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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

کوئٹہ: قربان علی نامی شیعہ مومن کالعدم لشکر جھنگوی کے ہاتھوں اغوا


اطلاعات کے مطابق کوئٹہ کے علاقے ہزار گنجی کے مقام پر کالعدم لشکرجھنگوی کے دہشتگردوں نے ایک شیعہ مومن کو اغوا کرلیا ہے۔

ابنا: مزید تفصیلات کے مطابق قربان علی نامی ایک شیعہ مومن جو ایران سے آرہے تھے، جن کو کوئٹۃ کے علاقے ہزار گنجی بس اسٹاپ کے قریب سے اغوا کیا گیا ہے،بتایا جارہا ہے کہ ہزار گنجی بس اسٹاپ کو قریب جس بس سے قربان علی آرہے تھے وہ بس خراب ہوگئی۔ تمام مسافرین کو بس سے نیچے اُتار دیا گیا اتنے میں کچھ لوگ آئے جن کا لباس اور حُلیہ کالعدم لشکر جھنگوی کے دہشتگردوں جیسا تھاقربان علی کو اُٹھا کے لے گئے۔

یار رہے کہ اس قبل بھی گزشتہ دنوں حسیب عباس اور مولانا نور علی کو کوئٹہ سے اغوا کرلیا تھا جن کو بعد میں کالعدم لشکر جھنگوی کے دہشتگردوں نے زبح کردیا تھا۔ کالعدم لشکر جھنگوی کی طرف سے زمہ داری قبول کرنے کے باوجود بھی 
حکومت اور سکیورٹی ادارے دہشتگردوں کو گرفتار کرنے میں ناکام نظر آتے ہیں۔

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Man killed in Quetta target killing

APP 


Police examine the site of an attack in Quetta. — Photo by APP/File

QUETTA: A man was killed in firing on Quetta’s Kawari road on Saturday.

Police told APP that a shopkeeper was sitting inside his veterinary medicines store on Kawari road when unknown armed men riding a motorcycle came outside his shop and opened indiscriminate fire on him.

The shopkeeper identified as Haji Noor Ali sustained several bullet wounds and succumbed to his injuries.

The attackers managed to escape from the scene.

The police rushed to the site and cordoned off the entire area to trace the suspects.

Further probe was underway.

Nusrat Javed; Burma or Pakistan?




Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quetta’s target-killer was ex-policeman

Updated on: Thursday, July 26, 2012 9:29:10 AM



Staff Report
QUETTA: Target-killer who was killed during armed attack on the city’s Deputy Director Schools Abrar Hussain, turned out to be a former policeman, SAMAA reports Thursday.

The attacker was identified as Nazeer Ahmed, resident of the city area of Nawan Klay.

It should be mentioned here that Nazeer Ahmed was serving in the city’s police; however, he was sacked from his duty some time ago.

The deceased’s family took away his body after identification. The case has been lodged in Gwalmandi police station. SAMAA

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Blow to Freedom of Speech and Free Media

The Chairman of Afghanistan Media and Research Center (AMRC) and the Editor-in-Chief of Daily Outlook Afghanistan, Dr. Hussain Yasa, was apprehended without a mentioned reason by National Directorate of Security (NDS) from Darul Aman neighborhood in Kabul on Monday evening. He was kept in custody for almost 24 hours and released on Tuesday evening, after being questioned for the unknown crime. AMRC sources believe that the action was an attempt to irritate Dr. Hussain Yasa as he has been the flag-carrier of free media and freedom of speech in Afghanistan.

Since the ouster of Taliban and the presence of international community in Afghanistan, there have been claims both by Afghan government and its allies that remarkable developments have been made in the field of media and journalism. However.... Continue Reading.....

Signs no deterrent to desperate Hazaras

BY:AMANDA HODGE AND PAUL MALEY
From:The Australian
July 26, 2012 12:00AM

FOR two years Hazaras in Pakistan have had a daily reminder of the perils of travelling to Australia by boat.

Lurid billboards plastered around the shopping districts of the border town of Quetta carry dark warnings of death at sea and the hostile reception that awaits anyone reckless enough to try.

But with boat arrivals at record levels, messages sponsored by Canberra in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka have had little discernible impact.

Boats arrivals are averaging one daily and many of their passengers are from Quetta.

Now, whether by coincidence or design, Altaf Hussain Zafdari's latest low-budget telemovie on the perils Hazaras face trying to reach Australia by boat aligns perfectly with Canberra's long-running campaign to dissuade the persecuted Shia Muslim community from seeking asylum.


The Message, or Mangee in Hazara language, which follows the ultimately doomed passage of Taimoor from his parents' home in Quetta has already aired on local and Afghan television and been released on YouTube....Continue Reading.....

Lej Terrorist Identified as a Policeman



Jang Urdu; Terrorist Attack on Ibrar Hussain



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dr. HussainYasa Chairman AMRC Released


KABUL - The Chairman of Afghanistan Media and Research Center (AMRC),( Dr. HussainYasa, who was mysteriously abducted from Kota Sangi( neighborhood in Kabul on Monday noon released on Tuesday evening. According to AMRC sources, he( has been abducted by National Directorate of Security (NDS) for( criticizing government policies.

(A National Directorate of Security (NDS) official told Pajhwok Afghan News on condition of anonymity Dr. Hussain Ali Yasa, has been released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of spying for foreign countries, an intelligence official said on Tuesday. He further added that they had information that Yasa, also a journalist, was involved in providing secret information to foreign embassies in Kabul...Continue Reading....

Shia official shot, injured in Quetta

QUETTA: The Deputy Director Schools, Abrar Hussain Ahmed, got seriously injured when unidentified persons fired at him. In a crossfire, Ahmed’s guard killed one attacker, however, others escaped. The incident happened just outside the Directorate Education Office, Shawak Shah Road, when Ahmed was about to enter the premises.

According to the Gawalmandi Station House Officer (SHO) Akhter Achakzai, three snipers opened indiscriminate fire, resultantly, Ahmed and his driver, Akbar, were seriously injured. One sniper also got killed in the crossfire, while others managed to flee, he added. According to the eyewitness, two other snipers managed to flee on motorcycle after the incident. Another official, Muhammad bilal, said that it could be a sectarian attack as Ahmed belonged to Hazara community. Ahmed was rushed to the CMH soon after the incident and police also reached the spot and cordoned off the area. According to the CMH officials, Ahmed’s condition was critical. The attacker’s body was shifted to the Civil Hospital for identification. Police also recovered two 9mm pistols from the spot, which are said to be of the sniper.

Police was hopeful that after the identification of the killed sniper, it might trace the people behind the incident. Officials said that it was an assassination attempt on the life of Abrar Hussain Ahmed, and probably from the sectarian terrorists who have been targeting Hazara tribesmen in Quetta. staff report

Pictorial Report; One of the terrorist killed


Today, earlier in the morning, two terrorists made an attempt to target kill Ibrar Hussain. One of the terrorists (In the pictures) was killed when Ibrar Hussain's car ran over him. Ibrar Hussain and his guard were wounded in the incident.




صاحب امتیاز روزنامه افغانستان بعد از ۲۸ ساعت بازداشت رها شد


به روز شده: 17:13 گرينويچ - سه شنبه 24 ژوئيه 2012 - 03 مرداد 1391


لطف‌الله مشعل سخنگوی ریاست امنیت ملی افغانستان

مقام های امنیتی افغانستان می گویند که حسین یاسا، صاحب امتیاز روزنامه افغانستان را به دلایل امنیتی احضار کرده بودند.

لطف الله مشعل، سخنگوی امنیت ملی افغانستان در گفت‌و‌گو با بی‌بی‌سی فارسی، خبر بازداشت آقای یاسا را تایید کرد

آقای یاسا، از افراد نزدیک به محمد محقق، رهبر حزب وحدت اسلامی مردم افغانستان و یکی از اعضای برجسته جبهه ملی به رهبری احمد ضیاء مسعود است.

سخنگوی امنیت ملی گفت، دلیل بازداشت آقای یاسا، رفت و آمد بیش از حد او به سفارت کشور پاکستان در افغانستان بوده است. او همچنین گفت که یک برادر آقای یاسا از جمله افسران "ارشد" ارتش پاکستان است.

به گفته آقای مشعل، آقای یاسا در جریان بازجویی پذیرفته است که برادرش در ارتش پاکستان است و تابعیت دوگانه‌ افغانستان و پاکستان را دارد.

