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

Monday, December 31, 2012

’پاکستان میں بڑھتی ہوئی دہشتگردی نفرت انگیز‘


آخری وقت اشاعت: پير 31 دسمبر 2012 



’یہ اندوہناک دہشت گردی کے واقعات کسی کسی مقصد یا محرومی کی توجیہہ نہیں بن سکتے‘

اقوام متحدہ کے سیکرٹری جنرل بان کی مون نے پاکستان میں دہشت گردی کے بڑھتے ہوئے واقعات ’نفرت انگیز‘ قرار دیا ہے۔

اقوام متحدہ کے سربراہ نے بیان میں اتوار کے روز پشاور کے نزدیک ایک چیک پوائنٹ سے اغوا کیے گئے اکیس نیم فوجی اہلکاروں اور صوبہ بلوچستان کے علاقے میں مستونگ میں انیس شیعہ زائرین کی ہلاکت کی مذمت کی۔

بان کی مون کے ترجمان مارٹن نیسرکی کا کہنا ہے کہ سیکرٹری جنرل نے خاص طور پر پاکستان میں کلِکاقلیتوں کے خلاف دہشت گردی کی کارروائیوں کی مذمت کی ہے۔

ترجمان کے مطابق انہوں نے پشاور کے نزدیک سے اغوا کیے گئےکلِکاکیس نیم فوجی اہلکاروں کی شدت پسندوں کے ہاتھوں ہلاکت کی بھی سخت الفاظ میں مذمت کی ہے۔

بیان میں کہا گیا ہے ’یہ اندوہناک دہشت گردی کے واقعات کسی کسی مقصد یا محرومی کی توجیح نہیں بن سکتے۔ ایسی کارروائیوں میں ملوث افراد کو انصاف کے کٹہرے میں لایا جائے۔‘

اقوام متحدہ کے سیکرٹری جنرل نے حکومتِ پاکستان اور عوام کو یقین دلایا کہ عالمی تنظیم ان کے ساتھ ہے اور ’اداروں اور آزادی کو دہشت گردی کے نرغے سے بچانے کی تمام کاوشوں کی حمایت کرتی ہے‘۔

واضح رہے کہ جمعرات کو پشاور کے نزدیک ماشو خیل میں ایک چیک پوائنٹ سے اغوا کیے جانے والے اکیس نیم فوجی اہلکاروں کو شدت پسندوں نے اتوار کے روز گولیاں مار کر ہلاک کر دیا تھا۔

پاکستانی حکام کے مطابق پشاور سے تقریباً چالیس کلومیٹر دور جنوب کی جانب نیم قبائلی علاقے حسن خیل سے اکیس لیویز اہلکاروں کی لاشیں ملی تھیں۔

تحریک طالبان پاکستان درہ آدم خیل کے ترجمان محمد نےایک نامعلوم مقام سے فون کر کے ان اہلکاروں کی ہلاکت کی ذمہ داری قبول کی اور بتایا کہ یہ مولانا گل نصیب، عبدالحمید، فیصل اور پیر صاحب کی مبینہ طور پر زیر حراست ہلاکت کا بدلہ تھا۔

اتوار ہی کے روز صوبہ بلوچستان کے علاقے مستونگ میں شیعہ زائرین کی بسوں پر کار بم حملے کے نتیجے میں انیس افراد ہلاک اور پچیس زخمی ہوگئے تھے۔

صوبہ بلوچستان میں شیعہ مسلک سے تعلق رکھنے والے افراد کی ٹارگٹ کلنگ میں کافی اضافہ ہوا ہے۔

بی بی سی ; حمله انتحاری به یک اتوبوس زائران در پاکستان


Sunday, December 30, 2012




A story of the ‘others’: Hazara Shias lose all hope in Pakistan

By Farahnaz Zahidi
Published: December 31, 2012


Muslim groups demonstrate against the Taliban killings of Shias in Pakistan December 7, 2012 during the "10,000 Souls March" in New York. PHOTO: AFP
KARACHI:

Shabana Khan* speaks from behind a screen put up to protect her identity at a recent women’s assembly. I cannot see her. I do not know what her age is. I have no way of observing her non-verbal communication. But what I do know is that this is a person in pain. Intense pain has resulted in eloquence as well as a defiant, almost rebellious fearlessness. She is a young woman from the Shia Hazara community and lives in Quetta. This is an excerpt of the story she tells of herself and her community:

Death is waiting around the corner. Before that, I must share what it means to be a Shia Hazara. Today, I am going to share a bit of my story – the story of me and my people. When one of us comes in front of you, you mostly label us Chinese or Korean. Our complexions are not like yours, neither is our race or genetic composition. We are the ‘others’. And our pain is that of the others. We are Pakistanis but not considered a part of you. Very few will raise their voice for us, even when 27 of us are taken off a bus and are shot and killed just because we are Shias. Just because we have Mongol-like features. Just because we migrated here from Afghanistan.

What is our crime, I still don’t understand. We pay taxes. We make useful things out of spare parts. We want to be peaceful contributors towards the progress of our country, Pakistan. We dream of a beautiful Pakistan where all sects and ethnicities work together towards a common goal.

But what is the reality? How many of you can relate to 5 dead bodies being taken out of a house – father, brothers, sons. What do the women of that house go through? What is the future of these women? Of the Shia Hazara women? When they step outside the four walls of their homes once the men have been slaughtered, to earn a living because they have no other choice, vultures start circling. These are men who have been directly or indirectly responsible for lifting the roof off their heads. Responsible for killing the men in their lives. They offer help to these women in exchange for not cash but kind. I am one of those women.

As a girl from the Shia Hazara community, I know my life is forever at risk which is why I am hidden behind a screen for my safety as I speak to you. But trust me when I say that if tomorrow I am killed, my death will not make newspaper news unless a mass massacre happens. Most killings of my community don’t make it to national news.

Why do you take each other’s pictures? Mementos? We, the Hazaras, now photograph each other knowing that probably these photographs, especially of our men, will be placed on their dead bodies during their funeral. The area of the Ganj-e-Shuhada graveyard for the Hazara community is being extended. More dead than alive. And the rest a community of the living dead…constantly living in a state of fear.... Continue Reading....

BBC; Blast in southwest Pakistan kills Shia pilgrims

Pakistan militants kill 41 in mass execution, attack on Shiites

BY JIBRAN AHMAD, DECEMBER 30 2012


Emergency personnel remove burnt human remains from the scene on a stretcher, after a car bomb targeting buses carrying Shia Muslim pilgrims, exploded in Quetta on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS

PESHWAR — Pakistani militants, who have escalated attacks in recent weeks, killed at least 41 people in two separate incidents, officials said on Sunday, challenging assertions that military offensives have broken the back of hardline Islamist groups.

The US has long pressured nuclear-armed ally Pakistan to crack down harder on both homegrown militants groups such as the Taliban and others which are based on its soil and attack Western forces in Afghanistan.

In the north, 21 men working for a government-backed paramilitary force were executed overnight after they were kidnapped last week, a provincial official said.

Twenty Shiite pilgrims died and 24 were wounded, meanwhile, when a car bomb targeted their bus convoy as it headed toward the Iranian border in the southwest, a doctor said.

New York-based Human Rights Watch has noted more than 320 Shias killed this year in Pakistan and said attacks were on the rise. It said the government’s failure to catch or prosecute attackers suggested it was "indifferent" to the killings.

Pakistan, seen as critical to US efforts to stabilise the region before Nato forces withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, denies allegations that it supports militant groups like the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network.

Afghan officials say Pakistan seems more genuine than ever about promoting peace in Afghanistan.

At home, it faces a variety of highly lethal militant groups that carry out suicide bombings, attack police and military facilities and launch sectarian attacks like the one on the bus in the southwest.

Witnesses said a blast targeted their three buses as they were overtaking a car about 60km west of Quetta, capital of sparsely populated Baluchistan province.

"The bus next to us caught on fire immediately," said pilgrim Hussein Ali, 60. "We tried to save our companions, but were driven back by the intensity of the heat." Twenty people had been killed and 24 wounded, said an official at Mastung district hospital.

Pakistan’s Taliban have carried out a series of recent bold attacks, as military officials point to what they say is a power struggle in the group’s leadership revolving around whether it should ease attacks on the Pakistani state and join groups fighting US-led forces in Afghanistan.

The Taliban denies a rift exists among its leaders.

In the attack in the northwest, officials said they had found the bodies of 21 men kidnapped from their checkpoints outside the provincial capital of Peshawar on Thursday. The men were executed one by one.

"They were tied up and blindfolded," Naveed Anwar, a senior administration official, said by telephone.

"They were lined up and shot in the head," said Habibullah Arif, another local official, also by telephone.

One man was shot and seriously wounded but survived, the officials said. He was in critical condition and being treated at a local hospital. Another had escaped before the shootings.

Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan claimed responsibility for the attacks.

"We killed all the kidnapped men after a council of senior clerics gave a verdict for their execution. We didn’t make any demand for their release because we don’t spare any prisoners who are caught during fighting," he said.

The powerful military has clawed back territory from the Taliban, but the kidnap and executions underline the insurgents’ ability to mount high-profile, deadly attacks in major cities.

This month, suicide bombers attacked Peshawar’s airport on Dec 15 and a bomb killed a senior Pashtun nationalist politician and eight other people at a rally on Dec 22.

