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.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

India to invest in Bamyan

Posted by wadsam | November 21, 2012

India’s ambassador to Afghanistan has announced his country’s willingness to invest in Bamyan.

Gautam Mukho Padhya said during his visit to Bamyan with local officials that Bamyan is one f the secure places of Afghanistan offering more tourist attractions in the province than other parts of the country.

“I am here to investigate and research investment opportunities and humanitarian assistance to the people of Bamyan.”

The ambassador announced that India’s extraction work on Hajigak iron ore will begin next year.

“Our assistance to Bamyan is based on the mutual agreement between Afghanistan and India. India is determined to aid in the agriculture and education sectors of Bamyan,” said Mr. Padhya.

This is Mr. Padhya’s first visit to Bamyan province where he promised his country will build a school at Band-e-Amir.

President Hamid Karzai on his visit to India earlier this month told a gathering in the capital city of Mumbai that his country is ready for Indian investments in mining and other sectors and that India should not hesitate about coming for investment to Afghanistan, where the Chinese have invested billions of dollars in exploiting the mineral reserves.

The trip to India was aimed at attracting investments to the war-torn country that is relying heavily on its abundant natural resources for economic development.

Indian Commerce Minister, Anand Sharma, assured the Afghan leader that India would consider developing Afghanistan’s infrastructure, including highways, power projects, the Chahbahar port and ensuring energy security.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two killed, body found in Balochistan

QUETTA: Two people, including a member of the Hazara community, were gunned down in firing incidents in Quetta and Barkhan districts of Balochistan, while a body was found in Machh district, on Wednesday. According to police, unidentified armed men opened fire on a person on Circular Road of Quetta and managed to flee from the scene. As a result, the victim received multiple bullet wounds and died immediately. His body was shifted to Combined Military Hospital for medico-legal formalities where he was identified as Hussain Ali Hazara. Police said the incident appeared to be a case of sectarian killing however, investigations were underway to unearth the real motive behind the killing. No group claimed responsibility of the incident. In another incident, a man, identified as Nadeem Jan, was gunned down in Barkhan by unidentified armed men. Moreover, on a tip-off, police recovered a body from the old bus stop in Machh and shifted it to a state-run hospital for autopsy where it was identified as that of Ejaz. Police quoting hospital officials said there was no injury on the body of deceased. Police have registered separate cases of all incidents and investigations are underway. staff report

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Student Killed in Melee at Afghan University

November 25, 2012 6:05 pm

By AZAM AHMED / The New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Sectarian violence erupted on the campus of Kabul University on Saturday, claiming the life of at least one student and wounding eight others as Shiite Muslim students observed a major religious holiday, the police said.

The clash began Saturday evening as Sunni Muslim students tried to prevent their Shiite counterparts from observing Ashura inside a dormitory mosque. The holiday commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and a revered figure in Shiite Islam. The confrontation escalated during the night, with students throwing stones at one another. University officials eventually sent in the police to break up the melee.

Some police officers said that as many as three people might have been killed, but only one death was confirmed as of Saturday night. University officials evacuated the school and canceled classes for the next 10 days.

Shiites and Sunnis represent the two main branches of Islam. Some extremist Sunnis view Shiites as heretics.

The government had hoped to avoid violence during Ashura this year after a series of bombings killed more than 60 worshipers in Kabul during last year's holiday. Expanded security measures this year successfully thwarted at least two suicide bombings during Saturday's processions, which drew tens of thousands of Shiites to the streets.

Aside from the melee at Kabul University, there were few other episodes of violence reported across the country.

While the Shiite minority, many of them ethnic Hazaras, suffered violent discrimination under the Taliban before 2001, ethnic violence has been muted in recent years. Last year's Ashura bombings were the work of a Pakistani extremist group known for attacking Shiites for their religious beliefs.

But last month, fighting erupted primarily between ethnic Pashtuns and Tajiks at Kabul Education University after President Hamid Karzai decided to rename the school the Martyr of Peace Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani University. Mr. Rabbani, a former Afghan president who was killed by a suicide bomber last year, was a Tajik.