سخنگوی امنیت ملی افغانستان گفت: "قبل از هر جلسه که رهبران جبهه ملی برگزار می کردند، آقای یاسا به سفارت پاکستان می رفت، معلومات محرمانه به آنها می‌داد و از آنها دستور می گرفت".

آقای مشعل افزود که آنها به قید ضمانت آقای یاسا را رها کرده اند و اگر نیاز باشد بار دیگر هم او را احضار خواهند کرد.

این در حالی است که محمد محقق، رهبر حزب وحدت اسلامی مردم افغانستان، که یکی از اعضای ارشد جبهه متحد ملی است، این بازداشت را غیر قانونی و سیاسی می‌داند.

آقای محقق گفت: "در مجموع آقای یاسا ۲۸ ساعت در بازداشت بود، و تا ۲۰ ساعت اول، ما اصلا نمی دانستیم چه اتفاقی افتاده است، بدون آگاهی خانواده اش، بدون اعلام اتهام، به شکل دزدانه آقای یاسا را برده بودند".

آقای محقق گفت که آقای یاسا یکی از اعضای برجسته جبهه ملی است. فعالیت های سیاسی این جبهه و هراسی که دولت از فعالیت های این جبهه دارد، دلیل اصلی این بازداشت است.

دیروز نشست ۱۷ حزب سیاسی در هتل کنتینانتال در کابل برگزار شده بود. شرکت کنندگان که اکثرا از مخالفان سیاسی دولت بودند، روی طرحی زیر عنوان "منشور دموکراسی" بحث می کردند. در این نشست، نقش برجسته احزاب سیاسی در انتخابات آینده، مورد بحث قرار گرفته بود.

آقای یاسا یکی از شرکت کنندگان این نشست بود و بعد از بیرون شدن از این هتل بازداشت شد.

آقای محقق می‌گوید: "آقای یاسا در مورد تغییر قانون انتخابات بسیار فعال بود و کار می کرد، بازداشت او از سوی دولت، زهر چشمی به رهبران جبهه ملی بود".

تلاش بی بی سی برای صحبت با آقای یاسا در این مورد بی نتیجه ماند.

بازداشت حسین یاسا، صاحب امتیاز افغانستان گروپ از سوی امنیت ملی


رحیمه خاوری – کابل
سه شنبه ٠٣ اسد ١٣٩١ ساعت ١٣:١٩یک منبع در جبهه ملی افغانستان که خواست نامش ذکر نشود ، به خبرگزاری بخدی گفت که داکتر حسین علی یاسا، از موسسان این جبهه و مسوول افغانستان گروپ، همراه با راننده اش، از سوی ریاست امنیت ملی بازداشت شده است.

به گفته منبع، ریاستی آقای یاسا را بازداشت کرده است در زمینه مسایل استخبارات خارجی (اداره ضد جاسوسی) کار می کند.

داکتر حسین علی یاسا، از موسسان این جبهه و مسوول افغانستان گروپ، همراه با راننده اش، از سوی ریاست امنیت ملی بازداشت شده است.
مقام ها در امنیت ملی تاکنون در این مورد اظهار نظری نکرده اند.
از سویی، حزب وحدت مردم افغانستان، با نشر اعلامیه ای گفته است که داکتر حسین علی یاسا، صاحب امتیاز افغانستان گروپ و از اعضای ارشد این حزب، از روز گذشته به این سو، اختطاف شده است
در اعلامیه این حزب آمده است که آقای یاسا، روز گذشته، حوالی ساعت 12:00روز گذشته، هنگامی که از هوتل اینترکانتینانتال، خارج شده است تاکنون مفقودالاثر بوده و از درایورش نیز خبری در دست نیست.


استاد محقق رهبر حزب وحدت مردم، در اعلامیه اظهار نگرانی کرده است که " آقای یاسا دچار بیماری شکر بوده و 
باید روزانه به طور مرتب دوای انسولین مصرف می کرد."

حز ب وحدت گفته است که "آقای یاسا، یا از سوی مقام های حکومتی بازداشت شده و یا اینکه دشمنان افغانستان در این امر دخیل هستند."

درهمین حال، اتحادیه خبرنگاران افغانستان نیز، نسبت به سرنوشت آقای یاسا اظهار نگرانی کرده و از ارگان های امنیتی خواسته است که به شکل جدی، در این مورد، اقدام کنند.

فیض اله وارسته شب ستیز، از مسوولان این اتحادیه، به خبرگزاری بخدی گفت که داکتر یاسا، از مسوولان یکی از معتبرترین روزنامه های کشور ( روزنامه افغانستان و اوت لوک)  است و ربوده شدن او، قابل نگرانی است.
به گفته او، روزنامه نگاران در افغانستان با مشکلات جدی از سوی دشمنان مردم افغانستان روبرو هستند و حکومت باید برای حفظ جان این قشر از نخبگان جامعه، تلاش کند.

وارسته، می گوید در صورتی که آقای یاسا از سوی حکومت بازداشت شده باشد، نحوه بازداشت او نیز مخالف با قوانین ملی و بین المللی است و باید هرچه زود تر رها شود.





QUETTA FIRING ON DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Geo Reports; Attack on DD Ibrar Hussain 24 Feb 2012

Quetta’s DD Schools escapes life attempt

By Essa Tareen - Jul 24th, 2012



Quetta: Unidentified men attacked Quetta’s Deputy Director Schools Abrar Ahmed at Shawakshah Road of the city when he reached his office on Tuesday morning.

Sources said that the armed men opened fire on Ahmed’s vehicle outside his office at Education Directorate. The deputy director ran over his car on the attackers, injuring one assailant who later succumbed to injuries in hospital.

“Ahmed also received a bullet injury in the attack, he was shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), where he was said to be out of danger,” the sources said.

Police are investigating into the incident.

DD Schools injured in Quetta attack

By Web Desk
Published: July 24, 2012


One of the attackers was killed after he was run over by the car, second escaped.

QUETTA: The deputy director of schools in Balochistan was severely injured in an attack on his car in Quetta on Tuesday,Express News has reported. One of the assailants was killed after he was run over by the car.

According to the police, Abrar Ahmed was on his way to the office when he came under attack near the Directorate of Teaching. One of the attackers was killed after the car ran him over, while the other one managed to escape.

Ahmed was taken to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and the body of the attacker was moved to the Civil hospital.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Taliban kill five private security guards in Wardak

By SAJAD - Sun Jul 22, 9:43 am

The dead bodies of at least five Afghan private security guards were recovered in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan early Sunday morning.

According to reports the deceased security guards were working for a private security firm and were abducted by Taliban militants around 10:00 am local time on Saturday. The dead bodies of the security guards were left on a highway in Jalriz district.

Eyewitnesses in the area said signs of torture and bullet were seen on the bodies of the deceased security guards.

Anti-government armed militants groups and local security officials yet to comment regarding the reports.

Friday, July 20, 2012

VIEW: Quetta: on the brink of civil war —Liaquat Ali Hazara

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The citizens of Quetta should be admonished to refrain from providing any kind of support to the terrorists before it is too late for all

The exacerbating law and order situation in the southwestern capital of Balochistan province is alarmingly worrisome as more and more innocent people are being thrown on the altar of death on an almost daily basis. There is no iota of doubt that the Hazaras, in particular, have been the chief target of relentless ethno-religious attacks; however, the non-Hazara city-dwellers such as the Pashtuns, the Baloch, the Hindu and the Christian minorities and the Punjabis have also been targeted on one pretext or another.

The last week’s two separate incidents tell a gruesome tale as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s imported butchers beheaded four innocent Shi’ites, who were abducted at the end of June. The video clip featuring these cold-blooded murders explicitly entailed that the perpetrators were talking in Pashto, symbolising the Taliban-style execution to spread fear and terror among the three million locals of the Quetta city. The second incident was, by no means, less tragic as a local Hindu trader was shot dead by unknown people. Apparently, the Hindu businessman was abducted for ransom; failure to reach an amicable bargain with the heirs ended up with the death of the abductee.

The annual reports of various human rights organisations, viz., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have blatantly expressed grave concern over the safety and protection of minorities in Pakistan. Special sections have been incorporated into these reports to highlight the persecution of Hazaras as well as that of the Hindus, the Christians and the Ahmadi minorities.

