Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras. The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they face on daily basis...Hazaras have been the victim of active persecution and discrimination and one of the reasons among many has been the lack of information, awareness, and disinformation.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Five Civilians Gunned Down In East Afghanistan

October 27, 2012
Reports from Afghanistan say five civilians travelling in a bus in the eastern province of Ghazni have been shot dead.

Provincial officials said Taliban militants stopped the bus on October 26 in the Andar district, pulled out five people, and killed them on the spot.

Police recovered the bodies on October 27 from the roadside.

Deputy Governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi said the five dead were from the ethnic Hazara minority.

Friday, October 26, 2012

ہزارہ برادری کی مشکلات

ہزارہ برادری سے تعلق رکھنے والے ہزاروں افراد اپنی جان کو لاحق خطروں کے پیش نظر سمندر کے خطروں کا سامنا کرتے ہوئے دیگر ممالک میں سیاسی پناہ لینے کی کوشش کرتے ہیں۔
 پچیش اکتوبر کو تقریباً ایک سو بیس ہزارہ برادری سے تعلق رکھنے افراد کو انڈونیشیا کی پولیس نے غیر قانونی طور پر ملک میں داخل ہونے پر حراست میں لے لیا ہے جو ایک کشتی کے ذریعے آسٹریلیا جارہے تھے۔ ان میں سے زیادہ تر کا تعلق پاکستان سے ہے۔
 گزشتہ سال سے لیکر اب تک کوئٹہ اور بلوچستان کے دیگر علاقوں میں ہزارہ برادری سے تعلق رکھنے والے کئی افراد کو قتل کیا جا چکا ہے۔ رائٹرز فوٹو۔

Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

The killers of Quetta

By Matthew Green
OCTOBER 25, 2012

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

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

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

Amina, 15, raises a hand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

BBC; Protecting Afghanistan’s environment and tourist futureBy Andrew NorthBBC News, Bamiyan

Bamiyan and its fledgling tourism industry is under threat

If the high mountain lakes of Band-e Amir were not in a country in its fourth decade of war they would be world famous.

Outsiders lucky enough to see them today are often lost for words when they first set eyes on the ethereal blue of their waters and the Martian-orange and red cliffs surrounding them.

The lakes, in Bamiyan province, are Afghanistan's first-ever national park, and draw thousands of local visitors every year. The government hopes foreign tourists will one day come too.

If that sounds quixotic now, so too may the UN and the government's launch here of the country's first-ever environmental protection plan - with a solar-powered kettle one of its signature initiatives.

But for those living in Bamiyan's isolated mountain valleys, the most immediate threat is not the Taliban but drought, partly induced by human activity.

Climate change is making things worse and the lakes could be at risk too.

Glaciers in the province's Koh-e Baba mountains, the western end of the Hindu Kush, recede further each year.

The climate adaptation programme, as it's known, "is not luxury, it's life", says Bamiyan Governor Habiba Sarabi after climbing up to Qazan, one of 18 mountain farming communities involved in the $6m (£3.75m) scheme.

The high mountain lakes of Band-e Amir draw thousands of local visitors every year'Disaster-prone'

Some 3,000m (9,800ft) above sea level, this is always going to be a tough place to live and farm.

But it's got tougher as trees and vegetation have been cut down for fuel - creating the beginnings of a high-altitude dust bowl.

In an Afghan version of the Grapes of Wrath, more families are being forced to leave every year.

Like shaved heads, most of the hillsides are bare, with just the occasional stubble of green.

It also means villages are more exposed to "flash-flooding in spring and summer and avalanches in winter", says Andrew Scanlon of the UN Environment Programme.

But he is now overseeing the planting of new trees and turf along Qazan's valley.

Against the repetitive clanging of hammer on metal, workers in Bamiyan city are building scores of cleaner, more-efficient stoves....Continue Reading.... 

Insight: Pakistani death squads spur desperate voyage to Australia

By Matthew Bigg, Matthew Green and James Grubel

QUETTA, Pakistan/PUNCAK,Indonesia | Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:29pm EDT

(Reuters) - It was 3 a.m. when Abid Warasi and his friend clambered into an Indonesian fishing boat, joining 300 other migrants packed into the hold. Only a few days away by sea, Australia seemed tantalizingly close.

Six hours into the voyage, the craft overturned. The two teenagers clung to the upturned hull. One by one, survivors lost purchase and drifted away, their dreams swallowed by the warm waters of the Java Sea.