Reuters

کچھ نہیں ہوگا


Saturday 29 December 2012


ہزارہ کا ایک نوجوان اپنے رشتے دار کی ہلاکت پر رورہا ہے — رایئٹرز فوٹو

علمدار روڈ سے پورا شہر پار کرنے کے بعد ہم ہزارہ ٹاؤن پہنچے۔ یہ قصبہ باقی ماندہ شہر سے جیسے کٹا ہوا ہے۔ راستے میں ایک پل، ایک لمبی سڑک اور بے تحاشا خشمگین نگاہیں تھیں۔ کوئٹہ میں ہزارہ قوم دو جگہ آ باد ہے۔ ایک آبادی چھاؤنی کے پاس ہے اور دوسری شہر کے پار۔ ہزارہ ٹاؤن ہر حال سے پسماندگی کی ایک داستان ہے۔ اکھڑی ہوئی سڑکیں، ٹوٹے پھوٹے گھر، ٹاٹ کے پردے اور اندر مسافر خانوں جیسی زندگی، جسے یہ لوگ چند کپڑوں اور چند برتنوں کے ساتھ گزار رہے ہیں۔

ہم ہزارہ کے بارے میں کھوجتے کھوجتے فریدون تک پہنچے تھے۔ روز زندگی کی بازی کھیلنے اور تقریبا ہر روز ہی ہار جانے والے یہ لوگ بقا کی بڑی مستقل مزاج خواہش رکھتے ہیں۔ جس طرح لاکھ کوشش کے باوجود پکی اینٹوں کے بیچ کوئی نہ کوئی بوٹی سر اٹھا ہی لیتی ہے، بالکل ویسے ہی بم دھماکوں،اغوا اور قتل و غارت گری کے باوجود یہ لوگ خوشی کا سامان کر ہی لیتے ہیں۔ کسی نے بتایا کہ یہ بچہ موسیقی کی خاصی شدھ بدھ رکھتا ہے اور بہت عمدہ کی بورڈ بجاتا ہے۔

ڈھونڈھتے ڈھونڈھتے ننھے فنکار کے گھر پہنچے تو پتہ چلا کہ ہمارے مقدر میں صرف اس کا فن نہیں بلکہ ان لوگوں کی مہمان نوازی بھی ہو گی۔ یہ شاید یہاں کا آخری گھر تھا اور گھر کیا تھا، غربت کی ایک تصویر تھی۔ صاف ستھرا آنگن، کونے میں چند بالٹیاں، جن میں شاید پانی تک کہیں سے لایا گیا تھا اور ایک تیتر کا پنجرہ۔ کچی اینٹوں کے فرش سے دائیں مڑیں تو مہمان خانہ تھا۔

کچھ ہی دیر میں چھوٹا سا کمرہ دس کے قریب لوگوں سے بھر گیا۔ کھانا چننے کا منظر بالکل قصے کہانیوں ایسا تھا۔ پہلے چاندنی بچھی، پھر برتن چنے گئے۔ اس کے بعد ایک برتن میں گرم پانی اور ایک چلمچی میں ہاتھ دھلوائے گئے۔ پہلی بار اندازہ ہوا کہ ایرانی تہذیب میں نفاست کا کیا لطف ہے۔ کھانے کے بعد قہوے کا دور چلا اور اس دوران فریدون نے اپنا کی بورڈ لگا لیا۔

کمرے میں شوخ پردوں کے علاوہ، اس کے بھائی کی تصویر بھی لگی تھی۔ ایک طرف فارسی میں صبر کی تاکید تھی اور ایک دیوار پہ افغانستان کا مقتول صدر نجیب مسکرا رہا تھا۔ یہ خاندان اس وقت افغانستان سے اٹھ آیا جب طالبان نے ان پہ زندگی تنگ کر دی۔ جو بال تک نہیں کاٹنے دیتے وہ بھلا خوش رہنے کی اجازت کیونکر دیتے۔ سو سب مال اسباب بیچ کر یہ لوگ پاکستان آ گئے اور کوئٹہ میں از سر نو زندگی کا آغاز کیا۔ فریدون کے باپ نے ایک سی ڈی اور کیسٹ کی دوکان کھول لی۔ کمرے میں پھیلی سرخوشی اس بات کی غماز تھی کہ یہاں رہنے والوں نے اچھا وقت دیکھا ہے۔

بچے نے گانا شروع کیا تو وقت واقعی رک گیا۔ اس کی مشتاق انگلیاں سر کا سفر طے کر رہی تھیں اور سننے والے دم بخود تھے۔ کومل تیور کی تانیں اور فارسی کے الفاظ اپنا جادو جگا رہے تھے اور اپنی بچی کھچی متاع جاں لپیٹنے کے بارے میں فریدوں گا رہا تھا

عزیزم قدر ے یک دیگر می داند
اجل سنگ است و آدم مثل شیشہ است ۔۔۔۔۔ جدائی مستقل غم است
دوستو ایک دوسرے کی قدر کرو،
موت ایک پتھر ہے اور آدمی بس ایک شیشے کی مانند ہے، جدائی مستقل غم ہے

ہم نے ساری یادیں اپنے کیمرے میں قید کیں اور واپس آ گئے۔ زندگی چونکہ ہر دم اپنی مصروفیات بکھیرتی رہتی ہے سو فریدون بھی آہستہ آہستہ ہمارے ذہنوں سے محو ہو گیا۔ کچھ دن تک وہ آخری منظر ہمارے زہنوں میں رہا جس میں دروازے سے نکلتے وقت اس کے چچا کے منت زدہ الفاظ سنائی دئیے۔ صاحب ۔وہ فریدون کے بابا کی دکان بہت دنوں سے بند ہے۔ ان لوگوں نے دھمکی دیا ہے کہ دوکان کھولا تو جان سے مار دیں گے۔ آپ دیکھو نا کہیں کوئی شو مل جائے۔۔ فریدون کو پڑھنے کا بہت شوق ہے صاحب۔

جس دن کوئٹہ میں پہلی بار برف گری اس رات اس کے چچا کا فون آیا اور انہوں نے بتایا کہ صحابہ کے سپاہیوں نے فریدون پے حملہ کیا ہے۔ ہو سکتا ہے وہ ایرانیوں سے قادسیہ کی جنگ کا بدلہ لے رہے ہوں مگر یہ لوگ تو حضرت علی کی ایک چٹھی پہ مسلمان ہو گئے تھے، عین ممکن ہے کہ حملہ آور جھنگ کے کسی لشکر کے لوگ ہوں جو اسلام کی خاطر فریدون کو مارنے آئے تھے اور جنہیں جھنگ سے کوئٹہ کے اس سات سو اکسٹھ کلومیٹر لمبے راستے میں کوئی غیر شرعی چیز نظر نہیں آئی۔

جب تک ہم اس کے گھر پہنچے، فریدون کی آنکھ سوج کے ایک طرف ڈھلک چکی تھی۔ ساری رات باہر برف گرتی رہی اور اندر فریدون کی ماں اس کی آنکھ پہ پٹیاں کرتی رہی۔ اگلے دن میں نے فریدون کے چچا کو فون کیا تو اس کے موبائل پہ مجھے پنجابی کی نعت سنائی دی۔ مجھے مٹھی، تھرپارکر میں ملنے والا انیل کمار یاد آ گیا جو ہندو ہونے کے با وجود ہر جملے میں دو بار الحمدللہ کہتا اور اپنی کالونی کے خاکروب کی آوازیں بھی پڑیں. جس نے بچوں کے نام اسلم اور اکرم رکھ چھوڑے تھے۔

فریدون کے بارے میں لکھنے سے پہلے میں نے بہت سوچا۔۔ کیا اس طرح اس کی جان خطرے میں تو نہیں پڑ جائے گی۔ کیا ملالہ کی طرح فریدون بھی ایجنٹ تو نہیں ٹھیرے گا یا جو تھوڑی بہت زندگی کی رمق فریدون کے گھر میں باقی ہے وہ کیا وہ رہ پائے گی۔ مگر خاموش لوگوں کے اس ہجوم میں مجھے اس کی پر عزم آ واز سنائی دی۔ اپنی ٹوٹی پھوٹی فارسی نما اردو میں فریدون بولا صاحب لکھو، کچھ نہیں ہوگا۔

مصنف وفاقی ملازم ہیں۔

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bomb attack on pilgrim buses kills 20, injures several in Mastung

By Web Desk
Published: December 30, 2012


Witnesses claim it was a suicide blast.

MASTUNG: At least 20 people were killed while several others were injured in a blast near three buses carrying pilgrims in Mastung, Express News reported on Sunday.

Witnesses claim it was a suicide blast.

Three pilgrims’ buses were en route to Quetta from Taftan when the explosion took place, destroying one bus and damaging the other.

Witnesses said that a car slammed into the bus in the middle, which was carrying 45 passengers, blowing it up and destroying it.

The injured were shifted to hospitals in Mastung and Quetta.

Levies personnel cordoned off the area.

A day earlier, six people were killed while at least 50 people, including three women and two children were injured when a bus blew up near Cantonment Railway Station in Karachi.

Earlier this year, a blast in the Hazarganji area of Quetta targeted a bus carrying pilgrims from Taftan to the provincial capital, killing 14 people and injuring 30.

Note: This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.

