different narrative in these dire straits? And is there any possibility of an independent peacemaking blue ribbon team of peace builders who can offer a way out?

Noam Chomsky: One has to bear in mind that the United Nations cannot act independently. It can only act as far as the great powers will permit—that means primarily the United States, also Britain, and France, essentially, the Permanent Members of the Security Council—which limit what the United Nations can do. It can act within the constraints that they impose, and the United States is by far the most influential.

So, just to give one indication of that, take a look at the record of vetoes at the Security Council. In the early days of the United Nations, beginning in the late 1940s, U.S. power was so overwhelming in the world that the United Nations was basically an instrument of the United States. As other industrial powers recovered from the war and decolonization began, the United Nations became somewhat more representative of the people of the world. It became less controlled by the United States and the U.S. began vetoing resolutions. The first U.S. veto was in 1965, and since then, the United States is far in the lead vetoing Security Council resolutions, which blocks action. Now, Britain is second, and no one else is even close. And that continues now. There will probably be another U.S. veto next week. That’s in general the case. If the United States refuses to allow something to happen, the United Nations can’t do anything. Other great powers have also some influence, but less. So, the real question is, will the United States and Britain agree to permit actions of the kind that are outlined in the question. And I think that can come about, but again, we’re back to where we were before.

Abdulai: On behalf of the Afghan youth in Bamiyan, as well as those listening in from Kabul, we thank you for your time with us. We wish you well, and the best of health.

Noam Chomsky: Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to talk to you briefly. It’s a real privilege, and I greatly admire the wonderful work that you’re doing.

This article was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

The Indydependant

Friday, December 16, 2011

No Woman No Country

Afghan women want peace, but not at the cost of losing all they have gained in the last 10 years. Yes, they believe in peace, but their rights are non-negotiable. During this transition process, Afghan Women want to emphasize security issues for the military and police but, primarily, for civil society. As executive director of a nonprofit, my trip to Afghanistan in 2005 was to coordinate the Ministry of Education's mandate to locate and select schools in the Waras region, an area with the greatest need. I had no idea what to expect, only that Waras was a day's drive southwest from Kabul in the opposite direction from the historical Bamiyan city district, where there is a proliferation of NGOs giving aid. Little did I know that this would turn into six days, and the majority of that time spent on horseback traversing a dozen shale-covered passes of the Surb Koh mountains that surrounds these villages....Continue Reading....

Pakistan’s rampant sectarian violence

By Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud Dec 17, 2011 2:10AM UTC

A horrific video has been surfaced on Jihadi forums purportedly showing murdering of ethnic Hazara Shias in Mastung area of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. The victims were shown being dragged down from a passenger bus by a group of masked armed militants who latterly forced them to sit in a row. The assailants then opened indiscriminate firing on them, killing all of them on the spot. A jihadi tarana (Jihadi motivational song) can be heard in the back ground.

The incident originally took place nearly three months ago when a bus of Hazara Shias pilgrims came under attack on September 20, killing 26 passengers, while carrying them for pilgrimage of Shia Muslims holiest places in Iran.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned militant anti-Shia outfit, having deep links with Al-Qaeda and other regional Sunni militant organizations, latterly claimed responsibility for the attack in telephonic calls to local media outlets. The group with its lethal suicide squad is believed to be responsible for orchestrating numerous deadly attacks against Shias across Pakistan. The group was also accused by the Afghan authorities for the recent scarce twin attacks against minority Shias in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif on 10th of Muharram.

Sectarian violence has been bedeviling Pakistan since late 70s when two epic developments started taking place in the region; the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and Khomeini led radical Shia revolution in Iran. Since then, thousands of both Shias and Sunnis have lost their lives in Pakistan.

Situation got deteriorated when Iran and Saudi Arabia, settling scores with each other on ideological grounds, stared patronizing their respective ideological proxies. These groups were nurtured by both the countries in order to deter each other influence in Pakistan.

Quetta, provincial capital of Pakistan’s largest province Balochistan, has seen some worst incidents of sectarian violence in recent past. Hundreds of Hazaras, predominantly Shias, have been killed in series of bomb blasts and targeted killings in Quetta and its suburbs.

