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.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Australia’s Deadly Game

The face of an assassinated asylum seeker: Ali Shah tried to escape Pakistan’s sectarian violence and come to Australia, but he was murdered en route.

By Aubrey BelfordDecember 12, 2012

The Global Mail investigates how Australian authorities are co-operating with corrupt local authorities who bend the law to keep would-be refugees trapped in a country that they desperately want to escape.

Ali Shah was not meant to die in Pakistan. He should have already been out of the country, somewhere on the long smugglers’ route to safety in Australia.

But a bullet got to him first.

Shah was a 28-year-old from Quetta, a restive city near the Afghan border, haunted by Sunni Muslim death squads that are allied to the Taliban and which kill with near total impunity. As a Shia and a policeman, Shah was automatically in danger. As a Hazara — a Shia minority with east-Asian features distinct from surrounding ethnic groups — his face betrayed him.

Early this year, Shah paid $6,000 to smugglers, who would fly him legally to Thailand and then smuggle him over land and sea to Indonesia; once there he would search for another smuggler with a boat to Australia.

“Definitely they do have a profiling... There’s no strictly legal regime for this.”

He travelled first to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and waited with five other Hazara men for a flight to Bangkok. But this plan was foiled when the smuggler returned to the men who were waiting in Islamabad, and told them the way would be blocked: airport officers would not let the men board unless they paid a hefty extra bribe to pass through. The smuggler suggested the men travel by train to Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city, where a cheaper pay-off at the airport could be arranged.

At about 1.30am on April 4, the Hazara group arrived by rail in Karachi, and began to wander the streets in search of a hotel. Suddenly two men, their faces covered, pulled up on a motorbike and opened fire. Shah dropped to the ground, mortally wounded. Another man, Ismat Ullah, was shot through the leg.

Ullah watched as the men rifled through Shah’s clothes, stealing money and a phone. As they sped off, Ullah recalls, the attackers gave a clue to their motivations, yelling out “Shia are infidels!”

Months later Ullah, 25, is back in Quetta and still injured. But he says he wants to try the trip to Australia again.... Continue Reading... 

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