All sections of society agree that the intelligence agencies are involved in perturbing the law and order situation in Quetta for ulterior motives. Political analysts, intellectuals, columnists, members of civil society and the human rights organisations frequently express their reservations about the aggravating security situation in Quetta. The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has also shown his displeasure about the infamous role of the secret agencies in Quetta.

The bold statement of the recently sworn in Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, while presiding over a high-level meeting in Islamabad last month after taking charge of the post of chief executive from his predecessor; also acknowledged the involvement of federal agencies in the worsening situation of Balochistan and, in particular, Quetta.

The federal government and the judiciary’s highest office-bearers’ concerns convey their inability to harness those very departments whose main responsibilities are providing round-the-clock intelligence reports to the relevant quarters to improve the law and order situation rather than destabilising it. The previous rulers, who let the cat out in the late 1970s, created a huge challenge for all governments, including the incumbent one, to tame this blood-sucking monster. The main stakeholders in Balochistan have realised what the motive of the intelligence agencies is. The targeted attacks against the Hazaras in Quetta, the abduction and merciless killings of other minorities in the province, the mysteriously planted bomb blasts in and around seminaries, the clueless murders of prayer leaders of Sunnis and the latest add-on of Taliban-style beheading of the Shi’ite Muslims echo too much of a sound of civil war in the province.

Various Quetta-based political and social organisations working for the Hazaras, their chieftain, Sardar Sadaat Ali Hazara, and human rights activists have started uttering clearly that they are too exhausted to bury the bullet-riddled corpses routinely. Simultaneously, they point fingers at the dubious role of the intelligence agencies while suspicions rise manifold when the federal and provincial governments show apathy towards taking preventive measures to minimise human losses. The Hazara youths are enraged, while growing pressure on their elders to curb them from taking illegal steps is becoming less effective. 

In the entire 13 years since the Hazaras first faced the attacks on their community members in 1999, the overall law and order situation remained intensely perturbed, especially for them, even though the Pashtun stakeholders own heavy investments in the form of shops, markets and local businesses. However, the Baloch are mostly populated in the suburbs of Quetta city; they too share equal socio-political interests in the city as well as in the province. Surprisingly, the nationalists’ political leadership of the Pashtun and the Baloch has been content with verbal condemnations of the brazen attacks of targeted killings on the Hazaras, while showing almost no practical support and solidarity with these oppressed people. The Hazaras term these condemnations devoid of genuine interest to take pragmatic steps for a solution.

I have quite often pondered what may restrict this stratum of society from openly denouncing these incidents and showing the dedication to help curb the menace. I frequently get the feeling that the main political leadership of the Pashtun and Baloch may think that the fire burning in their neighbourhood is of no concern to them. Mixed emotions among them may persist as though their neighbours must extinguish it themselves. The hard fact remains that the foreign elements-cum-imported target killers are making hectic efforts to provoke ethno-religious conflict in the entire Quetta city. Although the Pashtun and Baloch can clearly perceive the dangers of the fire spreading to their own houses, the obvious signs of a smokescreen will not at all save them from its overwhelmingly large-scale destruction.

If they can truly understand that hidden hands are trying to pit the Hazaras against the Pashtuns, Baloch, Punjabis and vice versa, then it is high time they openly came forward and preached to their fellow communities to thwart all conspiracies of civil war in Quetta.

Under no circumstances can the target killers execute their killing spree in the city successfully unless they have the full moral, financial and logistical support of the locals. When the assassins, in broad daylight, infiltrate the narrow and congested lanes and bazaars of Quetta, target-kill their prey and disappear smoothly, it is evident that the locals harbour them in nearby havens. When terrorists kill people in crowded areas such as Spinni Road, Seriab Road, Akhtarabad, McCongi Road, Podkilli Chowk, Hazar Ghanji, it reveals that they have the full support of the locals to hide in their dens comfortably after completing their tasks. The aforesaid areas are densely populated by both the Pashtun and Baloch who will have to be preached in a clear tone that terrorists would go away once they accomplished their goals but the locals will have to co-exist with one another for centuries. One particular ethnicity is in the line of severe fire for years, and it may erupt like a volcano any time, bringing unimaginable catastrophe to the whole city.

The Pashtun and the Baloch nationalist parties must take a clear stance on persecution of the Hazaras, and the citizens of Quetta should be admonished to refrain from providing any kind of support to the terrorists before it is too late for all.

The writer is a London-based freelance journalist, and the chairperson of a political organisation, known as Hazara United Movement (HUM)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

UNIVERSITY 10TH CONVOCATION QUETTA

Afghanistan insurgency threatens previously peaceful Bamiyan province

Concerns growing over violence in central highland province after two bombs killed nine police officers earlier this month

Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 19 July 2012 08.25 EDT

Afghan police officers train at a firing range in the central province of Bamiyan. Photograph: Ahmad Masood/REUTERS

The central highland province of Bamiyan has long been an island of security in the rising tide of Afghanistan's insurgency, largely insulated from the blasts and gunfire that have become commonplace across the rest of the country by its geography and a fierce strain of anti-Talibansentiment.

But concerns are growing over the government's ability to hold off insurgents in the region after two massive roadside bombs, just five days apart, killed nine police officers earlier this month.

It was an unprecedented toll for the area, and raised fears that violence will escalate as foreign troops withdraw.

The officers who died in two attacks on 3 and 8 July were the first Afghan casualties in Bamiyan since 2008, when a bomb killed a single policeman, according to Mohammad Ali Lakzi, the head of operations and archives for the provincial police force. A New Zealand soldier was also shot dead in 2010.

The area has remained so secure that it was chosen last summer to launch a gradual nationwide handover from Nato troops to Afghan forces, even though the nearest soldiers are in the next province. Armed police are the only security forces and they rarely have to make use of their guns.

But the people of Bamiyan have bitter memories of massacres in their valleys by Taliban troops, shortly before the hardline Islamists were ousted in late 2001, and the destruction of two giant Buddha statues that had gazed serenely out of a cliff for over a millennium.

And so the July bombs that detonated under two police vehicles have sent a chill through the province. The first set of buried explosives killed four officers and injured two, the second killed five.

"In the past few years we never faced such an incident," said the provincial police chief, Juma Guldi Yaardam, who has more than 1,000 officers at his command but says he needs army support in tackling the insurgent threat spilling over from less peaceful neighbouring areas – particularly Baghlan, Parwan and Wardak provinces.

"These provinces are unsafe and we have big concerns about the future. We think we need more troops to ensure good security for the borders."

The north-eastern district where the deadly bombs were buried has long been the riskiest part of Bamiyan, but the attacks were unusually bold.

"They were unprecedented in terms of the death toll and getting their targets," said a Foreign Official familiar with the province. The deaths rekindled concerns sparked by the kidnapping and murder of the head of the provincial council on the road from Kabul last year.

"Most of the province, in an Afghan context, is safe, but the north-east has this problem … Who knows whether this is the start of a pattern or not," the official added. "People are maybe getting a bit more nervous."

The provincial governor, the only woman in Afghanistan to run one of the 34 regional administrations, says the police are ill-prepared to handle battle-hardened insurgents.

"The number of guns that our police have is not really sufficient," Habiba Sarabi said in a telephone interview, in which she also stressed most of her province was still safe.

"Our military needs some more supplies, some more support for training and equipment."

Insurgents have attacked civilian supplies, including tankers of fuel, on the critical road through the northeast, and there are insurgents active along a southern route too. The violence pushes up prices in Bamiyan and limits travel out of the isolated province, she said.

"When they want to travel to Kabul … it's really bad for them to take either road," Sarabi said. "Sometimes even their gasoline trucks or some other supplies are stopped by these insurgents and also some of them have been burned, so this ensures the people of Bamiyan are suffering and not happy."

Most of the unrest is from small, mobile groups of less than 20 insurgents that cross into Bamiyan for brief attacks or to bury an IED before disappearing back into lawless areas where the government has little or no reach.

There are more checkpoints on the roads now as a stop-gap solution, but Sarabi said more co-ordination with officials in the troubled provinces, and help from the Afghan army, is critical to tackling the violence long-term.

The negotiations leading up to the security handover from New Zealand forces last July included a request for soldiers, but so far they have not been provided. A spokesman for the Afghanistan ministry of defence declined to comment on whether that might change.

"As a strategy of the ministry of defence, we check if there are threats and send forces where they are needed," said spokesman General Zahir Azimi.