"When the boat capsized, the dead bodies came floating above the water," Warasi said, recounting his ordeal in the Indonesian hill town of Puncak, just south of Jakarta. "Our hearts were so sad for them and we were waiting for our own time when we would die."

The heroism that would ensure the pair survived 48 hours in the water is not merely testament to the bond of friendship that has united Warasi and Muhammad Muntaziri since their childhoods in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

Their determination is also a reflection of the ferocity of the persecution unleashed upon their ethnic Hazara community, who are almost all members of Pakistan's Shi'ite minority.

In the past year, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni extremist group, has turned Quetta into a hunting ground. Gunmen shoot Hazaras every few days while leaflets shoved under doorways warn they are infidels deserving of death.

Thousands choose to face the ocean's terrors rather than risk an encounter with the death squads stalking their city's streets.

"Mothers are selling their jewelry so that their sons can leave Quetta for abroad," said Khaliq Hazara, chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party, a Quetta-based political party. "We are under siege."


The 10,000-km (6,000 miles) route from Quetta to established Hazara communities in the more genteel environs of Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney is just one strand in an ever-shifting web of global migration.

But there are few starker examples of the impact troubles in faraway lands can have on domestic politics than Australia, where a growing influx of refugee boats has reignited a polarizing debate over immigration.

The government passed a law in August to revive a scheme to send asylum seekers rescued at sea to detention centers on far-flung Pacific islands.

Human rights groups condemned the move, saying people could be left languishing in malarial camps for years, isolated from relatives and unable to work.

Warasi and Muntaziri's sheer desperation raises questions over how far the measures will discourage men and women whose quest for a new life has echoes of the voyages of European settlers to Australia in the late 18th century.

"Every day there were killings," said Warasi, recalling life in Quetta. "We got chicken-hearted, like we were in a cage."


Overshadowed by the forbidding hills that define the wild geography of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, Quetta was once a town where ethnic groups and sects mingled freely. Today, LeJ is offering Hazaras a choice: leave or die.

In the neatly swept lanes of the Hazara enclave of Mehrabad, the fear is palpable. LeJ has turned swathes of Quetta into virtual no-go zones for Hazaras, who number perhaps 500,000 of the city's population of about two million.

As members of both an ethnic minority and Shi'ites, Hazaras make particularly attractive targets for extremists.

"If you went out in the morning you cannot be sure that you'd come back home," said Muhammad Mehdi, who closed his children's' clothing shop in an ethnically mixed market after gunmen went on a shooting spree in April. Like many Hazaras, he is now reluctant to set foot outside Mehrabad.

In the cheerfully decorated classrooms of the district's Ummat Public School, ambitious teenage girls fear their terrified parents will not allow them to venture into the city to attend college.

"We can be like Mark Zuckerberg, we can be like Bill Gates," said Farheen, 15. "We can show the world that we are talented."

A few minutes' drive away, grave-diggers have had to open a new section in the century-old Hazara cemetery to accommodate the rapidly growing number of gunshot and blast victims.

Activists say at least 800-1,000 Hazaras have been killed since 1999 and the pace is quickening. More than one hundred have been murdered in and around Quetta since January, according to Human Rights Watch.

The state's failure to protect them has fuelled Hazaras's suspicions that elements within the security forces still support LeJ, which was nurtured by intelligence agencies in the 1990s as a proxy force.

There are no official figures for the number of Hazaras who have left for Australia, but community leaders say thousands of people like Warasi and Muntaziri have paid people smugglers $10,000-$15,000 to attempt the do-or-die trip....Continue Reading.... 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Test of Afghan Pullout Leaves Residents Fearful


BAMIYAN, Afghanistan—Taliban checkpoints have mushroomed on the main roads leading here as the insurgency spreads into Bamiyan—the province selected last year to kick off the U.S.-led coalition's handover to Afghan security control because it was deemed the country's safest.

With insurgents and bandits openly roaming Bamiyan's remote districts and the Taliban blowing up food and fuel trucks on the road to Kabul, many residents here increasingly fear they will be overrun once the last coalition base in the province closes in April.

"Right over these mountains, they are waiting to launch rockets at us as soon as the foreign forces leave," said Ali Hekmat, dean of Bamiyan University's Education Department, pointing at the pink-hued cliffs ringing the provincial capital. "It is very easy to destabilize this province."