Sharifullah Sahak contributed reporting.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
First Published November 25, 2012 6:01 pm

Post Gazette 

Afghan Clash Raises Sectarian Fears

Melee Between Shiite and Sunni Students Over Religious Custom Adds to Concern Over Coalition's Exit


KABUL—Afghanistan's sectarian tensions boiled over this weekend when university students split between the two main Muslim sects attacked each other, leaving one dead and 27 wounded, and stoking fears the violence could reopen old civil-war fault-lines.

Students commemorating Ashura—a Shiite religious day of mourning—were prevented by their Sunni peers from celebrating at dormitories housing students from four of Kabul's major universities, both Shiite and Sunni students said.

The students say they were being discriminated against for their religious beliefs and called in reinforcements from nearby Hazara communities, which are predominantly Shiite. Hundreds of people, not all of them students, were involved in the clashes.

After Saturday's bloodshed, Afghanistan's ministry of higher education suspended classes at all four universities, including Kabul University, for 10 days, to fix the damage at the campus and to wait for tensions between students to cool, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said. Students living at the dormitories have been asked to find temporary accommodation....Continue Reading... 

Afghan Shiites fear decline in status

By The Washington Post

Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012, 8:36 p.m.
Updated 18 hours ago

KABUL, Afghanistan — For the past week, the Afghan capital has been draped with black cloth arches and festooned with huge colored banners. Mournful, pounding chants pour from loudspeakers across the city, filling the air with slow martial intensity.

The dramatic display is all part of Muharram, the 10-day Shiite festival that commemorates the slaying of Imam Hussein, a 7th-century holy figure and early champion of Islam. It is also a symbol of the growing religious and political freedom that Afghanistan’s long-ostracized Shiites have had in the past decade.

Now, as Western military forces prepare to leave the country by 2014, Afghan Shiites, most of whom are from the Hazara ethnic minority, fear their window of opportunity may slam shut again, leaving larger rival ethnic groups as well as Taliban insurgents, who are radical Sunni Muslims, dominating power.

“Everything we have achieved, our ability to come out and participate in society, has been in the shade of the international community and forces,” said Mohammed Alizada, a Hazara Shiite who was elected to parliament in 2009. “We are very concerned that once they leave, the fundamentalists will re-emerge, ethnic issues will return, and we will lose what we have gained.”

There are more immediate fears as well. Sectarian violence, historically absent from Afghan society, has been intensifying in next-door Pakistan and spilling across the border.....Continue Reading... 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Security tightened in Quetta on Ashura

Sunday, November 25, 2012
From Print Edition

QUETTA: In a bid to thwart terror attack in Quetta, the provincial government has stiffened security with the deployment of about 8,000 personnel of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the city, sources said on Saturday.

“About 5,478 personnel of police and the Balochistan Constabulary have been deployed in the provincial capital besides 21 platoons of the Frontier Corps have also been called in for maintaining peace during Muharram,” sources in the Home Department told APP.

They said three battalions of 61 Brigade of the Pakistan Army will remain standby to assist the civil administration. They added that ban has also been imposed on motorbikes and carrying arms across the province.

They said three control rooms each at the offices of the CCPO Quetta, the commissioner and the deputy commissioner have been set up, linking them with 32 security cameras installed on the routes of the processions. “The CCTV cameras will also monitor all entry and exit points of the provincial capital,” they maintained. The deployment has also been made on the routes of the processions and around Imambargahs.

The roads leading to the routes of Ashura processions have already been blocked by placing containers. Meanwhile, helicopters of the Pakistan Army were also seen hovering over to provide aerial surveillance of the processions.

درگیری بین دانشجویان در خوابگاه پوهنتون کابل

به نظر می رسد که درگیری بر سر برگزاری مراسم عاشورا در مسجد پوهنتون بوده است

شهریار شهرزاد - کابل

شنبه ٠٤ قوس ١٣٩١ ساعت ١٧:٠٣

گزارش های از پوهنتون کابل در شهر کابل حاکیست که بین محصلان بخش خوابگاه این پوهنتون درگیری رخ داده است.