مستونگ: زائرین کی بسوں پر حملہ، دس ہلاک


اتوار 30 دسمبر 2012,


یہ واقعہ مستونگ کے علاقے درینگڑھ میں پیش آیا۔ مستونگ کوئٹہ سے پینتیس کلومیٹر دور ہے (فائل فوٹو)

پاکستان کے صوبہ بلوچستان کے علاقے مستونگ میں شیعہ مسلک سے تعلق رکھنے والے زائرین کی بسوں کو نشانہ بنایا گیا ہے جس کے نتیجے میں کم از کم دس افراد ہلاک ہوئے ہیں۔

ابتدائی اطلاعات کے مطابق ان بسوں کو بم دھماکے سے نشانہ بنایا گیا۔ اس واقعے میں تین افراد ہلاک اور متعدد زخمی ہوئے ہیں۔

یہ واقعہ مستونگ کے علاقے درینگڑھ میں پیش آیا۔ مستونگ کوئٹہ سے پینتیس کلومیٹر دور ہے۔

یہ تین بسیں تفتان سے کوئٹہ آ رہی تھیں جب ان کو نشانہ بنایا گیا۔

سرکاری ٹی وی چینل پی ٹی وی کے مطابق اس حملے میں کم از کم دس افراد ہلاک ہوئے ہیں۔

ایک عینی شاہد وزیر خان نے بی بی سی کو بتایا کہ ایک بس مکمل طور پر جل گئی ہے۔ تاہم ان کا کہنا تھا کہ اس وقت یہ معلوم نہیں کہ اس بس میں کتنے لوگ سوار تھے۔

عینی شاہد نے کہا کہ ایسا لگتا ہے کہ کار بم حملہ کیا گیا ہے کیونکہ ایک چھوٹی گاڑی کا انجن بھی جائے حادثہ پر پڑا ہوا ہے۔

یاد رہے کہ کوئٹہ میں زائرین کی بسوں کو کئی بار نشانہ بنایا جا چکا ہے۔ اور یہ حملے زیادہ تر مستونگ ہی کے علاقے میں 
کیے جاتے ہیں۔

Bomb targeting Shiites kills 4 in Pakistan

BY RIAZ KHAN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

QUETTA, Pakistan -- A government official says a bomb has struck a pair of buses carrying Shiite Muslim pilgrims in southwest Pakistan, killing four people.

Zubair Ahmed said the attack Sunday in Baluchistan province's Mastung district wounded another 15 people, including three women. The bomb was strapped to a motorcycle and detonated by remote control. One bus was almost completely destroyed. The other was damaged.

Ahmed said the buses were coming from neighboring Iran, a majority Shiite country and popular destination for religious pilgrims.

Pakistan has experienced a spike in killings over the last year by radical Sunni Muslims targeting Shiites who they consider heretics. Many attacks have occurred in Baluchistan, believed to be a hiding place for senior Afghan Taliban commanders and also the site of a decades-long insurgency by nationalists.

COMMENT : Eradicating ‘impurities’: focus on the Hazaras — Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed

According to Human Rights Watch, more than 800 Hazaras have been killed since 2001, but the local sources show that almost 1,000 have died with 3,000 suffering injuries

The hallmark of a fascist ideology is its rejection of any deviation from whatever is considered pure and unadulterated. Pakistan’s special variety of fascism is associated with the Taliban mentality. Another man has been set ablaze, this time in Sindh, by a mob gone berserk because he allegedly burnt a copy of the Quran. Even the Nazis could learn a skill or two how to extend the ambit of a killing spree to polio vaccination female workers on grounds that they were injecting poison that would transform infants into agents of US imperialism. A Swedish social worker, Sister Birgitta Alemby, 72, who had been for 39 years working with the education of orphaned girls in my native Lahore was shot in the chest by the Taliban on December 3 and expired on December 13. For her assailants she was a ‘legitimate target’ because she was a Christian, a foreigner, and was helping underprivileged females with education.

Sister Alemby’s death is part of ongoing vicious attacks on Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis, each a tiny minority. The Munir Report found evidence that implicated, besides sectarian groups, even key Punjab leaders of the Muslim League in the violent anti-Ahmadiyya riots of 1953. In 1945-46, the same Muslim League had demonised and dehumanised Hindus and Sikhs; then they turned their guns on Ahmadis. Sectarian literature was available in abundance on both Ahmadi and mainstream Muslim sides against one another and only needed an occasion to be ignited. It was revived later when the Ahmadis were declared as non-Muslims in 1974. Thus, the state did away with any pretence to neutrality on matters of belief and under General Ziaul Haq the blasphemy law and other discriminatory edicts established a full-fledged basis for discrimination.

Despite the growth of such tendencies in the constitutional and legal systems of Pakistan, the Shias continued to be regarded as Muslims, and legally that situation has not changed even now, but from the 1990 onwards Shia-Sunni terrorism wrecked many lives. On both sides, highly inflammatory literature existed and all that was needed was to invoke it to justify violence and terrorism against the enemy group. The Sunnis obviously had the upper hand and allegations exist that they also enjoy the patronage of some agencies.

However, for some time now violence against Shias has concentrated on the most vulnerable group: the hardworking, educated, and very cultured Hazara minority. On December 1, 2012, the Hazara community in Sweden organised a meeting in Gothenburg (Göteborg in Swedish), Sweden’s second largest city, to draw attention to the genocide going on against them in Pakistan. Because of their distinctly Mongoloid ethnicity, the Hazaras are easily identifiable. Approximately one million live in Pakistan, of which around 0.5 million live in two distinct enclaves: Mehrabad (eastern Quetta adjacent to Quetta Cantonment) and Hazara Town (western Quetta adjacent to the international highway, which is the NATO supply route). The rest also are found in Hyderabad, Sindh, Karachi, Peshawar and Parachinar.

The journey from Stockholm to Gothenburg took several hours as I travelled by car with some Hazaras. Our conversation was an eye-opener. Later, during the meeting attended by hundreds of Hazaras and some Swedish sympathizers, more facts emerged. Originally belonging to Afghanistan, they were forcibly expelled in the 19th century by Amir Abdur Rahman from Afghanistan. Contrary to popular belief, the fact that they are Shias did not mean that they were welcomed in the neighbouring Iran; on the contrary they were treated as a pariah people by the Aryan-minded Persians who treated them as an inferior race.

Hazara killing began in 1999. The former education minister, Sardar Nisar Ali Hazara, was fired upon outside the Balochistan Assembly building. He survived but his guards died. The onslaught escalated in 2001 but dramatically increased in 2008 after the Balochistan Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leader Usman Saifullah Kurd and Shafiq-ur-Rahman, convicted for killing 53 people, escaped from a high security jail in Quetta Cantonment.

According to Human Rights Watch, more than 800 Hazaras have been killed since 2001, but the local sources show that almost 1,000 have died with 3,000 suffering injuries. More than 350 people have died since 2010 alone. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has reported that 300 Hazaras drowned in the Pacific Ocean while trying to escape to Australia by boat. Thousands have headed elsewhere in Europe and North America in search of safe havens.

Not surprisingly, there are economic reasons too for targeting the Hazaras. They were getting economically strong due to remittances flowing into Quetta from the Hazara diaspora. The Hazaras are not only better educated as an ethnic group than others in Balochistan, they have been successful in setting up businesses and enterprises. Liquidation attacks from 2010 to 2012 indicate that most of the targets were Hazara traders and businessmen. A fact-finding report about Balochistan by the HRCP released on August 30, 2012 found that Hazaras have been already uprooted from Machh, Loralai and Zhob cities of Balochistan. The report notes, “It seems a campaign has been launched to terrorise the Hazara community so that they leave Quetta by selling their businesses and property at throwaway prices. Pamphlets have been left at their homes telling them to sell their houses and leave.” I do not want to emphasise too much that in 1947 too religious differences and the better economic position of the Hindus and Sikhs were factors that rendered them a target.

However, at that time there was a breakdown of law and order because the colonial state disappeared and the two administrations let ethnic cleansing take place before things returned to ‘normal’. Although Balochistan is disturbed, the authorities can and must strive to bring to an end the persecution of the Hazaras.

The writer has a PhD from Stockholm University. He is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. His latest publication is The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First-Person Accounts (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2012; New Delhi: Rupa Books, 2011). He can be reached at billumian@gmail.com

Friday, December 28, 2012

In pictures: Afghanistan's 'safest province'

Bamiyan may not be wracked by violence, but it continues to suffer from poverty and years of underdevelopment.

Ali M Latifi and Abasin Azarm Last Modified: 28 Dec 2012 12:34

Ringed by snow-covered mountains, Bamiyan has often been called Afghanistan's "safest" province.

Its roads, paved for the first time in the central province's history, make Bamiyan's natural beauty and historical artifacts more accessible than ever. In interviews with Al Jazeera, residents of Bamiyan city and mountainside villages alike spoke proudly of their province's safety compared to the rest of the nation.

But despite Bamiyan's relative safety, poverty remains rampant. Nearly 70 percent of the province's roughly 418,000 people live on less than $25 per month.

"We continue to struggle, so many people are without jobs," said 19-year-old Zahra in Bamiyan city's Titanic Market area.

The winter's snow brings with it a host of economic and health problems. Though paved roads now stretch from the provincial capital into the mountainsides, Zahra says streets within the province's snow-covered villages remain unpaved dirt. As temperatures drop, the harsh winter in Bamiyan puts much of the population at risk of malnutrition.