Additional reporting by Mokhtar Amiri

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Secret ASIS spy war on people smugglers

BY:PAUL MALEY AND BRENDAN NICHOLSON
From:The Australian
July 19, 2012 12:00AM

AUSTRALIA'S overseas espionage service is fighting a secret war on people-smuggling, sending small teams of officers into some of the most dangerous parts of Pakistan to work with local authorities and smash the trafficking rings.

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service is also playing a direct role in counter-terrorism operations overseas, a dramatic and significant evolution of its established role as an intelligence-gatherer.

ASIS director-general Nick Warner will today give the first public address by a serving head of the service in its 60-year history.

His speech comes as The Australian can reveal Australia's spies have been placed on the frontline of Canberra's fight against people-smuggling, arguably a distortion of its role as the overseas guardian of Australia's "vital interests".

In an address to the Lowy Institute in Canberra, Mr Warner will describe how ASIS officers are now involved more directly in counter-terrorist operations, where in the past they have mainly gathered intelligence.

The spy chief will tell the institute the "challenges of helping to prevent terrorist attacks and providing the intelligence edge to Australian soldiers in the field have impacted greatly on ASIS".

"Undertaking supporting operations that achieve a direct outcome, as distinct from our more traditional intelligence-gathering operations, is now of increasing importance," he will say.

The rare insight into Australia's most secretive intelligence agency comes as interviews with security officials in the Pakistani city of Quetta, the hub of the Hazara smuggling trade to Australia, reveal ASIS officers stationed at the Australian high commission in Islamabad travel regularly to Quetta, from where they pass intelligence on smugglers to Pakistan's Federal Investigations Agency.

That intelligence, much of which comes from asylum-seekers interviewed on Christmas Island, forms the basis of investigations or disruption activities undertaken by officials in Quetta, where most of the Hazara asylum-seekers arriving in Australia are from. The Australian has been told that two years ago, the FIA's Quetta zone established the Team for Hazara Illegal Immigrants, a taskforce focused on arresting, prosecuting or otherwise disrupting the people-smugglers - or agents, as they are known locally - responsible for sending thousands of Hazaras to Australia by boat.

The taskforce works with three or four ASIS officers stationed in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

The director of the FIA's Quetta zone, Shakeel Durrani, said his team worked closely with both the Australian Federal Police and ASIS but the spy agency was the main contact point for information.

Just one day before The Australian interviewed Mr Durrani, an ASIS officer travelled to Quetta for a detailed meeting on people-smuggling.

The day before that, an officer from the AFP met Mr Durrani's team on the same subject.

Mr Durrani said the information handed over by ASIS at least helped to "bog down" the smuggling agents if there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

"Sometimes we are not in a position to register the case and we have something against them so we register an inquiry," he said.

"We call them, we interrogate them, we take their statements. That really hampers their working. I believe that's what the AFP and ASIS has really appreciated.

"For the last few months, especially from this area of Pakistan, it has really come down quite a bit."

In 2009 ASIS was given an extra $21 million over two years to combat the boat trade to Australia. But the focus on preventing people-smuggling would suggest a distortion of the service's mission statement, which is to protect and promote Australia's "vital interests".

As is the case with the AFP, Customs and the navy, there is understood to be frustration within ASIS over the demands people-smuggling has placed on the service.

ASIS specialises in the collection of "HUMINT" - human intelligence derived from a network of locally cultivated sources.

Today, Mr Warner is expected to discuss the spectrum of threats it confronts. The career diplomat and senior public servant is the only member of ASIS who can be publicly identified. He will say it is time to shed light on work done by the agency and its unique contribution to foreign policy and security.

He is expected to discuss the "continuing and real" threat posed by terrorist groups who may seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction, which he describes as the "ultimate nightmare for security planners" and a prime concern for security agencies.

He will detail the service's approach to dealing with an operational sphere that is "more challenging, volatile and dangerous than at any time since the service's formation" in 1952.

He will say ASIS's core values are "integrity, honesty and trust" and stress that it does not use "violence or blackmail or threats".

His speech comes two years after the head of MI6, John Sawers, gave the first address by a serving head of Britain's spy service, which served as the model for ASIS.

One Pakistani security officer, who asked not to be named, said the quality of the information provided by ASIS was "very good".

"The main source of information they are getting is the victims that are getting to Australia," the officer told The Australian.

"We can't use it in evidence because there are two different laws operating. We can use it as a source of information."

Mr Durrani said his team were investigating 10 to 12 suspected smugglers.

Quetta, in Pakistan's Baluchistan region and 100km from the Afghan border, is the main point of origin for most of the Hazara asylum-seekers who arrive in Australia.

In its country advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs describes the region as "extremely dangerous" and warns Australians not to travel there, citing the risk of kidnapping and assassination.

Quetta has become the focus of myriad anti-people-smuggling initiatives run by the Australian government, from spying to law enforcement co-operation to public awareness campaigns about the dangers of illegal migration.

Ethnic Hazaras are at risk of persecution in parts of Pakistan, including Quetta, just as they are in Afghanistan.

But Canberra's focus on Quetta also reflects longstanding concerns within the Australian government that there is widespread rorting of the asylum program, with most Afghans not being from Afghanistan at all.

Rather, they are first or second-generation Afghans whose families moved to Pakistan decades ago and who are coached by smugglers.

Mr Durrani said smugglers there followed a standard modus operandi when moving people out of Pakistan.

"Out of Pakistan they travel absolutely legally," he said.

"They reach maybe Indonesia, Malaysia, (then) they destroy their documents and pretend . . . to be from Afghanistan."

It is understood the smugglers charge between $US8000 ($7768) and $US10,000 for a trip, although some smuggling sources put the figure higher, at about $US12,000.

A spokesman for ASIS declined to comment on this story.

Monster of sectarianism... By Hassan


18 July, 2012

The monster of sectarian killings is spinning out of control in the country with every passing day. After Parachinar, DI Khan, Hangu and Gilgit, it has now gripped Karachi and Quetta. Apart from common people, a number of renowned figures have been killed on sectarian basis since last month. A few days ago, Syed Ali Imran Jaffri, Deputy General Manager of KESC, Qamar Raza Drector IB and a scholar, Maulana Amini were targeted in Karachi, while Abrar Hussain, the Asian champion in boxing and six Shia students of IT University Balochistan were killed in Quetta. Moreover, a leading poet and literary figure Professor Dr Shabih-ul-Hassan Zaidi was gunned down in Lahore.

On July 11, the Imam of Satellite Town Imambargah, Quetta, Maulana Anwar Ali and a youngster, Haseeb Abbas Zaidi were slaughtered ferociously. Claiming responsibility for the said event, the spokesperson of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) accused that the slain people were involved in the target killing of Sunni ulema and bomb blasts; hence they were presented before the Sharia Court of LeJ, where the court announced to behead them.

He further added that they were slaughtered according to Islamic injunctions. He said that on the revelations made by the slain persons other culprits would also be arrested soon and brought to justice. This ferocious event shows the extent to which the sectarian outfits have become fearless in committing their evil designs.

M HASSAN SHERALIAT Islamabad

Bamiyan; a trip

34th Mr. Junior Hazara Contest


Sunday, July 15, 2012

The lost city

Muhammad Hassan Miraj


“And I reached there after travelling for days. The whole city wore a gloomy look. On the first night of the new month, everyone in the city gathered at the foot of the adjacent hill. Soon after, a strange looking monster descended from the top and everyone started running madly, until few of them panted and fell. The creature picked up the fallen and went back. I wanted to turn around but my host pulled my hand and took me away. On reaching the safe confines of his house, I asked him about this strange phenomenon? With swollen eyes, he replied: The city was a beautiful city with peace and tranquillity and suddenly we were cursed with this monster. He comes every month and takes few lives. The city is named as Neem Sheher”

This excerpt is from the famous “Qissa Chahar Dervaish” of Meer Aman’s book “Bagh-o-Bahar,” but the city is Quetta. Its famous Jinnah Road is dotted with flags coloured red, white and green. A remembrance for the lives lost in the blast yesterday. For as long as these dead bodies lived, they were Pashtuns or Hazara. Only when they died, they graduated to become human beings.