صدیق صدیقی سخنگوی وزارت امور داخله به خبرگزاری بخدی گفت که ماموران پولیس در محل درگیری اعزام شده اند و وضعیت در کنترول پولیس است.
آقای صدیقی می گوید که بر اثر درگیری سه تا چهار محصل زخمی شده که به شفاخانه انتقال یافته اند.
صدیقی در مورد وضع صحی زخمی شدگان چیزی نگفت اما تاکید کرد که درگیری پایان یافته است.
با این حال، یک دانشجو از خوابگاه پوهنتون کابل به خبرگزاری بخدی گفت که بر اثر این درگیری، دو دانشجو جان خود را از دست داده و حداقل پنج محصل دیگر زخمی شده اند.
این محصل می گوید که شماری از دانشجویان از منزل سه و چهارم خوابگاه به پایین پرتاب شده و برخی آنان در وضع بدی صحی قرار دارند.
او که خواست نامش در خبر ذکر نشود می گوید که ماموران پولیس حداقل سی تا سی و پنچ محصل را به اتهام شرکت در درگیری بازداشت کرده اند.
به نظر می رسد که درگیری بر سر برگزاری مراسم عاشورا در مسجد پوهنتون بوده است.
شماری از محصلان می گویند که درگیری پس از چاشت امروز آغاز شد و محصلان نخست به طرف همدیگر سنگ پرتاب می کردند.
این درگیری حوالی ساعت چهار به اوج خود رسید و ماموران امنیتی وارد محل درگیری شدند.
گفته می شود که در این درگیری به ساختمان خوابگاه نیز خساره وارد شده، شیشه ها و دروازه های برخی از اتاق ها شکسته است.
مقام های امنیتی تا هنوز رقم تلفات و خسارات وارده به خوابگاه پوهنتون کابل را تایید نکرده اند.

مراسم عاشورا در سراسر کشور در فضا امن برگزار شد و گزارشی مبنی بر خشونت در این مراسم ها مخابره نشده است.

برخی از برگزار کنندگان و سخنرانان در مراسم عاشورا در کابل از فعالیت نیروهای امنیتی اظهار خرسندی کرده و تلاش های آنان را در تامین امنیت ستودند.
حامد کرزی رییس جمهور در مسجد قهرمان کربلا، جنرال مجتبی پتنگ وزیر داخله در حوزه علمیه خانم النبیین و شماری از 
اعضای ولسی جرگه و مقامات کشور حضور داشتند و ادامه راه امام حسین را رسالت بزرگ برای مسلمانان خواندند.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Shia massacre in Pakistan, more extensive and focused: Analyst

Pakistani Shia Muslims shout slogans and carry banners as they march during a protest in Islamabad on March 2, 2012, against the killing of Shia travelers in Kohistan area.

Thu Sep 6, 2012 5:53PM GMT

What is now happening to the Shia Muslims in Pakistani regions such as Gilgit, Baltistan, Parachinar, Kurram agency, Quetta and other areas is indeed the continued legacy of violence initiated by Zia ul-Haq and financed by Saudi Wahhabis in an effort to limit the influence of the Shia Muslims in the country.”

The massacre of Shia Muslims in Pakistan, which has grown in quantity and become more focused, is aimed at ‘smashing the pillars of the Pakistani society to smithereens,’ a prominent analyst says.

“That the Shia mass murders have continued over the years with no legal and judiciary source or law enforcement agencies having sought to put an end to these brutalities indicates that these acts are but to be considered as part of a systematic and organized plot prodigiously funded and ingeniously engineered by internal and external forces with the express intention of making the pillars of Pakistani society fall to smithereens, shattering the very fabric of the Shia community and distorting the image of Pakistan and depicting it as a religiously intolerant nation,” Dr. Ismail Salami wrote in an article on the Press TV website. 

Salami said the killings, which had raged over the past few years but have intensified in recent months, “practically amounted to genocide, raising more-than-sectarian alarm bells not only in Pakistan but also across the Muslim world.” 