What happens here is a portent of things to come in the rest of Afghanistan, as the U.S. winds down its longest foreign war. The U.S.-led coalition began transferring security responsibility over provinces and districts to Afghan security forces in mid-2011. The entire country is slated to be handed over by 2014, the year when the coalition's military mandate ends.

President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, when asked during Monday's presidential debate what they would do if the Afghans were unable to handle their own security by then, both reiterated their commitment to a 2014 withdrawal.

The coalition says the transition is progressing well, with three-quarters of the country's population already living under Afghan security control. The handover continues though the Taliban-led insurgency shows no sign of being defeated. In September, according to coalition statistics released Tuesday, the number of insurgents attacks was 1% higher than in September 2011....Continue Reading... 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Under attack in Afghanistan and Pakistan, minority Hazaras risk death to reach Australia

Published October 18, 2012

Associated Press

QUETTA, Pakistan – As he knelt in prayer to mark one of Islam's holiest days, Ali Raza Qurban saw a childhood friend and dozens of others die in a suicide attack on their Shiite mosque. Sunni militants were again targeting minority ethnic Hazaras in this city of narrow streets and wide-open hatreds.

Qurban decided it was time to leave. He found an agent who would hook him up with a smuggler in Indonesia and, for $8,000, get him to Australia.

But he never made it to Australia. He disappeared on Dec. 17, 2011, aboard an overcrowded, rickety wooden boat that capsized within hours of leaving the Indonesian shore.

Four months had passed since the suicide bombing at the mosque in Quetta, where the violence has spawned a vibrant human smuggling business. The smugglers operate out of small, unidentified shops. Selling promises of a safe and better life in Australia, they largely capitalize on the fear and desperation of the Hazara, a largely Shiite community that is facing attacks not only here but in neighboring Afghanistan.

In Quetta, Shiite leaders say many of the attacks against Hazaras are carried out by the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Janghvi, which they contend is backed by elements within Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI. Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikar Chaudhry and a panel of three judges last month ordered authorities to investigate allegations that vehicles illegally imported by the ISI were used in suicide bombings targeting Shiites.

Most of the Afghans who cross into Pakistan with the intention of going on to Australia and elsewhere are thought to be Hazara.

"Every month hundreds of Hazaras leave Afghanistan for another country," said Waliullah Rahmani, executive director of the Kabul-based Center for Strategic Studies, a privately funded think tank. In the last two months more than 20 Hazaras have died in targeted killings blamed on the Taliban, he said....Continue Reading....

Between The Lines

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Afghanistan's safest province falling prey to Taliban

By Jessica Donati

BAMIYAN, Afghanistan | Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:24pm EDT

(Reuters) - Violence is returning to what has long been the most tranquil region of Afghanistan, where fears of a resurgent Taliban are as stark as the ragged holes left by the bombing of two ancient Buddha statues in cliffs facing the Bamiyan valley.

Bamiyan had been seen as the country's safest province due to its remote location in the central mountains and the opposition of the dominant local tribe, the Hazara, to the Taliban, mostly ethnic Pashtuns who massacred thousands of Hazara during their austere rule.

But now, after 11 years of a NATO-led war against the Islamists, insurgents are edging back into the province, burying roadside bombs and striking at foreign and local security forces. Five New Zealand soldiers were killed in August.

The violence in a region that was a bellwether for NATO's Afghanistan strategy underscores how rapidly security could deteriorate across the country once foreign combat soldiers leave by the end of 2014.

Local people say the insurgent stranglehold is now so tight that the province is effectively cut off by road in all directions and safely reachable only by air.

"When there are no flights out of Bamiyan, I put myself in the hands of God and travel by car," says District Governor Azim Farid, now sheltering in the capital Kabul.

Adding to the despondency is a decision earlier this year by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, to call off negotiations to rebuild the two ancient Buddha statues, destroyed by the Taliban over two weeks in 2001 because they offended religious fundamentalists. UNESCO cited funding constraints.

NATO-led coalition forces say the recent insurgent attacks in Bamiyan are a tiny fraction of overall attacks across Afghanistan, although it could represent an attempt by the Taliban to retake the initiative.

"There has been an increase, but to put it in perspective this accounts for 0.06 percent of the total enemy-initiated attacks in all of Afghanistan," a coalition spokeswoman said.