One day after the blast and two days after the dead bodies were recovered, Quetta wears a look of uncertainty. Promising panflex boards shadow closed shops. Everyone is rushing to nowhere. The shopkeepers talk to the customers but continue looking over their shoulders, searching for a probable assassin. The shopping area of Jinnah Road is few metres away from the safe haven of known as the Cantonment. On both sides of the security check-post, people live a life infested with fear. One side, however, is able to put up a brave front.

A young man in his early twenties, the shopkeeper wears a concealed look of Hazara but he does not respond when I greet in his native dialect, Persian. The language which was once a source of calm is now a motive for murder. Before I can ask more questions, he disrupts the communication and tells us that he is packing up. He works with one hand and with the other; he holds the keys of his motorcycle tightly. The reason for such behaviour, he says, is the impending fear of death. He believes that everyone here in Quetta awaits destruction.

Anytime anybody will appear from anywhere and it will all be over. Even the remains will have to wait for some time before rescue teams show up. His voice sends ripples across my nervous system; this is the terror that reigns supreme here.

The city derived its name from the Pashto word ‘fortress,’ yet insecurity dampens the air. The Hazara community are locked inside their housing societies. Their young are either moving to Australia where asylum is much easier or Scandinavia, the universal refuge of Pakistanis. Those who cannot afford the legal way, opt for the sea route of Malaysia- Indonesia-Australia. The poorest spend their time sitting in front of their houses, for regardless of the poverty their mothers still hold them valuable. Outside the society, they are chased after and eventually murdered. The menial workers from Punjab move without their ID cards under a constant threat and Pashtun killing is also on the rise. What remains behind is the Baloch community, the otherwise neglected fraction of largest province of Pakistan for the largest part of the history. Many in the privileged sides of the country ask for their responsibility and I am reminded of Dante Alighieri from Italy, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.”

Amidst the closed shops, few aged shopkeepers have refused to succumb to fear. They sit in front of their shops with eyes swollen, only recalling the days when the city “was a beautiful city with peace and tranquillity and suddenly we were cursed with this monster. He comes every month and takes few lives. The city is named as Neem Sheher.”

The author is a federal government employee.

Getting death certificates; not easy for victims of terrorism


Friday, July 13, 2012

Child Labor in Bamiyan Coal Mine


VIEW : Hazaras and the poison against them — Part II — Liaquat Ali Hazara

The Hazaras, including the religious scholars, have always vehemently condemned killings of non-Hazaras, especially the clerics and prayer imams

Surat Khan Marri’s writing in this regard (Hazaras in the army) has been the poorest as he tries to simplify the selection process that the army would blindly recruit the Hazaras from Balochistan. Had this been the case, I am quite sure that the Pakistan army would have recruited Baloch nomads, shepherds and peasants in large numbers to provide better representation to the province.

Mentioning the Central Superior Services (CSS), which fill vacant posts of various respectable groups through the Federal Public Service Commission, the country of 180 million people knows better that the chairperson and the members of the FPSC have not been Hazaras, who had the privilege to allocate seats to Hazara candidates at federal level. The writer has overlooked to name the Hazara members of the FPSC in order to enlighten his readers about these unfair treatments and malpractices.

Ali Zaheer Hazara is a refined example of being a CSP Officer who made all three attempts of the CSS examination, and he passed the three-tier selection process to be allocated with seats in Office Management Group, Foreign Office and the District Management Group. His flair and attention to join the civil services as a CSP officer turned true when he joined it as a DMG officer.

Since then, several other talented Hazara youths have followed the footsteps of the aforesaid Hazara CSP officer, who are now serving the country in different groups. As far as the Hazara army officers’ induction into the civil services is concerned, everyone knows that the Pakistan army, under the constitution of Pakistan, reserves a quota of 10 percent for all commissioned army officers who wish to be permanently inducted into the civil services. Their induction into the civil services is also subject to appearing for a written and interview test and obtaining the aggregate marks. The army personnel who intend to enter civil services remain the employees of the federal government throughout; their services are at the disposal of the Federal government and they can be posted anywhere in Pakistan. The Hazara ex-army personnel serving in Balochistan have followed a straightforward and rigorous selection process, which dilutes the notion of nepotism, etc, as it is nearly impossible to find any Hazara in the selection board/panel. It is a far cry to denote that these Hazara officers have recruited other Hazaras in abundance as the selection process in government departments and ministries involves written tests and interviews, conducted under the supervision of the competent authority who definitely comprise non-Hazaras.

The Hazaras are the only stakeholders of this province who have been bluntly appealing to the Balochistan government to abolish permanently the quota system for government vacancies in order for pure merit to be applied. We have succinctly demanded that the same medium be exercised for admissions at various colleges and universities in the province but, alas, the Balochistan provincial government turns a deaf ear to these pleas.

It is nonsensical to label General Musa Khan as someone who could have abused his powers. The official records reveal that he even returned the lands bestowed on him by the government in recognition of his services to the country.

The Hazaras, like other recognised tribes of Pakistan, were declared Local in 1954, which may be verified from the relevant department of the government. Statements made by Marri bear no resemblance to the truth. General Musa Khan served as governor of West Pakistan from 1967 to 1969. Supposing the writer’s notion was true that General Musa Khan, through an ordinance, declared Hazaras as local, what was the constitutional weight of this ordinance? Can a mere governor, who oversees the functions of the provincial government and serves the country as a representative of the federal government, be entrusted with such infinite powers? Could this ordinance not be challenged in a court of law? Could the federal government not repeal this ordinance?

The writer has further tried to link Iran as a patron and well-wisher of the Hazaras, which is completely baseless. Iran, in essence, is an independent state with its foreign policy aligned to match its national interests. I must enlighten the readers that the Hazaras — who migrated to Iran during the cruel regime of Abdur Rehman in the 1880s — are still treated as illegal immigrants despite spending over 130 years in the country. The Hazaras are not allowed to engage in businesses nor can they have education beyond the GCSC level. Their fundamental rights are denied and they are still subjected to frustrating physical labour at minimal wages. At present, the Hazaras who migrated to Iran, due to unemployment and the cruelties of the Taliban, have to face different forms of human rights violations, including bonded labour, exploitation of workers at brick kilns, on agricultural lands and in factories. Why would Iran support the Hazaras in Quetta, who are ethnically Mongols? The dichotomy is explicitly clear from the passage of the writer in which he declared the Hazaras as strong-built and hardworking. The literacy rate in Hazaras, at present, is over 90 percent and the majority of them are educated to degree level. The properties, lands and businesses the Hazaras own today are the result of their incessant hard work. Everyone knows that the entire Quetta city is in the grip of extreme fear and uncertainty. This has created an atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust. The locals living in the city have been compelled to the extent of taking precautionary steps to minimise human losses. At this critical juncture, the Hazaras are under complete siege, who have to make internal arrangements to safeguard their fellow tribesmen.

The Hazaras have never targeted any prayer leaders nor did they ever intend to be involved in sectarian violence. There were over 500 Baloch families living among Hazaras in Meherabad since the birth of the country but nobody ever disturbed any non-Hazara in the vicinity despite the relentless attacks on them. Although a majority of these Baloch have voluntarily shifted to other safer places of the city, there are still Baloch in Meherabad who run their routine businesses without any problem. The Hazaras, including religious scholars, have always vehemently condemned the killings of non-Hazaras, especially the clerics and prayer imams, terming them as a conspiracy against the brother nations of the province.

(Concluded)

The writer is a London-based freelance journalist, and the chairperson of a political organisation, known as Hazara United Movement (HUM)

(This controversy is now closed — Ed)

The Hazara People of Afghanistan


گزارشی از چهارمین جشنواره راه ابریشم

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ibrar Hussain’s last fight: we lost

Ali Moeen Nawazish

Monday, July 09, 2012
From Print Edition

It was 1987, the South Asian Games, in Kolkata India. There was out roar over a decision in boxing that many considered as unlawful. The match was between Pakistan and India, and while Pakistan had been the dominant side throughout the Indian side was declared victorious. The match refrees and judges could not sustain the pressure of their home crowd. The decision left the Pakistani boxer heartbroken, not for losing but for not being able to raise his national flag and national anthem in India. He had been unsuccessful, yet his passion for Pakistan never diminished and he did not give up.

After three years in 1990 at the Asian Games in China, the same boxer was standing again crying. Yet, this time instead of tears of sorrow they were tears of joy. The Asian Games was a much bigger event. It was a rematch of the same South Asian Games match from Kolkata. He stood victorious having defeated his counterpart who he had unfairly lost to before. It was the semi-final match and he had reached the finals. Yet, the winning streak did not end there for the same boxer reached the finals and won the Gold Medal. He had proven himself to be strong, bold and determined.