Dramatically, sectarian violence got escalated when Mushraf regime imposed a ban on militants sectarian organizations hailing both from Sunni and Shia school of thoughts in 2001 and then in 2002. The steps taken by the authorities to curb this menace seem futile so far.

Asian Correspondent

What does Pakistan want in Afghanistan?

By Najmuddin A Shaikh
Published: December 15, 2011
The writer was foreign secretary from 1994-97 and also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Iran (1992-94) and the US (1990-91)

People in Pakistan realise that the country needs to keep its relations with the United States, its western allies and its Arab friends in the Gulf on an even keel, because these countries are the markets for our meagre exports, and the source of the remittances which, along with aid from these countries, is what keeps our fragile economy afloat. What is not equally well realised is that in Afghanistan, particularly at this time, we have convergent and not divergent interests. America wants to have a modicum of stability in that country as it prepares to withdraw its troops. Perhaps its proposed agreement with Afghanistan for a troop presence for a decade after 2014 has some sinister purpose but for the moment it seems that if reconciliation and then stability come to Afghanistan earlier the Americans will withdraw before the decade is out.
Pakistan, too, needs that stability to be able to send the Afghans – refugees and insurgents – now in Pakistan back to their country and to reassert state control on the territories that the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban have occupied. They are by my reckoning at least 5 million on our soil- 1.7 million registered, an equal number unregistered and another 1.5 million who have fraudulently acquired Pakistani documents.

Pakistan needs that stability to be able to gain the economic dividends of its geo-strategic location by acting as the transit route for South Asia’s trade with Central and West Asia, and to utilise the expensively constructed Gwadar Port. On this stability depends TAPI — the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan bringing sorely needed energy to Pakistan — which will yiled substantial transit revenues as it moves to India and CASA 1000 project, the high-voltage transmission line carrying Tajik and Kyrgyz hydel-power which would ease our power shortage. Afghanistan itself has the potential to generate exports. Despite the problems it is having, Afghanistan has been able to secure Chinese investment for the Aynak Copper mine and Indian investment for exploiting the Hajigak iron ore deposits. For the product of both these projects and for the many others that will come on stream as the world seeks to take advantage of the $1 trillion worth of minerals that are said to exist in Afghanistan, the logical route for getting them to market is through Pakistan’s Gwadar port. If South and East Afghanistan remain disturbed other routes will be seen as more attractive.

Pakistan needs that stability to be able to check the rampant smuggling and the misuse of the Afghan Transit trade facility that, by my estimate, brings more than $5 billion worth of smuggled goods and 33 per cent of Afghanistan’s opium production into Pakistan. The scandal of the missing containers, now detected by the Ombudsman, is indicative of the extent to which the current instability in Afghanistan has undermined our economy. We have consistently ignored the impact of the opium trade, perhaps, complacent in the belief that all the opium or heroin that enters our borders is sent on to Europe or other destinations. The sad truth that other transit countries, notably Iran, have discovered that a substantial part of such narcotics end up being consumed in the transit country, destroy the youth of the country.

These are our economic benefits. On the security front the 350,000-strong national security apparatus that the Americans hope to have in place by the end of 2012 would, if maintained at that level, be the realisation of our security establishment’s worst nightmare. Such a force, drawn largely from the ethnic minorities —the Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks — whom we regard as our adversaries, would be an ideal tool for ‘encirclement’. This force will, to justify its continued existence, have to find a cause and that could be the undoing of the Durand Line as the border with Pakistan. To survive, it will need external financing and, as and when American aid ceases, as it must, this force, which will become a dominant political force in Afghanistan, will look to regional allies to make up the deficiency. The impact of such development on our security calculus is clear. Stability will enable us to discuss with the Afghans the folly of trying to maintain the monster-size security forces and help the Afghan administration, be it led by Hamid Karzai or another elected leader, to cut this number down to the ethnically balanced 25-30,000-strong force that the Afghan economy will need and can support.
Should these clear advantages be seen as less important than the feared bogies that have led us towards skewed policies? My next article will deal with what I believe we need to do to achieve stability in Afghanistan and by extension in Pakistan.