Until the attacks began to spiral in July, when nine Afghan police were killed in two bombings, Bamiyan was a NATO success story....Continue Reading... 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

گفت و گو با سیما سمر، رییس کمیسیون حقوق بشر افغانستان

Geo Reports-Quetta Target Killing-16 Oct 2012

کوئٹہ، فائرنگ میں چار افراد ہلاک

آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 16 اکتوبر 2012 ,‭ 07:12 GMT 12:12 PST

پولیس کے مطابق حملہ آور موٹر سائیکل پر سوار تھے

پاکستان کے صوبہ بلوچستان کے دارالحکومت کوئٹہ میں نامعلوم افراد کی فائرنگ کے نتیجے میں چار افراد ہلاک ہو گئے ہیں۔

پولیس کے مطابق منگل کی صبح سرکی روڈ پر نامعلوم افراد کی فائرنگ سے چار افراد ہلاک ہوگئے۔

ان افراد کا تعلق ہزارہ قبیلے سے ہے۔

حملہ آور موٹر سائیکل پر سوار تھے۔ حملہ آوروں نے کباڑی مارکیٹ میں دکان پر فائرنگ کی۔

یاد رہے کہ بلوچستان میں 2002 کے بعد بڑے پیمانے پر فرقہ وارانہ ٹارگٹ کلنگ کا سلسلہ شروع ہوا جس کازیادہ تر نشانہ ہزارہ قبیلے سے تعلق رکھنے والے افراد بنے جن کا تعلق شیعہ مکتبہ فکر سے ہے۔

ہزارہ قبیلے کی جانب سے ستمبر 2012 میں سپریم کورٹ میں ایک فہرست پیش کی گئی جس کے مطابق فرقہ وارانہ ٹارگٹ کلنگ کے واقعات اور بم دھماکوں میں قبیلے کے 7 سو سے زائد افراد ہلاک ہوئے ہیں۔

ان واقعات کے باعث ہزارہ قبیلے سے تعلق رکھنے والے افراد شدید خوف و ہراس میں مبتلا ہوگئے ہیں۔

2009 کے بعد کوئٹہ میں سنی مکتبہ فکر سے تعلق رکھنے والے علماء کی ٹارگٹ کلنگ کا بھی سلسلہ شروع ہوا اور اب تک پولیس کے مطابق 20 سے زائد علماء اور طلباء ٹارگٹ کلنگ اور بم دھماکوں کا نشانہ بنے ہیں۔

یہ واقعہ پاکستان کی سپریم کورٹ کے کوئٹہ میں بلوچستان کی صورتحال سے متعلق کیس کی سماعت کے تین روز بعد پیش آیا 
۔ سپریم کورٹ نے ان واقعات پر شدید تشویش کا اظہار کیا تھا۔

Monday, October 15, 2012

Four Hazaras gunned down in Quetta scrap market

By Web Desk
Published: October 16, 2012

Two men on a motorcycle opened fire on the deceased while they were present at the scrap market. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

QUETTA: Four members of the Hazara community were gunned down in the scrap market of Quetta on Tuesday, Express News reported.

According to Express News correspondent Irfan Rana, two men on a motorcycle opened fire on the deceased while they were present at the scrap market.

All four of them died on the spot, while their bodies were transferred to Civil Hospital.

Sectarian killings have taken a new toll; many extremist groups are taking advantage of the political vacuum created after the ruthless operation. Over 700 Baloch Hazaras have been killed in cold blood.

7 UN staffers injured in copter emergency landing

Posted on 2012-10-15 14:18:29

BAMYAN CITY (PAN): Seven UN employees were injured when the helicopter carrying them made an emergency landing in the central province of Bamyan, officials said on Monday.

The MI-8, with six foreign and 14 Afghan employees of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), made the emergency landing in the Sar Qul area of Yakawlang district.

UNAMA spokesman Nazifullah Salarzai told Pajhwok Afghan News the emergency landing took place on Sunday night due to a technical fault, injuring two foreign and five Afghan employees of the UN mission.

“We saw the helicopter crashing into a tree and falling in a potato field,” said a resident of the village, Hafizullah.

Security personnel were sent to the scene to take care of the wreckage, said the district chief, Abdul Ahmad Mubarez, who gave no further details of the incident.