In December, the first commercial flights to Bamiyan hoped to bring tourists from Japan and China to ski the mountains, climb the cliffs that housed what were once the world's largest free-standing Buddhas, and visit the picturesque "red city" of Shahr-e-Zohak.

But several hotels in Bamiyan city are closing for the winter because their pipes have frozen over, and the annual snow adds yet another difficulty for the struggling economy. Last year, a mere 2,500 Afghan tourists and 1,000 foreign tourists visited the province which is home to Afghanistan's first national park.

Locals have tried their best to boost tourism. For instance, in a bid to bring the skiing industry into their province, merchants in Bamiyan have made skis from wooden planks and leather straps.

And Gholam Sakhi, a 42-year-old tour guide, escorts hundreds of people up rocky cliff sides to see where Bamiyan's gargantuan stone Buddha statues once stood, before they were dynamited by the Taliban in 2001. Sakhi proudly offers to take pictures as tourists pose along the thin railing outside the caves where the statues once stood.

But development remains slow, and many in Bamiyan see a conundrum. Billions of dollars in foreign aid have been funneled into Afghanistan's much more dangerous eastern and southern provinces. "Perhaps if we blow something up, the world will pay attention to us," many in the province told Al Jazeera.... Click to See Pictures.... 

Afghanistan's Hazara Minority Outraged By Science Academy Insults


A Hazara laborer in Kabul's old quarter. Hazaras are generally considered to comprise the third-largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, about the same as ethnic Uzbeks.

By Abubakar Siddique

July 03, 2012
Documenting Afghanistan's diverse ethnic makeup would seem like an innocent enough endeavor, but a recent attempt has left a team of academics facing possible criminal charges. 

The source of the problem is the innocuously named "Ethnographic Atlas of Non-Pashtun Ethnic Groups of Afghanistan," published in June by the government-appointed Academy of Sciences Afghanistan.

Certain passages have Afghanistan's Hazara minority seeing red.

"The Hazaras are liars, dishonest, and unreliable people," reads one passage cited by the "Daily Outlook Afghanistan" newspaper. "[The] bodies of their women are hairless except on the head. The Hazaras are the sons of Mongol Khans living in the mountains of Afghanistan. These people [know] nothing except fighting."

The newspaper goes on to report that the book, which RFE/RL was unable to independently obtain, describes the Hazaras as "rafizi" -- worse than infidels.

The resulting outcry from Hazara politicians was enough to prompt President Hamid Karzai to step in. In mid-June, Karzai banned the atlas, dismissed four academics from the Academy of Sciences, and ordered an investigation into their reasons for publishing the comments.

The four now face possible criminal charges for stoking ethnic tensions, pending the findings of a lengthy questionnaire they have been asked to fill out.....Continue Reading.... 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

سفاک فرقہ پرست دہشتگرد ہزارہ قوم کے افراد کو چُن چُن کر مار رہے ہیں، ہزارہ ڈیموکریٹک پارٹی


اسلام ٹائمز: ایک بیان میں کہا گیا ہے کہ فرقہ واریت کے نام پر خفیہ اداروں، سیکورٹی ایجنسیوں اور صوبائی حکومت کے بااثر وزراء کی سرپرستی میں ہزارہ قوم کی نسل کشی کی جارہی ہے۔

اسلام ٹائمز۔ ہزارہ ڈیموکریٹک پارٹی کی جانب سے جاری ایک بیان میں ھزار گنجی ٹرک اڈے پر بے گناہ مزدور غلام رسول کو ٹارگٹ کرکے شہید کرنے کے واقعہ کو فرقہ واریت کے نام پر خفیہ اداروں، سیکورٹی ایجنسیوں اور صوبائی حکومت کے با اثر وزراء کی سرپرستی میں شیعہ ہزارہ قوم کی نسل کشی کا تسلسل قرار دیتے ہوئے اسکی شدید الفاظ میں مذمت کی گئی ہے۔ بیان میں کہا گیا کہ جس تواتر اور انتہائی بے رحمی کا مظاہرہ کرتے ہوئے سفاک فرقہ پرست دہشت گرد کوئٹہ میں شیعہ ہزارہ قوم کے افراد کو چُن چُن کر مار رہے ہیں، اس سے قانون نافذ کرنیوالے اداروں کی ناکامی و نااہلی واضح طور پر ظاہر ہو رہی ہے۔ بیان میں کہا گیا کہ قانون نافذ کرنیوالے اداروں کی طرف سے فرقہ پرست دہشت گردوں کے خلاف کارروائی سے گریز کا عمل واضح کرتا ہے کہ ان دہشت گردوں کو بااثر قوتوں کی سرپرستی حاصل ہے۔ جو آزادی کے ساتھ پورے شہر میں بربریت کا مظاہرہ کرکے بے گناہ افراد کے قتل عام کے بعد اطمینان کے ساتھ فرار ہونے میں کامیاب ہوجاتے ہیں۔ 

بیان میں بے گناہ انسانوں کے قتل عام کو ناقابل قبول قرار دیتے ہوئے واضح کیا گیا کہ صوبے میں کسی کی اجارہ داری اور بدمعاشی کو قبول نہیں کریں گے۔ باہمی احترام و رواداری پر یقین رکھتے ہیں لیکن حکومت اور قانون نافذ کرنیوالے اداروں پر بے گناہ عوام کے قتل عام کرنیوالے قوتوں کے خلاف کارروائی کرنے کیلئے آخر دم تک جمہوری جدوجہد کے ذریعے دباو ڈٓلتے رہینگے۔ بیان میں غلام رسول کے قاتلوں کی فوری گرفتاری، عوام کے جان و مال کو مکمل تحفظ فراہم کرنے اور فرقہ 
پرست دہشت گردوں کی سرپرستی ختم کرکے ان کے خلاف ٹارگٹڈ آپریشن کے ذریعے انکے خاتمہ کا مطالبہ کیا گیا۔

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The year belonged to the Taliban



If it were a boxing bout, the year 2012 would belong to the Taliban and the militants. In the ongoing civil war in Pakistan that left almost 6,000 dead this year, 1,100 more civilians and members of the security forces have died in violence than the militants.

2012 is the second year in a row when the Taliban and militants of other stripes have inflicted more harm on civilians and security forces than they themselves have suffered. In 2011 alone, 1.3 civilians or members of the security forces died in violence for every militant killed. In the gory calculus of violence, the Taliban have emerged victorious by piling up the dead faster and higher than the State apparatus.

In the last few remaining days of this year many in Pakistan wonder if the new year will bring more of the same where, despite the sincere efforts of some institutions of the State, the militants would continue to strike with impunity. While the death toll continues to rise in Pakistan, claiming the lives of politicians, police, and the sectarian minorities, many wonder when will the Parliament, the Supreme Court, and the intelligence agencies start working in unison to stem the tide of extremism, which is likely to devour the society after it wrestles the State into submission.

The 6000-odd violent deaths in 2012 put Pakistan amongst the most violent and volatile places in the world. This distinction is not earned for a relatively high rate of violence. Even some advanced economies experience high frequency of violence. Consider that in 2011 alone, 13,913 murders took place in the US. Why then should one be alarmed about Pakistan?...... Continue Reading.... 

Asylum-seeker finally realises disrupted sporting dreams in peace


BY:NICOLAS PERPITCH 
December 27, 2012 12:00AM

FORMER Afghan asylum-seeker Hussain Sadiqi has won a gold medal in kung fu at an international martial arts competition, 13 years after his dream of competing on the world stage was dashed when his then Taliban-ruled homeland was banned from the Sydney Olympics.

A Hazara refugee living in Perth, he now plans to start a non-government organisation to promote education and sport in remote areas of Afghanistan, starting in Hazara-majority Bamyan province.

"When I left Afghanistan, my journey was one of freedom and I travelled to find my freedom, but my journey back to Afghanistan is one of hope, especially for young people," he said.

Sadiqi, 33, outperformed his younger competitors and impressed the judges with his kung fu technique at the 69-nation World Martial Arts Festival on the Iranian island of Kish in the Persian Gulf in October, and has just returned from touring Europe with a solo "standard form" demonstration of ability rather than combat against an opponent.

The former Afghan national champion represented his Perth-based Shaolin kung fu school, not the Australian national team.

Sadiqi left his village in Afghanistan's Oruzgan province and arrived by boat at Ashmore Reef in 1999 before being sent to the Port Hedland detention centre for six months, until he was released on a temporary protection visa.

Local Afghans put him in touch with the Northern Alliance-staffed Afghan embassy in Canberra and he was asked to compete in taekwondo for the Afghan team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Days before the games started, the International Olympic Committee banned Afghan athletes because the Taliban, which controlled most of Afghanistan, would not let women compete.

Sadiqi said the Australian team had been interested in recruiting him a year or two later but he could not compete because he was not a permanent resident.

He was then sidelined from trying out for the 2004 Athens Olympics because of injury.

He had planned to attend the World Martial Arts Festival in Iran as a spectator but a friend convinced him to come out of retirement to prove he could compete at an international level, despite his past disappointments.

"Every time I tried to do it, there were always problems because I came from Afghanistan. But now I live in Australia, a civilised country, and I have the opportunity to do that," he said.

Travelling in Europe, Sadiqi met with Hazaras from different countries, including unaccompanied minors in detention centres in Holland and Turkey, whom he told, "It doesn't matter if you're a refugee because you now live in a country of peace and can reach your dream".

