Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras. The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they face 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.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

The killers of Quetta

By Matthew Green
OCTOBER 25, 2012

Cut-out cardboard hearts, stars and a slogan that cheerfully declares “The Earth Laughs In Flowers” adorn the classrooms of the Ummat Public School in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

The bright images cannot dispel the sense of foreboding shared by dozens of teenage girls seated at their desks, all members of the town’s Hazara community.

Soon they will finish their exams and expect to go to college. Only these young women will stay at home. A killer is on the loose in Quetta, and their parents are terrified.

Amina, 15, raises a hand.

“I wanted to go to the best college; my dad says ‘It’s not important.’ In our family everybody is frightened,” she said, as pupils in white headscarfs nodded glum-faced assent.

“I don’t want to live that life where I can’t get education,” she said. “I don’t want to be an ignorant person.”

In Pakistan, it’s not unusual to meet people who have suffered unfathomable grief at the hands of men who have arrogated the right to take another’s life in the name of religion.

But there is something uniquely dispiriting about seeing the ambitions of articulate young women being snuffed out by a systematic and preventable campaign of targeted killing.

The capacity of Pakistan’s militants to persuade themselves of their own moral authority was made clear this month when the Taliban issued a lengthy justification for its decision to shoot Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old schoolgirl who had championed female education.

The killer at large in Quetta is Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni extremist group whose adherents see members of Pakistan’s Shi’ite minority as infidels deserving of capital punishment.

Hazaras make particularly attractive targets. Not only are they Shi’ites, but they are also descendants of émigrés who escaped a previous wave of persecution in Afghanistan in the 19thcentury. Such “otherness” was not an issue in Pakistan in the past. Now, it is a death mark.

Attacks on Hazaras have been escalating since 1999, but this year the militants have beaten their previous personal bests, killing more than 100 in the first eight months of the year alone....Continue Reading... 

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