Afghan Hazaras not deterred by tougher immigration laws

Michael Edwards reported this story on Monday, October 15, 2012 08:05:00
Listen to MP3 of this story (minutes)


TONY EASTLEY: More than 500 asylum seekers arrived in Australia over the weekend and in Afghanistan ethnic Hazaras have told the ABC that tougher immigration laws will not deter them from paying people smugglers to get to Australia.

Hazaras are persecuted in Afghanistan and many have paid thousands of dollars to come to Australia by boat. They say it's worth spending the money and the time on Nauru for a chance to escape poverty and violence.

South Asia correspondent Michael Edwards reports from Kabul.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: War and persecution have forced hundreds of thousands of Hazaras out of the provinces and into Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. And on the streets they're quick to tell you they also want to get out of the country.

Many of them see Australia as the place to go.

HAZARA MAN (translated): Our people in Australia are happy. They accept us easily. There are more work opportunities.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Tens of thousands of Hazaras have fled to Australia and many more want to come.

Feroza Qasem and her friend Zubaida Tahiri are two Hazara women living in Kabul. Lots of their friends have made the voyage.

ZUBAIDA TAHIRI: As we have heard, those who are there, they are happy from their life. That's why we would prefer Australia.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: They also want to go. They know the risks and they see people smuggling as a necessary evil.

FEROZA QASEM: I don't have that much money to pay. If I could find the money I will pay for going to Australia.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Ramin Salik has a cousin in Jakarta waiting to get on a boat to Australia, courtesy of people smugglers, and he's saving up for the same journey.

RAMIN SALIK (translated): Yes, I am still looking forward and trying to go. I tried to go last year to find someone - a trafficker to get me to Australia. I will pay whatever it takes.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The ABC has been told that rates for people smugglers range from $US10,000 to more than $US20,000.

The Australian Government has recently toughened its immigration laws by reintroducing offshore detention.

FEROZA QASEM: Yeah we know the rules become tough for refugees. Again, we want to go to Australia because our life is danger after 2014, we can't live, maybe Taliban come back.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Zaheer Ali is a Hazara Refugee Advocate.

ZAHEER ALI: So people are very clearly looking for the betterment of their lives and I don't think so that any sort of action points by the Afghan government or any sort of action points by the Australian Government could stop asylum seekers going to Australia.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Even those who have already tried and failed to get to Australia still want to come.

University teacher Abdul Ali got as far as Malaysia. He paid people smugglers there $20,000 before he was arrested by local police and deported back to Afghanistan. He knows it's tougher now but it's only made him more determined.

ABDUL ALI: I want to go again to Australia because the situation with security in Afghanistan is very, very bad for me and for those who are living in Afghanistan. Everyone wants to go there.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: To these people even life in a camp on Nauru is preferable to one of filled with violence and uncertainty.

TONY EASTLEY: South Asia correspondent Michael Edwards reporting from Kabul.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Five killed in Quetta violence

Monday, October 15, 2012
From Print Edition

QUETTA: At least three people were killed and one injured in an incident of firing in the provincial capital on Sunday night.

Deputy Inspector General Investigation Police Hamid Shakil said that unknown armed men riding a bike opened indiscriminate fire on a Suzuki car near the City police station, killing one person and injuring three others. The assailants managed to escape. Later, two of the injured succumbed to their injuries in hospital.

The police have cordoned off the entire area to trace the attackers. A further probe was under way.In another incident, a man was injured by unknown armedmen over an old enmity here at Killi Bangulzai near the Sariab area of the provincial capital on Sunday. According to police, the victim was identified as Maulana Juma Khan.

Meanwhile, a police constable injured his colleague at the University of Balochistan after an exchange of hot words. Both were on security duty there. PPI adds: Two persons were killed and three others sustained serious injuries in a sectarian attack here on Sunday evening.

According to details, a local jeweller Ishaq, his brother Ismail and two sons Salman and Naseem closed their shop and went to their home. On the way home when they had reached Abdul Sattar road, terrorists opened fire on their vehicle.

As a result, Ishaq and Ismail died on the spot. Two sons of Ishaq, namely Salman and Naseem, sustained serious injuries. A rickshaw driver Abdul Hannan was also injured in the firing. They were shifted to the civil hospital and then to CMH for treatment.

Three vehicles were also badly damaged in the firing.After the firing, a fear and panic gripped the Liaqat Bazaar and adjoining areas. Shopkeepers immediately pulled down their shutters and the area became deserted.