Note: This article has been revised. The original version appeared in the print edition.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2011.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Amidst War, An Afghan Renaissance

We often see the arts as only fit for museums, galleries, and film festivals, cloistered in halls only for the intellectual elite. But the arts can help build a nation, or in the case of Afghanistan, are rebuilding a nation, employing its people, and recalling a history forgotten in recent decades of continuous conflict. And a small group of social scientists, architects, and entrepreneurs are using culture as a vehicle to restore Afghanistan, challenging the convention that the arts are only for aesthetics...Continue Reading......

The story starts at Bamiyan.........

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo - review

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 15 December 2011 04.55 EST

I think that this book is the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would give the book 100%/10 out of 10. I would definitely recommend this book to friends and family.

The story starts off with a person called Aman being trapped in a cave in Bamiyan because the Taliban have stolen all of his family's land. All Aman wants is a friend, so when a friendly English Springer spaniel appears at the cave mouth he is over the moon. Shadow (the dog) leads the way to safety, but danger is coming their way...

2nd Afghan Ski Challenge 2012

Following is the video from 2011



for 2012 challenge,

Here is the Link for Website

SAMAA Metro report on Mari Abad, Dec 14, 2011 SAMAA TV 1/2



The last report in video...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Protect Afghan mineral wealth, NGO says

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Global Witness welcomed a measure to have transparency in the mineral sector in Afghanistan but warned of shortcomings in recent pledges. Delegates at an Afghan conference in Germany last week lauded the mineral wealth in Afghanistan as integral to its economic sovereignty.....Continue Reading....

Kabul starts race for Afghan resources

MONTREAL - Afghanistan last week began a tender process for exploration and development of precious metal and mineral deposits, according to a press release from the country's Ministry of Mines. The tenders will close in March, with licenses for exploration and possible development to be awarded in July.... Continue Reading....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Canadian Mining Companies Make the Big Move into Afghanistan

On 24 November 2011, the Government of Afghanistan awarded a Canadian mining company, Kilo Goldmines, approximately 25 percent of the stake to develop the massive Hajigak iron deposit in Bamiyan Afghanistan. A consortium of Indian companies won the other 75 percent of the development.
The Hajigak deposit – the largest iron deposit in Asia and possibly the world – is “truly significant on a global scale”.....Continue Reading.........

Monday, December 12, 2011

Afghanistan: A New Sectarian War?

Ahmed Rashid
Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos
People from the Hazara Shia community, Afghanistan, 2006.

Throughout a decade of terrible conflict in their country, there is one kind of violence Afghans have largely avoided: between Sunni and Shia. Despite the sectarian tensions that have splintered much of the Muslim world since September 11, there were no major sectarian attacks in Afghanistan between 2001 and the fall of 2011. To the contrary, the Taliban, who adhere to the conservative Deobandi sect of Sunni Islam, have taken extra care not to aggravate Afghan Shia, who make up about 10 to 15 percent of the population....Continue Reading....

sada-e-hazara 10122011 p.mpg

Refugee inquiry to tackle backlog

THE former attorney-general Michael Lavarch will conduct an independent review of the refugee and migration tribunals amid a backlog of cases and allegations that the process is being abused....Continue Reading...

Attacks on Afghan Shiites Highlight Pakistan's Policy Failure

BY ARIF RAFIQ | 12 DEC 2011
BRIEFING

Last Tuesday’s deadly attacks on Shiite processions in Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif in Afghanistan are further evidence of dangerous instability in neighboring Pakistan and of the Pakistani state’s failure to act coherently to counteract it. A clear understanding of the group responsible is important to understanding the crossborder ramifications of the attacks.

Contrary to reports in prominent news outlets, the Pakistani Sunni sectarian terrorist group Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ) was not responsible for the attacks. Rather, an LeJ splinter group known as Lashkar-e Jhangvi al-Alami (LeJ-A) -- not the original LeJ organization -- has claimed responsibility for them. A person claiming to be an LeJ-A spokesman made the announcement in communication with a number of news outlets, including BBC Urdu and Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

LeJ-A has claimed responsibility for a small number of very deadly attacks in Pakistan since 2009. These include attacks on Shiite Muslims in Kohat in 2009 and 2010: a September 2009 attack on a market in a predominantly Shiite area that killed 33 people, and an April 2010 attack on internally displaced Shiites that killed 44 and injured 70. In addition, multiple attacks on a Shiite procession in Lahore in September 2010 killed 29 civilians and injured 243.