No silver lining

From the Newspaper

THE celebrations that mark Christmas and the Quaid-i-Azam’s birthday this time of year are also a reminder of Pakistan’s failure to rein in the religious intolerance Mr Jinnah advocated against. In 2012 an extermination campaign targeting Hazaras and other Shias took hold from Karachi and Quetta to Kohistan, Mansehra and Gilgit-Baltistan. The peaceful Bohra community was targeted in attacks that were perhaps the first of their kind. Mobs egged on by irresponsible clerics demanded that victims of indefensible blasphemy allegations be handed over to be murdered without trials. While stories of the mass migration of Hindus to India may have been exaggerated, the community complained of discrimination and forced conversions. Churches and Christian homes continued to be attacked and the Rimsha Masih blasphemy case turned out to be linked to a broader campaign to rid her area of Christian families. This month alone saw the razing of a Hindu temple in Karachi, the desecration of Ahmadi graves in Lahore and the lynching of a man accused of blasphemy in Dadu. Decades after being founded as a country in which each individual was meant to have the right to follow his or her chosen beliefs, Pakistan has failed to treat religious minorities as equal citizens of the state.

Nor is the intolerance limited to minorities. A broader divide has also taken root in Pakistan — thatbetween peaceful religiosity and an extremism that violently opposes any practice it doesn’t believe in. Those behind the attacks on polio workers, Malala Yousafzai and Bashir Ahmed Bilour are out to annihilate anything and anyone standing in the way of their version of an ‘Islamic’ state. Muslims are more often than not the victims of violence related to blasphemy killings, carried out not by suicide bombers but by ordinary Pakistanis fed a steady diet of intolerance. Add to this the increasing brutalisation of Pakistani society, in which guns are plentiful, human rights unimportant and the legal system slow and ineffective, and intolerance translates even more easily into violence. More than six decades later the dawn we hoped for has not arrived, and any celebrations this time of year cannot escape that painful fact.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

CCTV Footage of Jinnah Hospital (Karachi) Murder of a Hazara




مقتول صدرزرداری کے جیل کاساتھی بھی تھا،ترجمان بلاول ہائوس نے تصدیق کردی۔ فوٹو: ایکسپریس/فائل

 Abur Rehman, an ehtinc Hazara was brutally murdered in broad daylight before the eyes of Rangers – Pakistani paramilitary force - in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi. He is also know as “Muhammadi” amongst the Hazaras in Karachi.... Continue Reading...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Australian police accused of racially profiling Pakistan's Hazaras

Updated 20 December 2012, 14:19 AEST

Amnesty International says Australia's reported cooperation with Pakistan's intelligence agencies to stop Hazara asylum seekers leaving the country is "questionable and sordid".

Australian police accused of racially profiling Pakistan's Hazaras (Credit: ABC)

An investigation by journalist Aubrey Belford quotes Pakistani officials confirming that Australian Federal Police officers have been encouraging a policy of racially profiling people from the Hazara community who they suspect may be preparing to flee the country.

Hazaras are Shia Muslims and often face persecution Sunni death squads in Pakistan, their distinctive east Asia facial features making them an easy target.

Presenter: Liam Cochrane

Speaker: Mustafa Qadri, Pakistan researcher, Amnesty International

To listen click on the link; Radio Australia

Some Kabul themes


................Chances are that, even if you stay in Kabul for no more than a couple of days, you will run into a Hazara Shia who will ask you to explain why members of his community are being killed in Quetta.

Ms F, in her early twenties, wears a very serious expression on her innocent-looking face. An erstwhile resident of Quetta, she is now a refugee in Australia and is in Kabul these days for one of those international conferences on Afghanistan’s affairs that seem to be taking place all the time and getting nowhere. She cannot take her mind off the wave of violence against the Hazara Shia in Balochistan that has not only claimed hundreds of lives in the past few years but has also paralysed the whole community.

Mr Asim is a young professional engaged in humanitarian work and, judging from his confident manner and the model of his car, quite well-off. After a couple of questions about the overall situation in Pakistan he wants to know why its government cannot adopt an effective plan to stop the targeted killing of the Hazara Shia.

Both he and Ms F do not blame the authorities alone; they also criticise civil society’s failure to defend Balochistan’s Hazara Shia. They do not think the Hazaras in Afghanistan have much influence with their government but Pakistani policymakers should not dismiss the possibility that the killing of Hazara Shia in Balochistan and the near closure of educational and economic opportunities on them could also contribute to strains on Islamabad-Kabul relations in the days to come..........Continue Reading...

Monday, December 17, 2012

کوئٹہ کے ہزارہ ’پراکسی وار‘ کا شکار؟


احمد ولی مجیب

بی بی سی نیوز، کوئٹہ


آخری وقت اشاعت: پير 17 دسمبر 2012 ,



گزشتہ ساڑھے چار سال میں ہزارہ برادری کے پانچ سو سے زائد افراد کو قتل کیا جا چکا ہے

وادئ کوئٹہ کے مشرقی حصے میں پہاڑ کے دامن میں واقع قبرستان میں ایک نئی قبر پر خواتین اور بچے بلک بلک کر رو رہے تھے۔ یہ چار نومبر کو عسکری پارک کے قریب دہشت گردوں کی فائرنگ سے ہلاک ہونے والے اشفاق حسین کی قبر تھی اور وہاں جمع ہونے والے اشفاق حسین کےعزیز و اقارب میں سے کچھ تو اپنا دکھ آنکھوں کی نمی میں سمیٹے ہوئے تھے مگر اکثر کے ضبط کا بندھن ٹوٹ گیا تھا اور وہ بین کرتے نظر آئے۔

جب میں نے قبرستان میں موجود اشفاق حسین کے بڑے بھائی آفتاب حسین سے واقعے کی تفصیل جاننے کی کوشش کی تو انہیوں نے کہا کہ میرا ایک اور بھائی الطاف حسین بھی اس واقعے میں شدید زخمی ہوا ہے۔

ایسا نہ ہو کہ آپ کی رپورٹ کی اشاعت سے زخمی بھائی کو اشفاق کی ہلاکت کا علم ہو جائے۔ میرے اصرار پر بھیگی آنکھیں لیے آفتاب نے بس یہ کہا کہ ’ہمیں نہیں معلوم ہمارا قتل عام کیوں کیا جا رہا ہے۔ ہم تو سب کے ساتھ بھائیوں کی طرح رہتے ہیں۔ میرے بھائیوں کی کسی سے کوئی دشمنی بھی نہیں تھی‘۔

یہ دل سوز منظر دیکھ کر ہم قبرستان سے نکلے ہی تھے کہ آفتاب کا پیغام ملا کہ ان کے دوسرے بھائی الطاف حسین بھی چل بسے ہیں۔

یوں مری آباد کے اس تاریخی قبرستان میں ایک نئی قبر کا اضافہ ہوگیا- میں کوئٹہ میں چار دن رہا اور ہر روز ٹارگٹ کلنگ کے واقعات ہوتے رہے، نئی قبریں بنتی رہیں اور پتہ نہیں کب تک بنتی رہیں گی۔

ایسا لگتا ہے بلوچستان کا دارالحکومت کوئٹہ ہزارہ برادی کا مقتل بن چکا ہے۔گزشتہ ساڑھے چار سال میں ہزارہ برادری کے پانچ سو سے زائد افراد کو قتل کیا جا چکا ہے اور تین ہزار سے زائد ہزارہ نوجوان بوڑھے اور بچے دہشت گردوں کے حملوں میں زخمی ہو چکے ہیں۔

اس کے علاوہ ایک ہزار سے زائد ایسے نوجوان بھی ہیں جوحالات سے تنگ آ کریورپ ہجرت کرنے کی کوششوں میں راستے میں جانوں سے ہاتھ دھو چکے ہیں۔

ہزارہ طلباء سہمے اور خوف زدہ ہیں۔ کشیدہ صورت حال نے بہت سے طالب علموں کو تعلیم کو خیرباد کہنے پر مجبور کردیا ہے۔

چودہ جون کو جناح ٹاؤن میں ہونے والے دھماکے میں زخمی ہونے والے طالب علم وقار حسین نے بتایا کہ ’جب ہماری بس کے قریب دھماکہ ہوا تو مجھے لگا کہ اب ہمارے ساتھ بھی مستونگ والا واقعہ پیش آنے والا ہے۔‘(مستونگ میں شعیہ زائرین کو بس سے اتار کر قتل کیا گیا تھا)

"ڈاکٹرز، انجینیئرز، کھلاڑی اور طالب علم جو بھی نظر آتا ہے بس اسے مار دیا جاتا ہے۔ ہزارہ تاجروں کو اغوا کیا جاتا ہے اور انہیں طرح طرح سے ہراساں کیا جاتا ہے۔ کاروباری علاقوں سے ہزارہ برادری کو بے دخل بھی کیا جارہا ہے۔۔۔یہ خالصتاّ مسلکی اور فرقے کی بنیادوں پر قتل عام ہے، اسے نسلی رنگ دینا غلط ہوگا۔"


عبدالخالق ہزارہ

وقار کے مطابق ایسے خوف کے ماحول میں تعلیم جاری رکھنا کیسے ممکن ہے۔ ’ہماری چھوٹی چھوٹی آنکھیں دیکھ کر ہمیں نشانہ بنایا جاتا ہے‘۔ وقار جب اس واقعے کی تفصیلات بتارہا تھا اس کی آنکھوں میں خوف صاف نظرآرہا تھا۔