“The targets which were basically focused on any ordinary person with Shia belief have now come to include those Shia Muslims who belong to the educated and elite class of the Pakistani society,” he added.
According to World Minority Rights Report (2011), Pakistan ranks as the 6th worst country in terms of violence against and persecution of the Shia Muslims and minorities. 

At least six people including a Shia Muslim doctor were killed in separate attacks in different regions of militancy-ravaged Pakistan on Wednesday. 

Last week, senior Shia judge Zulfiqar Naqvi was killed along with his driver and bodyguard in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan Province 

Shia Doctor Syed Naimatullah s/o Syed Sarwar was also recently assassinated in Quetta in broad daylight at his clinic at Kirni Road, raising the tally of targeted killings since January this year to 419. 

Salami said the history of violence against the Shia community in Pakistan goes back to the time of military dictator Zia ul-Haq who made it “a state policy to fund and arm Wahhabi groups” in the 1980s. 

“It was during those years when he (Zia ul-Haq) technically institutionalized violence by unleashing Sipah-e Sahaba fundamentalists on Shia-populated regions, ushering in a new age of violence and mayhem,” he added. 

Zia ul-Haq, the prominent author said, tasked Pakistan intelligence agency, ISI, with monitoring the activities of Shia organizations all over the country “lest the Shia Muslims would be empowered in the wake of the advent of the Iranian Revolution in 1979.” 

“What is now happening to the Shia Muslims in Pakistani regions such as Gilgit, Baltistan, Parachinar, Kurram agency, Quetta and other areas is indeed the continued legacy of violence initiated by Zia ul-Haq and financed by Saudi Wahhabis in an effort to limit the influence of the Shia Muslims in the country.” 


ہزارہ – جو کبھی میرے پڑوسی تھے

Friday 23 November 2012

کویٹہ — فائل فوٹو –.

کوئٹہ شہر کے مرکز سے دور ڈیلائٹ سینما سے آگے تغی روڈ پر ہمارا گھر واقع ہے، جہاں ہم آٹھ سالوں تک ہنسی خوشی رہتے رہے۔

انیس سو اڑسٹھ میں شہر چھوڑنے تک کم از کم میں تو یہی سمجھتا تھا۔

1958 سے 1969 تک پاکستان فوج کے کمانڈر ان چیف رہنے والے جنرل محمد موسی کی رہائش گاہ بھی ہمارے گھر سے کچھ فاصلے پر تھی۔ جنرل موسی ہزارہ تھے اور ہمارے علاقے کے تقریباً تمام ہی رہائشی اس برادری سے تعلق رکھتے تھے۔ اس علاقے میں چند ہی ایسے خاندان آباد تھے جو اس برادری سے نہیں تھے اور ہمارا خاندان بھی انہی میں شمار ہوتا تھا۔

ایک چھ سالہ بچے کے طور پر میرا اپنے محلے کے بارے میں پہلا تاثر منفی نوعیت کا تھا۔ میری عمر کے زیادہ تر بچے اپنے خدو خال سے چینی لگتے تھے اور سکول نہیں جاتے تھے۔ مجھے ان کی زبان سمجھنا بھی دشوار لگتا تھا کیونکہ ان کے منہ سے نکلنے والے عجیب و غریب الفاظ میری سمجھ سے بالاتر تھے۔

بظاہر آوارہ، سخت جان اور سڑکوں پر بے مقصد گھومتے پھرتے ان بچوں سے میں خوف زدہ رہتا تھا۔ یہ بچے اور دوسرے لوگ ہزارہ برادری سے تعلق نہ رکھنے والوں کو ہمیشہ پنجابی تصور کرتے تھے۔ بعض اوقات یہ بچے گروہ کی شکل میں ‘پنجابی پنجابی ‘ کے نعرے لگاتے ہمارا پیچھا بھی کرتے۔ شاید انہوں نے ساٹھ کی دہائی کے برطانوی مفروضے ‘ ٹیڈی بوائز’ کا تزکرہ سن رکھا تھا، اسی لیے ہر شلوار قمیض نہ پہننے والا بچہ ان کے لیے ’ٹیڈی بوائے’ اور ٹیڈی گرل’ تھی۔ حتٰی کہ میری والدہ جب کبھی ساڑھی پہن کر بازار جانے کے لیے گھر سے نکلتیں تو انہیں بھی پیچھے سے ‘ٹیڈی گرل’ کی آوازیں سننا پڑتیں۔