The name of this boxer is Ibrar Hussain and he belonged to Balochistan. He was the first boxer from Balochistan who represented Pakistan in the Asian Games and won the gold medal. For his accomplishments he was awarded two of Pakistan’s highest civil awards, the “Pride of Performance Award” and “Sitara-e-Imtiaz”.

Last year Ibrar Hussain stood crying again, this time the tears were not of joy or sadness and neither because of victory or defeat. The tears were much grimmer and the last tears he would ever cry. Ibrar Hussain had been shot, a victim of target killing. He was going home from his office in Quetta when he was attacked. The national hero, who had done so much for Pakistan was left only to ask, is this my reward? Is this all that was left for me?

Ibrar Hussain became the victim of the sectarian wave and ethnic violence that is spreading across Balochistan. I am writing about him today because of a message I received, “Salaam Nawazish bhai.

There is no peace for me, my family, my friends and relatives in my community. I belong to Hazara Community from Quetta. We have been killed brutally every day almost. Yesterday, our people returning by road from Iran in a bus were hit by a car driven by a suicide bomber. 14 people were killed and we buried them. I belong to the family of late Olympian Boxer Syed Ibrar Hussain Shah. What has Pakistan given back to him and his family except his dead body with several bullets in his head? Is this the Pakistan we are proud of? I am ready to give my life for Pakistan, I love Pakistan. But, I don’t want to waste my life like Ibrar Hussain.”

The Hazara community has a population of 8 million, 5.5 million are the residents of Afghanistan, 1.5 million of Iran, and 0.7 million of Pakistan. By origin the community is considered Turk-Mongol of the Afghanistan. In the 13th century they became target on the cast, ethnic and religion bias. This wave forced them to migrate from Afghanistan to the neighboring states like Pakistan, Iran and other Central Asian States. A century ago the forefathers of the Hazara community came to Quetta which at the time was a garrison city of the British government as refugees and have settled there since. Presently, the Hazara community is living in different parts of Pakistan, but the majority still lives in Quetta.

For a very long time there was peaceful co-existence, but extremist organizations took hold under General Zia’s rule and sectarian and ethnic violence started ever since. While the organizations have been banned they have still continued their role and work. According to one estimate, the community has faced more than 50 terrorists’ attacks, which have affected the lives of more than 2500 innocent people and have taken the lives of more than 550 people. No one is taking serious look into this issue. The government is just routinely condemning the attacks where as its own writ is challenged. There is not much that can be said when at times it seems the chief minister of the province himself spends more time in Karachi than in Balochistan.
The youth of Balochistan is worried about the situation and wants security. They want their fundamental right as citizens of Pakistan to live peacefully. The youth still wants to do a lot for Pakistan, but they don’t want to die in vain like Ibrar Hussain did. For Ibrar Hussain fought his last fight and we all lost.

The writer is Youth Ambassador of Geo and Jang Group. Email: am.nawazish@janggroup.com.pk Facebook: facebook.com/ali.moeen.nawazish Twitter: @amNAWAZISH

Letter from Quetta: ‘I too had a dream, but being a Pakistani Shia, it will remain a dream’ – by S. Batool




Editor’s Note: In this time of distress and misfortune, LUBP stands with all oppressed people, and demands of the government to ensure equal treatment of its citizens. It seems that after covert complicity with the terrorists, the state of Pakistan has now decided to overtly deprive the ‘undesirable groups’ of even basic amenities of life. This heart-wrenching narration of the treatment meted out to Shia-Hazara students of Quetta shows that the state is not only indirectly involved in genocide of Shias through its proxies, but its policies are now bordering on overt apartheid. Not much is left to say, just as not much is left for the minorities in Pakistan to live for, but one statement can suffice: ‘Pakistan, you are a failed state’.

===========================================

It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story, but today here’s the single voice to represent the thousand voices.
Unlike routine days, my phone beeped several times that made me wake up while I was asleep. I checked my phone and my breath was taken away,
‘Plz ask —- If she is alright, Did — go to university today? , Is —- Alright? Make sure if —- is alright…’
The darkest day to be remembered in the history of Pakistan; it was a remote control bomb blast on BUITEMS University Bus. This blast took away 6 lives leaving behind 25+ severely injured talents.
University faculty didn’t utter a single word in condemnation, this was not enough to cut apart an already wounded community that within a two-day gap, another University ‘Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, Balochistan’ arranged a separate University bus for Shia Hazara students.

I was in the University that day, rumors circulated that Hazara students are supposed to travel by a separate bus – this was ordered on the call of other communities’ request to the VC of the University. I didn’t doubt VC to be such a sap-head to act upon the call, however, my expectations dusted and we were asked to travel by the separate bus.
Agony hooked my mind. I felt very much alone, was over-whelmed by grief, and I expected sympathy. I found no sympathy; I saw only faces of my co-Hazara students as badly mangled as mine. I looked around, hundreds of eyes were staring. Cruel, pitiless stares. Angry stares, unfeeling cold stares.
You are alone here! I murmured to myself and got on the bus provided. That day ended with utter chaos as we then landed to our places with a bang on our heads. Can they be this selfish? I could have never imagined.

Nevertheless, the next day’s sun arose with which I witnessed courage that ran chills up and down my spine because by then I had decided not to give up and stand against the melting pot of apparent Muslims, but actually terrorist jihadists attacking my faith and those cruel stares leaving me alone the previous day.

“University Buses are jammed for Alamdar Road (where Shia Hazara students reside) “was yet another blow within 2 days. This cracked up my nerves. No transport-No University-No Education, Period.
I frozed, dazed and pinned down. My mind screamed, No! Education is my right!

It was 18 June, 2012 and today it is 11 July 2012 and we are still sitting at homes as no transport
facility is provided to us. Is there anyone who could show up a fraction of humanity? , Who could feel that we are also Pakistani and we have the rights to enjoy equal freedom in Pakistan?

Hear me O’ the failed Government; jailing us is not the solution, why don’t you jail those LeJ rats whose residents are all known to you?
They attacked on the University bus, you jammed it for us.
They attacked the Passenger bus for Iran, you jammed that.
Tomorrow they will attack us at our homes; will you then shift us to some mountain cage?

O the silent spectators/Government/ISI agencies , wake up, wake up from deep slumber, Today it is us, Tomorrow it will be your own daughters and sons , it is only the matter of interest – This is the only cry of my soul , a deep rumble, shattering the predawn silence.
I once had a dream, a dream of being among the graduates marching around the pavilion in caps and gowns – But being a Shia , it seems it will remain a dream.

Pen it down and know it, we are motivated to exist and resist before the inhuman acts of all the veiled and un-veiled terrorists.

I am Leaving now to slay the foe
Fight the battles, high and low
I’ve grown my wings, I want to fly
Seize my victories where they lie
I want to shake the dead souls
though there are dangers , there are fears
Carve my niche, sew my seams.

A hopeful and hopeless Shia Hazara student.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

VIEW : Hazaras and the poison against them — I — Liaquat Ali Hazara

The writer’s vague understanding of the genuineness of the Hazaras’ chronicles vis-a-vis their ethno-religious persecution is disparagingly weak

There are more fools in the world than there are people — Heinrich Heine.

After reading the entire article of Surat Khan Marri in Daily Times (June 23, 2012),I realized that the article is filled with contemptuous and irrational annotations about the Pakistani Hazaras. The writer’s vague understanding of the genuineness of the Hazaras’ chronicles vis-a-vis their ethno-religious persecution is disparagingly weak. Similarly, he significantly lacks the potential to do thorough research about the subject before writing. His stark shallowness casts doubts about his credentials of addressing an issue in an otherwise professional tone. I am not at all surprised the way he has sketched the entire ethno-religious scenario of Quetta compared with the subjugation of the Hazaras in that there are hate and conspiracy mongers all around who play into the hands of others. My recent article about the role of intelligence agencies and government functionaries, especially in Quetta, to pit the Hazaras against the Pashtuns, the Baloch, the Punjabis and vice versa, denotes the former’s manoeuvrings from a different perspective (see http://liaquatalihazara.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/pakistan-islamic-or-moderate-islamic-state/).