کوئٹہ کی بڑی جامعات میں جہاں پہلے ہزارہ طلبا ءکی اچھی خاصی تعداد ہوا کرتی تھی اب وہ خال خال نظر آتے ہیں۔ ایک طرف تو ہزارہ برادری کے خلاف تشدد کا سلسلہ رکنے میں نہیں آرہا اور دوسری طرف صوبہ میں سرکار کہیں نظر نہیں آتی۔

جب صورتحال پر موقف جاننے کے لیے صوبائی پولیس کے ترجمان حامد شکیل سے رابطہ کیا تو وہ پولیس نفری کی کمی کا رونا روتے نظر آئے۔ اس سوال کا جواب کسی کے پاس نہیں تھا کے کوئٹہ شہر میں پولیس اور ایف سی کی موجودگی میں دہشت گرد کارروائی کر کے اطیمنان سے پیدل کیسے فرار ہو جاتے ہیں؟

ہزارہ ڈیموکریٹک پارٹی کے سربراہ عبدالخالق ہزارہ کے مطابق گزشتہ دس برس سے ہزارہ برادری سے تعلق رکھنے والے افراد کو چُن چُن کے مارا جا رہا ہے۔

ان کے مطابق ’ڈاکٹرز، انجینیئرز، کھلاڑی اور طالب علم جو بھی نظر آتا ہے بس اسے مار دیا جاتا ہے۔ ہزارہ تاجروں کو اغوا کیا جاتا ہے اور انہیں طرح طرح سے ہراساں کیا جاتا ہے۔ کاروباری علاقوں سے ہزارہ برادری کو بے دخل بھی کیا جارہا ہے‘۔

تین ہزار سے زائد ہزارہ نوجوان بوڑھے اور بچے دہشت گردوں کے حملوں میں زخمی ہو چکے ہیں

عبد الخالق کا کہنا تھا کہ ہزارہ برادری کونا صرف جان سے مارا جارہا ہے بلکہ ان کا معاشرتی، معاشی اور تعلیمی قتل عام بھی کیا جارہا ہے اور سرکار خاموش تماشائی بنی ہوئی ہے۔

انہوں نے الزام عائد کیا کہ ’ایران اور سعودی عرب کی دشمنی کا بدلہ ہزارہ برادری سے لیا جا رہا ہے‘۔

تاثر یہ ہے کہ ہزارہ برادری دونوں ملکوں کے درمیان پراکسی وار کا شکار ہو رہی ہے۔ عبدالخالق کے مطابق اس جمہوری دور میں تو تشدّد کی حد ہوگئی ہے- ان کا کہنا تھا کہ ’یہ خالصتاّ مسلکی اور فرقے کی بنیادوں پر قتل عام ہے، اسے نسلی رنگ دینا غلط ہوگا‘۔

وادی کوئٹہ کے مشرقی دامن مری آباد اور مغربی علاقے ہزارہ ٹاؤن میں رہنے والے ہزاروں کی آبادی پانچ لاکھ سے زائد بتائی جاتی ہے اور شہر میں دہائیوں سے آباد ان ہزاروں کو اب ان کے علاقوں تک ہی محدود کر دیا گیا ہے۔

کالعدم لشکر جھنگوی ہزارہ برادری کے خلاف ہونے والے اکثر واقعات کی ذمہ داری قبول کرتا ہے اور ہر واقعے کے بعد مزید کارروائیوں کی دھمکی بھی دی جاتی ہے لیکن پنجاب میں بننے والا لشکر جھنگوی بلوچوں میں کیسے مقبول اور موثر 
ہوگیا اس سوال کا جواب کسی کے پاس نہیں۔

Public Relations official, two policemen shot dead in Quetta

By: AFP | December 17, 2012



Gunmen riding a motorbike shot dead a government official and two police officers in Quetta on Monday, police said.

"The assailants shot dead Khadim Hussain Noori, director of the public relations department of Baluchistan provincial government," city police chief Wali Khan Nasir told AFP.

Noori had been parking his car when he was shot, he added.

The 56-year-old civil servant was a member of the Shia community. "It appears to be a sectarian attack, the target was Noori," Nasir said.

The two gunmen then killed two police officials who pursued them after the attack on Noori, and managed to escape, he added.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

State blamed for failing to control attacks against Hazaras

Saleem Javed


Conference on “Hazara genocide in Pakistan” at the House of Commons in London. – Photo courtesy author

Three members of the minority Hazara community were shot dead in Quetta on Thursday. This, barely a week after two brothers were targeted in the same city.

The second and third weeks of November saw an attack on the Shia Hazaras every other day.

While the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has stated that more than 800 Hazaras have been killed since 2001, the figure must surely have gone up given the increasing number of attacks. As it is, around 112 people have been killed and more than 148 Hazaras were injured in 58 incidents in 2012 alone.

Majority of the concerned parties remain aloof to the situation in Pakistan, with the perpetrators of this violence roaming freely. Amidst an increasing sense of insecurity among the members of Hazara community in Quetta, human rights groups and Hazara diaspora have been busy raising the issue in the West.

At a recent conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden aimed at highlighting the “genocide of Hazaras in Pakistan,” more than 200 people were in attendance, including human rights activists and members of civil society.

Historian, writers and rights activists spoke at the conference including Ali Dayan Hassan of Human Rights Watch and Professor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed of Stockholm University...Continue Reading...

Afghanistan: Drastic Changes for the Taliban

Dec 15, 2012 10:04 PM EST

Afghanistan’s insurgents are thinking of joining the political process—and seeking common cause against Kabul with their old enemies. Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai report.

The Taliban seem never to tire of talking about not talking. They have vowed over and over that they won’t negotiate peace until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan—and that they’ll never under any circumstances sit down with President Hamid Karzai’s “puppet regime.” But now the group’s leadership appears to be reconsidering.

According to Zabihullah, a senior Taliban leader who is privy to deliberations inside the insurgency’s Quetta Shura, the ruling council’s political committee is rethinking its positions on a whole range of issues. The possibility of peace talks is only one of the items under review by the committee—which, as far as that goes, may have no more than limited control over the Taliban’s battlefield commanders, says Zabihullah, who uses only the single name and has proved in the past to be a reliable informant. The leadership is also debating the insurgents’ longstanding hostilities against the former Northern Alliance; the Taliban’s rejectionist stance toward the Afghan Constitution; and even the idea of participation in Afghanistan’s next presidential and National Assembly elections.

The deliberations are no doubt encouraged by the fact that Karzai will be constitutionally barred from running for a third term in 2014. And even though the discussions so far have been preliminary and internal, the fact that they are taking place at all could signal big changes ahead.

Afghan children search for plastic and metal items amongst the garbage on the outskirts of Herat on Dec. 13, 2012. (Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty)

The most startling shift so far has been in the Taliban’s attitude toward the Northern Alliance. The Taliban, almost entirely ethnic Pashtun, spent seven years waging war without mercy against the ethnic militias of the NA—predominantly Sunni Muslim Tajiks and Uzbeks and Shiite Hazaras.... Continue Reading... 

Friday, December 14, 2012

3 Hazaras, PIA officer, doctor killed in Balochistan attacks

By: Bari Baloch | December 14, 2012



QUETTA – As many as five people – three Shia community members, a Hindu doctor and a PIA official – were killed in sectarian and targeted attacks in Balochistan’s Quetta, Mastung and Panjgour districts on Thursday, security officials said. In Sirki Kala area of Quetta, unidentified gunmen opened fire at a tailor’s shop, killing a man, namely Shabir Ahmed. The victim was stated to be a resident of the Punjab and a member of the Shia community. According to the officials, the gunmen managed to escape from the crime spot. In another assault, unidentified armed attackers shot dead a government employee near Saleem Complex on Jinnah Road, and fled. Identified as Gul Shireen, the victim was a member of the Shia community. Another Shia died at the Combined Military Hospital shortly after receiving critical gunshot wounds in a targeted attack near Shahrah-e-Iqbal. Identified as Khan Ali, the victim was heading somewhere along with Taj Muhammad, when unidentified attackers sprayed him with bullets. Taj Muhammad was also hit by bullets and was stated to be in serious condition. Both the men belonged to the Hazara community, the officials said. The banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed the responsibility for the killings of the three Shias. The Tahafuz-e-Azadari Council meanwhile strongly condemned the killings, and called a countrywide protest demonstration on Friday. In Mastung district, a bike-borne armed duo mowed down a doctor, namely Dr Lakshmi Chand, and fled the crime scene. According to a senior police officer, Dr Chand was heading towards his clinic from his residence when attacked. An attempt to kidnap him was made a few months back,” added the Mastung DSP.PML-N leader Santosh Kumar condemned the killing of the doctor, and criticised the government for its inability to provide security to the Hindu community. He said that several Hindus had been kidnapped but no accused was brought to justice so far. A PIA official was shot and killed by unidentified attackers in Chatkan area of Panjgour district, bordering Iran. Yasir Arafat, Panjgour airport manager, was passing through Chatkan Bazaar, when the armed men raked his car with bullets. Arafat died instantly. A police party rushed and moved the body to the district headquarters hospital for medico-legal formalities. The victim was stated to be a resident of the Punjab. The motive behind the killing could not be ascertained until the filing of this report. The security officials said separate murder cases had been registered and investigation was in progress.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dambura takes centre stage at fundraiser

DateDecember 13, 2012 - 7:43PM

Annabel Ross



Murtaza Jafari with Tiger and Me. Photo: Simon Schluter

Murtaza Jafari plays the dambura. It's a curious, long-necked, light wooden instrument, somewhere between a banjo and a guitar, and is popular among the Hazaras of central Afghanistan, where Jafari is from.