گزارش سفر استاد محمد کریم خلیلی به ولایت بامیان

Two killed in Quetta firing

October 14, 2012 - Updated 190 PKT
From Web Edition

QUETTA: Two people from the Hazara community were killed during a firing incident here on Sunday.

The incident took place on Abdul Sattar Road when unknown gunmen opened fire on a vehicle. Three others were injured and have been shifted to the Civil Hospital.

The area has been cordoned off by the police and an investigation has been launched. Police have also recovered a 9MM pistol from the site.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Where do we go from here?

On October 4, a Hazara public official Sikander Ali was killed and two other men were injured in an attack on their vehicle on the National Highway near Kuchlak. Days later, two Shia men were killed in Quetta.

Almost 1,000 Shias, mostly Hazaras, have been killed in Quetta in the last 10 years. Although attacks on Shias have increased across Pakistan, the Hazara ethnic community in Balochistan has been especially targeted. One in 500 people of this small community of half a million have been killed in Balochistan since 1999. Around 25,000 Hazaras - about 5 percent of the entire Hazara population in Balochistan - have left the province for Afghanistan, Europe and Australia since 2001.

Most young Hazara people cannot attend universities and colleges in Quetta because of security fears. Data compiled by the Hazara Students Federation shows admissions of Hazara students in Balochistan University have declined by 42 percent since 2008, and enrolment in colleges outside Hazara-dominated areas has decreased by almost 95 percent.....Continue Reading.... 

نامزدهای دریافت جایزه صلح نوبل

Monday, October 8, 2012


"I could see the death in front of me" — listen to the hair-raising reality of seeking asylum in Australia. Two ship-wrecked asylum seekers cheat death, make a daring escape, and now face the wrenching choices of a life in limbo.

“ Hi Aubrey, it’s Barat Ali Batoor. I’ve escaped. I’m on the way to Jakarta. Where are you?”


Having trouble listening? Try listening on Soundcloud.
“ Now I can feel how the death is, how you see the death. When you see it really close to you.”
“ The boat is not in a good condition to take you further. The water is also very bad. So if you go ahead, I will take you, but that is completely, 100 per cent death and you will be responsible for your lives.”
“ We can’t live in Afghanistan or Pakistan. If I got back to Afghanistan or Pakistan, I will be killed.”

It was 5am when I was woken by a phone call.

"Hi Aubrey, it's Barat Ali Batoor. I've escaped," he said, his voice buzzing with adrenaline. "I'm on the way to Jakarta. Where are you?"

Just the previous day, I had been talking to Batoor on the phone and he had been in despair. Despair because Batoor had made a break for Australia in a shoddy wooden boat with more than 90 other Hazara asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The boat had nearly sunk in rough seas, and had been forced to run ashore in a remote corner of western Java. After two days stranded in the jungle, they had been captured.

When Batoor had first called, he had been on his way to immigration... Continue Reading... 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

[David Ignatius] Beyond the Afghan dead end

WASHINGTON ― While the overlooked war in Afghanistan grinds on, a group of officials in Washington, Kabul and Islamabad are exploring a bare-bones strategy that would narrow each side’s demands to a set of minimum conditions for escaping the current diplomatic dead end.

The aim is to create a pathway for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from a war that almost nobody sees as “winnable” by military force alone. The goal is a framework for political transition where each side’s demands are boiled down to the irreducible essentials ― providing a better deal for each party than they could get from battling on.

U.S. officials involved in the informal discussions liken this approach to the 1993 Downing Street Declaration on Northern Ireland that narrowed Catholic and Protestant demands to the basic items that then created space to negotiate the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended the civil conflict there.

U.S. officials have explored such an approach with Gen. Ehsan Ul-Haq, a former chief of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence directorate and a former chairman of the Pakistani joint chiefs of staff. He outlined his seven-point “road map” during a recent conversation at the Nixon Center in Washington. The aim of this exercise, he said, was to focus on political transition, rather than the military impasse.

Haq sees two baseline U.S. demands: No al-Qaida forces in Afghanistan, and no return to the Taliban’s oppressive policies toward women; the Taliban, according to Haq, has just one irreducible demand, for no more foreign forces in Afghanistan....Continue Reading.... 

Pakistan: Shia Man 'Mohammad Yaseen' Martyred in Quetta

Another Shia Muslim was gunned down by the Wahhabi terrorists in Quetta Balochistan on Sunday at Nechari Road. 