The original LeJ was founded in 1996 by dissident members of a third group, Sipah-e Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), who felt that the SSP was not militant enough. Prior to being banned in 2003, the SSP was a registered political party, though in practice it was an anti-Shiite terrorist group. The SSP continues to maintain an unofficial though highly visible role in politics, actively using its swing voters to tilt hotly contested races, while at the same time feeding Pakistan’s Pashtun tribal areas with non-Pashtun militants.

LeJ, on the other hand, rejects involvement in formal politics. It has a long record of terrorist violence against Pakistani Shiites and even the Pakistani government. In recent years, the group has also been involved in attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team. But LeJ-A split from LeJ -- mirroring the LeJ’s previous split from SSP -- on the grounds that LeJ was insufficiently extremist. Despite their common history, LeJ and LeJ-A are now two distinct organizations. In fact, LeJ-A is only one of many LeJ splinter groups -- all of which are more rapacious and less controllable than the original group, and all of which also have short half-lives.

The trend toward fragmentation reflects an increasingly messy jihadist landscape in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The Pakistani Taliban, the major umbrella organization for Pashtun jihadist groups in the tribal areas and the nearby settled areas, is splintering, due in part to efforts by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to stoke divisions within the fragile network.

The ISI is applying a policy of divide and rule toward both LeJ and the Pakistani Taliban, a strategy the spy agency has applied in the past to its political opponents, such as the Pakistan People’s Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. The outcome of such an approach in Pakistan tends to be more divisions and greater instability, with quite considerable negative externalities: While splintering reduces militant groups' coherence and unity of command and purpose, the end result is often more deadly violence or the emergence of increasingly nihilistic groups.

Now, LeJ-A has apparently reared its ugly head in Afghanistan for the first time. Though the brutal attacks on Shiite civilians were shocking, it is not clear that they are a harbinger of things to come. The LeJ-A attack could prove to be an isolated phenomenon in Afghanistan. After all, the group is small and lacks the capacity to conduct a sustained campaign even at home in Pakistan.

What’s more, there is no indication of an emerging sectarian war in Afghanistan. After the attack, enraged Afghan Shiites in Kabul chanted slogans denouncing Pakistan and the United States, not their fellow Afghan Sunnis -- that is, they expressed their anger in the form of Afghan nationalism, not sectarianism. Even the Afghan Taliban, which mercilessly killed Hazara Shiites in the 1990s, unequivocally condemned Tuesday’s attacks, although LeJ-A, if its claims of responsibility are true, might have received support from insubordinate or rogue elements of the Afghan Taliban.

Unlike Afghanistan, Pakistan does face a clear and present danger from sectarian violence. LeJ and its offshoots are engaged in a systematic campaign of slaughtering Shiites -- particularly ethnic Hazaras -- and other religious minorities in Pakistan. This year, 179 people have been killed in sectarian violence in the country.

Pakistan has no coherent national-level counterradicalization program. Its military-intelligence establishment spearheaded a bold counterradicalization program in the Swat area, home to a bloody but successful counterinsurgency operation launched in 2009. But elsewhere in the country, the Pakistani establishment supports militants who fight in Afghanistan and India, and there remains a risk that these groups will set their sights on Pakistani targets in the future, just as former jihadist assets of the ISI are now doing.

To make matters worse, the Pakistani state lacks the judicial muscle to prosecute terrorists. In 2010, 75 percent of those prosecuted in Pakistani anti-terrorism courts were acquitted. Earlier this fall, Pakistan’s so-called troika -- the prime minister, president and army chief -- resolved to bolster the courts.

But until Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership produce a comprehensive national security policy that provides for a coherent transition away from the use of jihadists as proxies, no number of additional judicial agents will be able to halt the wave of instability and violence that Pakistan’s military has been intent on pushing outward for at least the past four years.

Arif Rafiq is president of Vizier Consulting, LLC, which provides strategic guidance on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues. He writes at the Pakistan Policy Blog and tweets at @pakistanpolicy.

World Politics Review