On Friday night, the dambura will take centre stage when Jafari performs with Melbourne six-piece band the Tiger and Me at Hamer Hall. Jafari and the band are two of the artists involved in the Key of Sea, a fundraiser in which local musicians are paired up with asylum seekers to create songs, which are recorded on an album and performed at a concert.

The Tiger and Me first caught wind of the project when the inaugural Key of Sea was being developed by Hugh Crosthwaite in 2010.

"I asked Hugh about it when the Key of Sea 1 was being made and he said, 'I don't think you're quite there yet,' but then when the second one rolled around we'd had a really good year, so he gave us a call and invited us to be on it," says Ade Vincent, one of the band's lead vocalists.
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Tomorrow night, The Tiger and Me and Jafari will perform alongside fellow Key of Sea artists including Chet Faker and The Royal Swazi Spa and Brous and Awaz.

Jafari, who has played the dambura in front of big crowds in Melbourne and back in Afghanistan, was noticed by Crosthwaite after contributing his music to a documentary that chronicled his journey to Australia from Indonesia by boat ten years ago.

Crosthwaite paired Jafari up with the band, they met up for a cup of tea and a chat, and the next day, devised and recorded a song for the album in the space of 13 hours. Together they created an updated version of an Afghan love song, based on an ancient Afghan poem.

"The song's called Az Eshq Tho, which means 'because of your love', says Jane Hendry, fellow vocalist in the band. "We got a loose translation from Murtaza on what the song was about, and then chose English lyrics to try and convey that and mirror the Afghan lyrics."

"I think it sounds like the Tiger and Me and it sounds like Murtaza," says Vincent. "That's why we're all really proud of it, because it sounds like both acts."

The Key of Sea is at Hamer Hall this Friday the 14th of December at 8pm.

Two gunned down in Quetta

December 13, 2012, 6:27 pm



At least two persons were gunned down while one sustained severe injuries in separate target killing incidents on Thursday.

In the area of Jinnah road some unknown armed persons opened unprovoked firing on shopkeeper Shabir Hussain resultantly he died on the spot.

In second incident some unknown armed personals opened indiscriminate firing on shops as a result the shopkeeper namely Gul Shereen died on the spot.

In another incident, some unknown armed personals opened firing on Taj Muhammad khan resultantly he sustained severe injuries in the area of Quandari Bazar and the criminals fled away from the scene successfully.

On getting information police reached on the spot and shifted the dead bodies to hospital for autopsy.

After completing legal formalities the dead bodies were handed over to his heirs.

Police claimed that the incident is the result of discrimination target killings.

Police registered the case and started thorough investigation of the case.

Doctor shot dead in Mastung; two others gunned down in Quetta

DawnNews



In the most recent incident, unidentified gunmen shot dead renowned local doctor Lakhmi Chand in Balochistan’s Mastung district, about 25 kilometres south of Quetta.—File Photo

QUETTA: At least three people were killed and three others injured in a series of shooting incidents on Thursday in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.

Three separate shooting incidents in the span of an hour claimed two lives and injured three other people in Quetta, the provincial capital.

According to police, the first incident took place at the city’s busy market Qandahari Bazar when unknown gunmen riding motorcycles opened fire, severely injuring three people. At least two of the three injured were identified as locals belonging to the minority Hazara community.

In a similar incident, another man, said to be a public servant and also belonging to the Hazara community, was gunned down by unidentified armed assailants.

Meanwhile, another man lost his life when gunmen opened fire at a tailor shop at Sarki Road.

In the most recent incident, unidentified gunmen shot dead renowned local doctor Lakhmi Chand in Balochistan’s Mastung district, about 25 kilometres south of Quetta.

Earlier on Thursday, a local court sentenced to life imprisonment three suspects for the murder of Baloch leader Habib Jalib Baloch. The sentence was handed down by sessions judge Rashid Mehmood.

Habib Jalib Baloch, a former senator and secretary-general of the Balochistan National Party-M, wasassassinated on Quetta’s Sariab Road in July 2010.

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.”
− AZAD KHAN, PAKISTAN’S FEDERAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY

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... 

For Some, Quetta Is A Deadly Prison


BANARAS KHAN/AFP/GETTY
Billboard warning asylum seekers against taking “illegal routes to Australia” looms over the scene of a 2010 suicide bombing in Quetta.

By Aubrey Belford

Once a haven for refugees from Afghanistan, the Pakistani city of Quetta has turned into a deathtrap. Many see escape to Australia as their only hope.

For years, the Pakistani city of Quetta has been studded with billboards put up by Australia.

When a suicide bomber detonated himself in a Shia Muslim rally on September 3, 2010, killing more than 70 people, photographs of the carnage showed one of these signs in the background. Behind the welter of torn bodies, black smoke and sheared metal, the message was clearly visible: “All illegal routes to Australia are closed to Afghans.”

This city near Afghanistan has long been a transit point for would-be asylum seekers from across the border, many of them Shia Muslim ethnic Hazaras. The Afghans would enter, make contact with smugglers and arrange documents, and head on to Australia. Many of those in transit would stay with relatives among the half-million-strong local community of Hazaras who have settled in the city over more than a century — seeking refuge from waves of massacres and oppression in Afghanistan.

But Quetta is no longer a haven. Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the killing of Hazaras and other Shias by the extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which is allied to the Taliban. The killers, who often strike in the daytime and brazenly leave their faces exposed, carry out their work with little hindrance from the authorities. Some allege they have state support.

Quetta has now become a place that Hazaras are desperate to leave.... Continue Reading.... 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Worry Grows Over Rising Sectarian Attacks In Pakistan


Shi'ite Muslims shout slogans as they carry coffins of co-religionists during a funeral ceremony in Quetta. (file photo)

By VOA's Ayaz Gul

December 11, 2012
Sunni-dominated Pakistan has seen an unprecedented spike in religious violence this year, with at least 375 minority Shi'ite Muslims killed across the country.

Government critics say the violent conflict is likely to intensify if authorities do not do more to improve local governance and punish those who carry out sectarian attacks.

Sectarian bloodshed in Pakistan had peaked in the 1990s, and the violence subsided after the country joined with the U.S.-led coalition 10 years ago to fight terrorist and extremist groups.

Under pressure from the United States and other allies, Pakistan banned several Shi'ite and Sunni militant groups for having links to Al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan.

But sectarian violence has returned this year with targeted attacks on Shi'ite Muslims. Official figures indicate that since the start of 2012, at least 134 people have died in sectarian attacks in Balochistan, mostly in the provincial capital, Quetta. Nearly all of those killed were Shi'ite Muslims and a majority of those were members of the Hazara community, a Persian-speaking Shi'ite population that immigrated to Pakistan from neighboring Afghanistan more than a century ago.

Community leaders say the growing sense of insecurity has forced thousands of young Hazaras to turn to human smugglers and try to reach countries like Australia by undertaking an expensive and dangerous journey across the Indian Ocean.

Abdul Khaliq Hazara, a senior Hazara activist in Quetta, says that the journey in small boats has already taken hundreds of lives and those who survived have ended up in jails abroad. He says that sectarian attacks have become routine in the city but authorities have so far not made a single arrest.

"The [Pakistani] government and law enforcement agencies, they do not pursue them [attackers], and they openly do whatever they want; and after that we don’t know where they vanish and where they go," Hazara says. "That is why I think the [Hazara] people prefer [to emigrate]. Many of them have migrated because their life, education, their business, their property, it is not safe."...Continue Reading...

Cop injured in Quetta firing dies

December 11, 2012 - Updated 2336 PKT
From Web Edition


QUETTA: A police constable who was injured in firing in the provincial capital one week ago died in Combined Military Hospital on Tuesday.

Police sources said that unknown armed men riding bike had opened indiscriminate fire at police constable Altaf and his brother Ashfaq near Askari Park Quetta, due to which Ashfaq was killed on the spot while Altaf received serious bullet wounds and was rushed to CMH for treatment.

The body of the deceased has been handed over to the heirs. He belonged to local Hazara community.