Quetta, Pakistan (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Another Shia Muslim was gunned down by the Wahhabi terrorists in Quetta Balochistan on Sunday at Nechari Road.

Mohammad Yaseen son of Mohammad Yameen was martyred in the firing of Wahhabi militants of banned terrorist outfits of Lashkhar-e-Jhangvi and Taliban at Nechari Road Quetta. He belongs to Shiite Hazara Community of Quetta and residence of Zainabya Street of Nechari Road Quetta.

Shaheed Mohammad Yaseen was the motor mechanic. The enraged protestors staged sit-in protest outside the Balochistan High Court in Quetta along with the burial of martyr Mohammad Yaseen to condemn the role of Judiciary and Government over the genocide of Shiite Muslims in Balochistan.

About 14 Shiite Muslims were gunned down by the Wahhabi militants in Quetta in month of September but not a single terrorist was detained by the Government and law enforcement agencies.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Doubt Cast on Afghan Mining

U.S. Says High Cost of Railway May Quash a Pillar of Kabul's Economic Strategy


WASHINGTON—Afghanistan's hopes of transforming its $1 trillion in mineral deposits into an economic engine could be derailed by obstacles to the construction of a railway system needed to transport minerals out of the country, according to a draft report by the U.S. military.

Researchers working for the U.S. military have concluded that it could cost more than $54 billion to build and run a railway network across Afghanistan, a price the report says could make some large-scale mining economically unviable in one of the world's poorest countries.

The conclusions, found inside an 80-page draft report commissioned by the Department of Defense that was viewed by The Wall Street Journal raise major questions about Afghanistan's ambitious plans to convert its valuable mineral deposits into a reliable economic base.

Janan Mosazai, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry, questioned the high price-tag and predicted that the benefits of a nationwide rail network would outweigh the costs in the long run.

"Connecting Afghanistan to the region's established railway networks is a critical component of realizing the vision of an economically integrated heart of Asia region, with Afghanistan at its center," Mr. Mosazai said.

U.S. officials declined to comment on the preliminary report.

As the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan winds down and billions of dollars in aid dwindles, American and Afghan leaders are working to fuel the South Asian nation's anemic economy with money from oil, natural gas, copper, iron and other mining deals.

Afghan officials hope to generate $300 million from mining projects—about 15% of the civilian budget—by 2016. Over the next 12 years, Afghan leaders hope mining revenue will make up half of the country's GDP. Afghanistan has no large-scale mining projects in operation yet.

Backed by U.S. Defense Department strategists, the Afghan government has been aggressively selling off its biggest mineral interests to companies from China, India, Canada and the U.S., from whom it hopes to collect licensing fees and royalties.

The U.S. began touting minerals as a possible economic savior for Afghanistan in 2010, when it trumpeted its estimate that the nation was home to nearly $1 trillion in potential resources.

But Afghanistan's mining prospects have been delayed by a series of complications—from bribery allegations that sidelined one mining minister to insurgent attacks that pose a security challenge to development.

One of the biggest evolving projects—plans by India's government and a private Canadian company to develop a massive iron-ore deposit in central Bamiyan province—will require a reliable railway system in a country with virtually no rail.

Chinese officials are conducting their own analysis of the country to determine if it makes sense for them to build a railway as part of their copper project at Mes Aynak, a site outside Kabul that Chinese state-owned companies have pledged to spend $3.5 billion to develop.

But the U.S. military's researchers, who warned that the new draft study was based on a variety of unpredictable measures that could alter the dim projections, outlined hurdles that will be difficult to overcome.

Getting iron ore out of the country would require construction of up to 3,000 miles of track through 16,000-foot mountain ranges that, in some places, would need a large number of bridges and tunnels, the report concluded.

Because of the daunting terrain between Bamiyan and Kabul, it would cost nearly $7.5 billion to build one 600-mile section of rail, including double tracking in mountainous areas.

The report concluded that there appeared to be no good rail route to transport iron ore out of Bamiyan, the remote province at 9,000-feet that was home to towering Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. "Neither the segments between Kunduz to Bamiyan or Bamiyan to Kabul showed grade profiles conducive to heavy-haul iron ore traffic," the draft study says.

The best alternative, the researchers found, would be a 2,260-mile rail network linked to Pakistan that would cost more than $45 billion by 2040. Even in that case, the study concluded, the project would cost $10 billion more than it was worth.