Arguably, they strive to sow the seeds of hatred among brotherly nations of Balochistan who have been living there with exemplary peace for centuries. Let us scrutinise the write-up of the above said columnist scientifically to ascertain its weight.

In the first paragraph, Marri tried to create ambiguities as if the Hazaras were not of Mongol origin. There are numerous authentic sources for ready reference to verify their ancestral genealogy but the proceeding passage(s) are quoted to correct his understanding and knowledge about his claims. The Encyclopaedia of the World Muslims: tribes, castes and communities, volume 2 and Encyclopaedia of the Stateless Nations, Ethnic and National Groups around the world, volume II D-K have clearly described the lineal descent of the Hazaras as Mongol. Genghis Khan or the Great Khan was also born in a Mongol tribe (Herald Lamb’s book on Genghis Khan: Emperor of All Men).

The Hazaras, contrary to his views, clinched the top 11 out of 16 posts in Afghanistan’s last year’s competitive examination, which may be ascertained from the official website of the country. The writer further shows his failure to confirm the entire population of Afghanistan at present, which could have been sought through reliable literary sources.

No census has taken place in Afghanistan since 1971, hence it is difficult to verify the exact number of people living there. However, the Central Intelligence Agency’s estimate of 2001’s Afghanistan population has been quoted in Far East and Australasia 2003, p.79-84 as 26,813,057. In view of the quoted figure, all the nationalities of Afghanistan agreed at the Bonn Conference, 2002, to accept the Hazara population as 19-20 percent, which accounts for 5,362,611. It is needless to mention that the Hazaras successfully secured 54 seats in the previous general elections in Afghanistan.

The abuse of the word community for the Hazaras must be repealed as they have been officially recognised as the second largest ethnicity in Afghanistan. The writer needs to enhance his understanding of the term and in that, he could have substituted the word community with that of nation. The Hazaras have always had a pivotal role in making Afghanistan a prosperous country. Evidently, the chains of educational establishments and basic health units in Hazara-inhabited areas of the country and the inclination of people towards education have escaped the writer’s attention. Generous Hazaras living overseas finance the smooth functioning and maintenance of these facilities. Besides, Bamyan was declared the most peaceful province in Afghanistan by the UN in 2008 while over 50 percent of students studying in Kabul University are Hazaras.

Wikipedia and other reliable sources reveal that the Hazaras, before the brutal regime of Abdul Rehman in Afghanistan, constituted 65 percent of the population of the country, which, by any standards, was mammoth. However, the wars between the Hazaras and the then despot king, Abdul Rehman, culminated in the former’s ethnic cleansing and severe persecution to the extent that the captives were sold off to others as slaves. These mass-scale human rights violations also drove the Hazaras off their native land to neighbouring countries, viz. Pakistan, Iran, India and Tajikistan, etc. However, there is no credible proof to indicate that the Hazaras may have been sold to the Baloch. The writer has further attempted to oversimplify the historical details as though the Hazaras, who were sold as slaves to the Baloch, managed to develop contacts and interaction with others across the border into far-flung and dilapidated areas of central Afghanistan. It must be remembered, however, that the Hazaras were forcibly driven out of their native land at the time of war in the 1880s. As a result, the social, financial and political subjugation of the Hazaras compelled them to move to the then colonial British India. A large number of them started their lives afresh in Quetta while others moved further up towards the northern parts of India.

The writer’s erroneous information on Balochistan and the Baloch in this region portrays a vivid dichotomy between his research and analytical approach towards the subject. Never mind the Baloch origins and their migration into presently known Balochistan, but certainly most of the Baloch tribes are still living their lives as nomads in remote areas of the province, who keep travelling far across the province throughout the year. Readers are invited to ponder how the nomads could afford to bargain slaves’ rates when they themselves live below the poverty line. Similar to that, how could the enslaved Hazara boys and girls (as he claims), have developed interactions and contacts in the 1880s onwards in Afghanistan when the two Afghan ethnicities were at war? Surat Khan Marri, while writing about the extremities of the wars of the 1880s, inclines to overlook the feasibility of contacting someone hundreds of miles away or building interactions without the availability of modern telecommunication facilities.

The readers may remember that Pakistan until 1971 was run under the two units formula, which constituted the presently independent state of Bangladesh as East Pakistan and the rest of the country as West Pakistan. The four provinces in Pakistan prevailed after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.

The cognizant readers know better and shall agree with the point that the army, be it British or Pakistani, has to follow strict rules and regulations of their organisations where nepotism or favouritism bear no meaning when it comes to recruiting commissioned officers. One is also aware that until some years ago, the Inter-Services Selection Board (ISSB) maintained two-tier selection processes for all interested candidates wishing to join the Pakistan army. A regional office was set up in the province’s capital while the main offices were in Karachi/Lahore. They would recruit capable youths to serve the country as well as representing it internationally. Hazaras, having the guts and talents coupled with diligence and hard work, would be selected from Balochistan. We are proud to have produced talented people in all walks of life, including the army. The preoccupied column writer has again tried to overstep the historical facts as he deliberately blurred this episode. General Musa Khan Hazara rose to the rank of commander-in-chief in the Pakistan army, which is equivalent to the post and prestige of the chief of army staff (COAS). He is the only Balochistani who holds this honour. Sherbat Ali Changezi is the only Balochichistani army officer who rose to the rank of air marshal and fought the two wars against India in 1965 and 1971. Besides, Saira Batool is the only Balochistani Hazara female pilot in the Pakistan army who is trained to fly aircraft.

(To be continued)

The writer is a London-based freelance journalist, and the chairperson of a political organisation, known as Hazara United Movement (HUM)

Two including Imam Bargah cleric beheaded in Quetta

Published: July 11, 2012

Bodies found from Mian Gundi area, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility.

QUETTA: Two bodies, including one identified of an Imam Bargah prayer leader, have been recovered from the Mian Gundi area on the outskirts of Quetta on Wednesday.

According to the police, some people informed the police about the presence of the bodies in a mountain near Mian Gundi area. Officials rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area after discovering the bodies.

The bodies were shifted to the Bolan Medical Teaching Hospital for an autopsy.

“They were slaughtered and beheaded in a brutal manner,” hospital sources said adding that their ages ranged between 28-30 years of age.

They were identified as leader of Satellite Town Imam Bargah Maulana Nour Ali Nour and Syed Haseeb Abad Zaidi, a resident of Sirki Road, Quetta.

Sources said the men had been identified by the slips found on their bodies, in which the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for the killing.

Relatives of Haseeb told the media that he had been kidnapped from Satellite Town around 19 days ago.

“The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs1.9 million and we paid them Rs1.5 million but then they demanded a million more,” said the family.

منطقه قلعه فتوح ریشخور شهر کابل بالای

Monday, July 9, 2012

آپ ایک درزی ہیں۔۔۔


سجاد حسین چنگیزی

آخری وقت اشاعت: پير 9 جولائ 2012 ,‭ 15:41 GMT 20:41 PST


ہزارہ شیعہ کے ساتھ جو کچھ ہو رہا ہے وہ سب کے سامنے ہے

علی عباس جلالپوری کی کتاب میں ڈاکٹر سگمنڈ فرائیڈ کا ایک لطیفہ ہے ۔ ارے صاحب، یہودی فرائیڈ با لکل کافر ہے اور جنت میں بھی نہیں جائے گا (خیر جنت جانے کا اُس کافر کو چنداں شوق بھی نہیں)۔ جلالپوری صاحب سے بھی آپ کو پرخاش سہی لیکن لطیفہ سننے میں کیا حرج ہے؟

کہتے ہیں کسی زمانے میں، کسی علاقے میں کوئی قبیلہ آباد تھا جن کی وجہ شہرت اُ ن کی عدالت پسندی ، قانون پرستی اور قانون کا بے لچک نفاذ تھا۔ قانون پر عمل درآمد اُن میں اس قدر سختی سے رائج تھا کہ قبیلے کے سردار کی ذات بھی اٰس بےلچک اور بلا مصلحت نفاذ سے مبرا نہیں تھی۔ اب ہوا یہ کہ ایک دن میاں لوہار نے ایک بندہ خدا کا خون کر دیا۔سو اجلاس ہوا، کمیٹی بیٹھی، اور جیسا کہ متوقع تھا، اتفاق ِ رائے سے لوہار کو سزائے موت سنا دی گئی اور لوہار کو پھانسی دینے کے لیے ایک مخصوص دن کا انتخاب کیا گیا۔