The police had already registered a case against unknown suspects and investigation into the incident was underway. (APP)

Monday, December 10, 2012

عالمی طاقتیں ، بین الاقوامی کمپنیاں اپنے مفادات کی جنگ کیلئے بلوچستان کو جنگ کے میدان میں تبدیل کرنا چاہتے ہیں،عبد الخالق ہزارہ



December 10, 2012 | Filed underآس پاس | Posted by dailyqudrat

کوئٹہ (قدرت نیوز ہزارہ ڈیموکریٹک پارٹی کے چئیرمین عبد الخالق ہزارہ نے اسلام آباد میں ادارہ استحکام شرکتی ترقی کے زیر اہتمام منعقدہ کانفرنس سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے ہزارہ قوم کی نسل کشی کے اسباب و عوامل پر تفصیلی روشنی ڈالتے ہوئے کہا کہ خطے میں بلوچستان کی خصوصی اہمیت کے پیش نظر عالمی طاقتیں ، بین الاقوامی کمپنیاں اپنے مفادات کی جنگ کیلئے بلوچستان کو جنگ کے میدان میں تبدیل کرنا چاہتے ہیں۔ اس مقصد کیلئے ہر قوت نے اپنی الگ پراکسی تشکیل دے رکھی ہیں جو صوبے میں عقیدہ مسلک اور فرقہ کی بنیاد پر بین الاقوامی قوتوں کے مفادات کیلئے بے گناہ انسانوں ، خصوصاً ہزارہ قوم کے قتل عام میں ملوث ہیں۔ انہوں نے حالات کی خرابی میں بعض اسلامی ممالک کو بھی ذمہ دار قرار دیتے ہوئے کہا کہ ملک کے کمزور خارجہ پالیسی کی وجہ سے اختلافات رکھنے والے مسلم ممالک نے بھی اپنا مرکز جنگ کوئٹہ اور بلوچستان کو بنا رکھا ہے ۔ حالانکہ وزرات خارجہ اور داخلہ دونوں کے علم میں یہ بات روز روشن کی طرح اپنی پوری حقیقت کے ساتھ موجود ہے مگر کمزور انتظامی و سیاسی ڈھانچے کی وجہ سے ہماری وزراتیں ان ممالک سے احتجاج بھی نہیں کرسکتی فرقہ واریت کے نام پر بے گناہ نوجوانوں اور ہزارہ قوم کے فرزندوں کا خون بہانے والی قوتوں کو کڑوڑوں روپے کے خارجی امداد موصول ہورہے ہیں جن سے وہ نہ صرف جدید اسلحہ کی خریداری کر لیتے ہیں بلکہ بھاری رقوم خرچ کرکے سرکاری اداروں کے ضمیر فروش افراد کو بھی اپنے ساتھ ملا لیتے ہیں ۔ پارٹی رہنما کا کہنا تھا کہ 800 کے قریب ہزارہ فرزندوں کو شہید کیا گیا ہے پارٹی چئیرمین حسین علی یوسفی سمیت ہر شعبۂ زندگی سے تعلق رکھنے والے افرا د کا قتل عام صوبے میں فرقہ ورانہ فسادات پھیلانے کیلئے منظم اور گہری سازش کی نشاندہی کرتاہے جس کے ذریعے صدیوں سے مذہبی رواداری اور باہمی احترام کے ساتھ زندگی گزارنے والے اقوام کو خانہ جنگی کی طرف لے جانا مقصود ہے ۔ مگر صوبے کے سیاسی ، مذہبی اور قوم دوست قوتوں نے عالمی طاقتوں اور مسلم ممالک کے اختلافات کی جنگ کے سازشوں کو محسوس کرکے صوبے میں فرقہ واریت پھیلانے والی قوتوں کی سازشوں کو ہمیشہ ناکامی سے دوچار کر رکھا ہے یہی وجہ ہے کہ بڑے سانحات رونما ہونے کے باوجود کسی قسم کے بڑے انتشار یا واقعہ صوبے میں رونما نہیں ہوا۔ عبد الخالق ہزارہ نے کہا کہ ہزارہ قوم تعلیم یافتہ اور ہنر مند قوم ہے جہنوں نے ہمیشہ بلوچستان اور ملک کی ترقی و تعمیر میں اہم کردار ادا کیا ہے ۔مگر ہزارہ قوم کے تمام قربانیوں کو فراموش کرکے آج ہزارہ قوم کے ساتھ جس طرح کا رویہ اختیار کیا گیا ہے اس سے ملک کے ان تمام اقوام کی حوصلہ شکنی ہورہی ہیں جن کے بزرگوں اور نوجوانوں نے ملکی تعمیر و ترقی اور دفاع کیلئے قربانیاں دی ہے ۔پارٹی رہنما کا کہنا تھا کہ فرقہ واریت کی آڑھ میں ہزارہ قوم سے روزگار ، تجارت اور کاروبار کے مواقع چینے جارہے ہیں جبکہ ہزارہ نوجوانوں پر اعلیٰ تعلیم کے دروازے بند کئیے جارہے ہیں پارٹی نے حالات اور واقعات کا گہری نظر سے مشاہدہ کرنے کے بعد ہزارہ قوم کے عام اور نسل کشی کے خلاف پہلے مرحلے میں ملکی سطح پر احتجاج اور مظاہروں کے ذریعے اپنا احتجاج ریکارڈ کرایا مگر حکومت اور قانون نافذ کرنیوالے اداروں کی عدم دلچسپی اور کوتاہی کے باعث پارٹی نے بین الاقوامی طور پر احتجاج اور مظاہروں کی کال دی جسکے نتیجے میں دنیا کے 38 سے زائد شہروں میں مظاہرے ہوئے ۔ اور ہزارہ قوم کے تنظیموں ، انجمنوں اور اداروں نے اقوام متحدہ سمیت تمام عالمی فورم پر ہزارہ قوم کی نسل کشی کے خلاف آواز بلند کیا ۔ پارٹی اور ہزارہ قوم اپنی مظلومیت کی آواز دنیا کے گوشے گوشے تک پہنچا کر ثابت کیا کہ ہزارہ قوم جمہوریت پر یقین رکھتی ہے اور تمام مراحل میں کسی طرح کے تشدد اور نقصان پہنچانے کے عمل سے گریز کیا۔ پارٹی رہنما نے توقع ظاہر کی کہ اسلام آباد میں بیٹھے ہوئے حکمران بلوچستان میں امن کے قیام اور فرقہ واریت کے خاتمہ کے سلسلے میں سنجیدگی کا مظاہرہ کرتے ہوئے امن و امان کے قیام کے عمل کو تیز کرینگے۔ اور کراچی کے طرز پر کوئٹہ اور دیگر علاقوں میں فرقہ وارانہ دہشت گردوں کے خلاف ٹارگٹڈ آپریشن کرکے صوبے سے فرقہ وارانہ دہشت گردوں اور انکے مراکز کے خاتمہ کو اپنی ترجیح بنا لینگے ۔ انہوں نے وزارت خارجہ سے مسلم ممالک کے جنگ کو پاکستان اور خصوصاً بلوچستان سے منتقل کرنے کے سلسلے میں دلیرانہ مؤقف اختیار کرنے کا مطالبہ کیا

Daily Qudrat 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pakistan looks the other way as extremists glory in murder

Syed Fazl-e-Haider
Dec 9, 2012

The surge in sectarian violence in Pakistan is a symptom of the growing influence of the Taliban across the country. It has been a consistent strategy of Taliban groups: when they target an area, they first attack sectarian minorities.

Taliban militants have stepped up attacks against Shiites across the country from Gilgit-Baltistan in the north to Balochistan in the south-west. In particular, in Balochistan the violence against the Hazara Shiite community has been intensive and indiscriminate. All of the sectarian attacks on Hazaras in recent weeks have been claimed by Sunni militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has officially been banned by Islamabad.

The group is part of a loose-knit extremist network, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. Hakimullah Mehsud, the TTP's leader, maintains ties to Al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and Sunni extremist groups including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The US has offered $5 million (Dh18.4 million) reward for information leading to the arrest of Mehsud, who has survived several US drone attacks since 2010.

Before the September 11 attacks in 2001, Pakistan's military had extensive ties with religious extremist groups, including organisations such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed. For the most part, however, security forces severed relations with the extremists after September 11 and took a U-turn in Afghan policy.

Under pressure from the US, then-president Pervez Musharraf announced that lashkars (armed forces) would be banned, including extremist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

But what we see on the ground today reflects on the state's de facto tolerance of these banned extremist groups. Although Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has officially been outlawed, it is fully operational and carrying out its terrorist operations across the country. The government has so far failed to protect Shia communities, particularly those of the Hazara, which have been labelled as infidels by the Sunni extremists...Continue Reading.... 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

NY Times ; Pakistan Reels With Violence Against Shiites



Declan Walsh/The New York Times

Many members of the Hazara Shiite community killed by Sunni extremists are buried in a graveyard in Quetta, Pakistan.
By DECLAN WALSH
Published: December 3, 2012 2 Comments

QUETTA, Pakistan — Calligraphers linger at the gates of an ancient graveyard in this brooding city in western Pakistan, charged with a macabre and increasingly in-demand task: inscribing the tombstones of the latest victims of the sectarian death squads that openly roam these streets.

For at least a year now, Sunni extremist gunmen have been methodically attacking members of the Hazara community, a Persian-speaking Shiite minority that emigrated here from Afghanistan more than a century ago. The killers strike with chilling abandon, apparently fearless of the law: shop owners are gunned down at their counters, students as they play cricket, pilgrims dragged from buses and executed on the roadside.

The latest victim, a mechanic named Hussain Ali, was killed Wednesday, shot inside his workshop. He joined the list of more than 100 Hazaras who have been killed this year, many in broad daylight. As often as not, the gunmen do not even bother to cover their faces.

The bloodshed is part of a wider surge in sectarian violence across Pakistan in which at least 375 Shiites have died this year — the worst toll since the 1990s, human rights workers say. But as their graveyard fills, Hazaras say the mystery lies not in the identity of their attackers, who are well known, but in a simpler question: why the Pakistani state cannot — or will not — protect them.

“After every killing, there are no arrests,” said Muzaffar Ali Changezi, a retired Hazara engineer. “So if the government is not supporting these killers, it must be at least protecting them. That’s the only way to explain how they operate so openly.”.... Continue Reading...