If investors were to build the rail to Pakistan, Western officials said that the neighboring nation's railroad system is so dysfunctional that linking Afghanistan's mineral routes to Pakistan would be a gamble in itself.

"I don't think it is very realistic to think about Pakistan as a railway route," said one Western official in Afghanistan who works on mining issues. "Pakistan is a mess."

Afghanistan is also constrained by the fact that neighboring nations use three different types of track, which complicates its own ability to build a rail route that could link to the adjacent countries.

Western officials familiar with the report's contents privately questioned the research estimates and said Afghanistan will be able to pursue some major projects—including the Chinese copper deal—that can use trucks rather than rail, to transport the minerals.

Researchers are considering other potential routes out of the country as the iron-ore project moves forward. The Indian-Canadian project developers are expected to spend at least three years exploring the 1.8-million ton iron deposit before they decide if it is worthwhile to extract the minerals and transport them out of the country.

While the Afghan government has been pushing China to complete its study and build the rail line, there is a growing consensus among Western officials involved in mining that China is unlikely to build rail in Afghanistan because it isn't essential to move its copper out of the country.

Moreover, no rail line in Afghanistan will be worth building, the military report concluded, unless it would transport the iron ore.

"A general-purpose railway is never going to be economic in Afghanistan," said the Western official in Afghanistan. "If the Afghan authorities are keen on that they are essentially saddling themselves with a liability."

Write to Dion Nissenbaum at

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

کوئٹہ فائرنگ میں دو سرکاری ملازمین ہلاک

آخری وقت اشاعت: جمعرات 4 اکتوبر 2012 ,‭ 05:37 GMT 10:37 PST

پاکستان کے صوبہ بلوچستان کے دارالحکومت کوئٹہ میں نامعلوم افراد کی فائرنگ کے نتیجے میں دو سرکاری ملازمین ہلاک اور ایک زخمی ہو گیا ہے۔

حکام کے مطابق کوئٹہ سے پچیس کلومیٹر شمال کی جانب علاقے کچھلاک میں نامعلوم افراد نے ایک گاڑی پر فائرنگ کی۔

اس فائرنگ کے نتیجے میں محکمہ خزانہ کے دو اہلکار ہلاک اور ایک زخمی ہو گیا۔

ان تینوں افراد کا تعلق ہزارہ قبیلے سے ہے۔حکام کے مطابق یہ تینوں افراد کوئٹہ سے پشین جا رہے تھے جب ان کو نشانہ بنایا گیا

One killed, two injured in Quetta firing

October 04, 2012 - Updated 1033 PKT
From Web Edition

QUETTA: A man lost his life in a firing incident while two others were wounded in a suburban area of Quetta Thursday morning, Geo News reported.

According to police, the incident took place in the main market of Kachlak area where two unknown gunmen opened indiscriminate fire on a car on National Highway and fled from the scene.

As a result of firing, three passengers of the car were critically injured.

The injured were being shifted to Quetta when one of the injured men succumbed to his injuries. The three men were taken to Civil Hospital from where one victim was shifted to CMH.

Further investigation is underway.

کوئٹہ:کچلاک میں فائرنگ سے ایک شخص ہلاک،2زخمی

 کوئٹہ کے نواحی علاقے کچلاک میں نامعلوم افراد کی فائرنگ سے ایک شخص جاں بحق جبکہ دو زخمی ہوگئے۔ پولیس کے مطابق واقعہ کوئٹہ کے نواحی علاقے کچلاک کے مین بازار میں پیش آیا جب دو نامعلوم مسلح افراد نے قومی شاہراہ پر ایک گاڑی پر اچانک اندھادھند فائرنگ کردی اور موقع سے فرار ہوگئے۔ فائرنگ کے نتیجے میں گاڑی میں سوار تینوں افراد زخمی ہوگئے، انہیں طبی امداد کے لئے کوئٹہ منتقل کیاجارہا تھا کہ ایک شدید زخمی راستے میں ہی دم توڑ گیا، تاہم جاں بحق شخص اور دونوں زخمیوں کو سول اسپتال منتقل کردیاگیا،بعد میں ایک شدید زخمی کو سی  
 ایم ایچ منتقل کردیاگیا، واقعہ
  کی مزید تحقیقات جاری ہیں۔

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