اتفا ق دیکھئے کے جن دنوں میاں لوہار جیل کی کو ٹھڑی میں اپنی پھانسی کا انتظار کر رہے تھے، اطلاع موصول ہوئی کہ ایک اور قبیلہ حملے کی تیاری میں مصروف ہے اور عنقریب اِس قبیلے پر دھاوا بول دے گا۔

مزید پتہ چلا کی میاں لوہا ر قبیلے کے واحد لوہار رہ گئے تھے ۔ قبیلے کے سب بڑے بوڑھے ، مُلّا ، قاضی، فوجی سب ہی بڑے پریشان ہوئے ۔ ایک طرف عزّت و عصمت، قانون کی پاسداری کا سوال جو قبیلے کی امتیازی صفت اور وجہ نیک نامی تھی اور دوسری طرف جنگ کے خطرے کے پیش ِ نظر واحد لوہار کی ضرورت، جس نے تلوار ، نیزے ، بھالے اور خنجر ڈھالنے تھے۔ سب شش و پنج میں تھے کہ کیا کیا جائے؟ نظریۂ ضرورت کا سب کو شدّت سے احساس ہوا۔ لیکن قبیلے میں عقلمند لوگوں کی کمی نہ تھی سو دوبارہ مُلّا ، قاضی ، فوجی اور سردار سر جوڑ کر بیٹھے، طویل گفت و شنید ہوئی اور گھنٹوں کے سوچ بچار کے بعد فیصلہ کیا گیا کہ چونکہ قبیلے میں صرف ایک لوہار ہے جبکہ چار درزی ہیں اور پھانسی اور قانون پر عمل در آمد بھی ضروری ہے۔ لہٰذا میاں لوہار کو چھوڑ کر ایک درزی کو پھانسی پر چڑھا دیا گیا۔

جب جب نظریۂ ضرورت کی بات چلتی ہے، جب قانون پرستی، آزاد عدلیہ اور بے لچک انصاف کا چرچا ہونے لگتا ہے، تب تب مجھے یہ لطیفہ یاد آتا ہے۔

جب جب جیلوں سے ’لوہاروں‘ کو کبھی پارلیمنٹ، کبھی کسی ضروری جگہ مذاکرات اور اہم گفت و شنید کے لیے ہیلی کاپٹر میں لے جایا جاتا ہے، نہ جانے کیوں میں الماری کے اندر سے مٹّی تلے دبے جلالپوری صاحب کی اِس کتاب کو جھاڑ پُونچھ کر نکالتا ہوں۔ شاید اس لیے نہیں کہ کافر اور یہودی فرائیڈ کے اس لطیفہ سے کسی ’مومن مسلمان‘ کو کوئی نتیجہ مل سکتا ہے بلکہ ہزارہ شیعہ دوستوں سے میری بات چیت ہوتی رہتی ہے جو آج کل حیرت، وحشت اور مایوسی کے مِلے جُلے احساسات کے ساتھ بار بار پوچھتے ہیں ’آخر ہمارا قصور کیا ہے؟‘

میں صرف انھیں بتانا چاہتا ہوں کہ آپ میاں لوہار نہیں، آپ ایک ’درزی‘ ہیں!

Nawjogh Cultural program 4 of 7.f4v

Hazaragi Mongolian Song (Music defies cultural speciation)

Behind the Buddhas of Bamiyan: the other side of Afghanistan

Isabella Cookson talks to the independent documentary maker, Phil Grabsky.

by Isabella Cookson

Monday 9th July 2012, 09:26 BST


In March 2001 the world stood in shock as the Taliban destroyed the 2,000 year- old Buddhas of Bamiyan. Award winning documentary maker, Phil Grabsky, tells a different story.

Living in the caves surrounding the Buddhas lives 8-year-old Mir and his family. Grabsky’s unique documentary “The Boy Mir” tracks the life of an ordinary Afghan boy over ten years: there are no patronising voiceovers, no special effects and the family speak straight to the camera.

The project began in 2002, when Grabsky arrived in Afghanistan intent on finding out about the people behind the news coverage that so often focuses on the military attacks. “Mir, in a funny sort of way, found me. He saw me filming on my first day in Bamiyan and lent into the camera. I thought I would be making a film about an adult male but actually in Afghanistan in 2002 the men were exhausted, depressed, broke, without work, without hope and therefore there was no story to drive this along.”

There is certainly a beautiful contrast in the films between the cheeky smile of the young boy and the cynical depression of his relatives who have seen better days.

“His brother’s narrative doesn’t change over the ten years, so the film would not have been as interesting had it followed an older person. Whereas we watch Mir grow from 8-18 and watch him physically change too. He at 17 looks like most 27 year olds, he has aged a lot. If Mir gets to 45 in that culture, he’ll be lucky. There were many adventures to be played out, I had no idea that he would end up working down a mine, ploughing fields and so forth. It was scary and exciting because I didn’t know how the story would work out.”

With his co-director, Shoaib Sharifi, a film-maker and Afghan national, Grabsky committed to going to Afghanistan each year for almost a decade. I wonder what it was like to film and live there during one of the most turbulent times in its history.
The subject of Grabsky's documentary, Mir

“I personally found it scary. In a funny way, it’s not so scary when you are there, it’s scary building up to it. Deciding when it’s safer to go: I have two small children and I am putting myself at risk. I must say, there are journalists who are doing this all the time. As a filmmaker I only have to spend a few weeks of the year in Afghanistan, nothing compared to someone who goes to Libya and stays there for months on end and is actively looking for those hotspots. That said, there is a difference between perceived risk and actual risk. The perceived risk of Afghanistan is very clear: you could be kidnapped, you could be captured by the Taliban and beheaded on film; this is the perceived risk that has some basis of truth. The actual risk is very hard to judge. More people die in Britain from bad driving than from terrorism. So you have to think realistically. Afghanistan is a wonderful country, full of interesting people, great food, they are very hospitable, but there are security issues you must take very seriously.”

Grabsky did experience some very near scrapes with the Taliban, “One time we made the mistake of driving at night back to Kabul in 2003. We ran into a Taliban roadblock and I did not want to be there, my thoughts were immediately back at home with my family. But I mean, Afghans are dealing with this every single day, I was flying immediately back to London and was leaving it all behind.”

In a documentary the question of how “real” the film is is an inevitable one: something that he himself was very self-conscious of. “Everything is a choice: you have to be careful about arguing for the reality of the situation. When I’m there, it’s my choice which direction I am pointing the camera, how I’m behaving off screen is affecting the characters, right down to the editing, the music, and in the case of Mir, the translation. All these things are creative or editorial choices. It boils down to the Grierson definition of documentary films that they are “the creative treatment of actuality”. Before you do anything you have to have a sense of what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Too often documentary filmmakers rely on access: I’ve got access to an aircraft carrier or to a hospital or something. That isn’t enough- what is it that you’re trying to achieve with that access?”

Grabsky describes the film as “the most important film I have made”, referring throughout the interview to our cultural need to probe deeper into issues often casually referred to in the media. “We as a society have now invested $900 billion in the war in Afghanistan. Many people have given life and limb in Afghanistan and for us in a way. How can you not be interested to know who the Afghan people are that this fighting is happening around and for? We unfortunately live in a culture of non-thinking, lots of people drift through life without really thinking about things and aren’t that interested in Afghanistan. Personally, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be interested and if you are interested in Afghanistan then you must be interested in the Afghan people.”

The uncertainty surrounding the continued presence of British and American troops in Afghanistan has been a cause of political polemic. The current opinion seems favour withdrawal. “When people say, “Oh we’ve just got to get out of there, why do we care about the Afghan people? We just need to get the troops out.” I think it’s a selfish and naïve position, it’s much more complicated than that. You need to understand the situation before you can come to a decision on it. I watch Question Time, and I watch people talk about Afghanistan and they haven’t a clue.

“We are not persecuted here because we are of a particular religion or sex, we don’t think about it. But in Afghanistan being Shia or Hazara puts you at risk and there is nothing ignoble about us wanting to help Afghans live better lives. Much more importantly, we need to ask what is the best way to help? The answer, in my opinion is less focus on military and more focus on aid, more long term planning and less short term running around mountain ranges.

Phil Grabsky is an independent filmmaker and director of Seventh-art; find our more about his work at http://www.seventh-art.com/about.php.