تاہم وقت گزرنے کے ساتھ ساتھ ہمارے منفی تاثر میں تبدیلی آتی گئی۔ ہزارہ برادری سے میرا پہلا براہ راست واسطہ اس وقت پڑا جب کرکٹ کھیلتے ہوئے ایک غلط شاٹ کی وجہ سے گیند پڑوس میں ایک خالی پلاٹ میں چلی گئی۔ پلاٹ کے گرد چار دیواری اور ایک دروازہ موجود تھا جس پر ہر وقت تالہ پڑا رہتا تھا۔ میں نے ڈرتے ڈرتے پلاٹ سے چند فاصلے پر موجود اس کے مالک ‘بوڑھے بابا’ کے گھر پر دستک دی اور ان کے باہر آنے پر با ادب انداز میں اپنا مسئلہ بیان کیا۔

انہوں نے بغیر کوئی ردعمل ظاہر کیے اپنی جیب میں ہاتھ ڈالا اور ایک چابی مجھے تھما دی۔ جس کے بعد میں نے پلاٹ سے گیند اٹھانے کے بعد تالا لگا کر چابی انہیں واپس کر دی۔ اس واقعہ کے ساتھ ہی ہمارے خوبصورت رشتے کا آغاز ہو گیا۔ ہماری گیند بار بار اس پلاٹ میں جاتی بعض اوقات تو دن میں ایک سے زائد مرتبہ بھی ایسا ہو جاتا، لیکن ‘بوڑھے صاحب’ اپنے ماتھے پر بل لائے بغیر ہی ہمیں چابی دے دیتے۔

بوڑھے صاحب نے کئی بکریاں پال رکھی تھیں اور ہماری والدہ ان بکریوں کے لیے مٹر کے چھلکے ایک تھیلی میں جمع کر کے ہمیں بوڑھے صاحب کو دینے کا کہتیں اور صاحب ہمیشہ ہی مسکراتے ہوئے تھیلی لے لیتے۔

ہمارے محلے دار بہت ہی بھلے اور دیکھ بھال کرنے والے تھے۔ ایک مرتبہ سالانہ امتحانات کے دوران ہم اسکول جانے کے لیے تیار ہوئے تو پتا چلا کہ گاڑی خراب ہو گئی ہے، جس پر گھر میں پریشانی کی لہر دوڑ گئی۔ بالآخر ہمارے والد ‘بوڑھے صاحب’ کے بیٹے محمد علی کے گھر گئے اور اپنا مسئلہ بیان کیا۔ علی فوراً اندر گئے اور اپنی گاڑی کی چابی لے آئے، اسی دوران ‘بوڑھے صاحب’ بھی پہنچ گئے۔ میرے والد نے انہیں بتایا کہ ہمارا اسکول نذدیک ہی واقع ہے اور وہ جلد ہی گاڑی لوٹا دیں گے۔ چہرے پر پریشانی کے تاثرات لیے ہوئے بوڑھے صاحب نے کہا کہ ‘ تم کیوں اس کی پروا کرتا ہے، تم اس کو لندن لے کر جاؤ’۔

مصنف (بایں سے دوسرے) اپنے بہن بھائیوں کے ساتھ

میرے چھوٹے بہن بھائیوں اور مجھے یہ اعزاز بھی حاصل رہا کہ ہمارا گھر ملک کے فوجی سربراہ کی رہائش گاہ کے قریب واقع تھا۔ اس زمانے میں جب کبھی ہزارہ برادری میں شادی ہوتی تو ایک فوجی بینڈ آتا اور دن رات دھنیں بھکیرتا رہتا۔ 

اس بینڈ کا سب سے عمدہ شو اس وقت دیکھنے کو ملا جب جنرل موسٰی کی بیٹی کی شادی فلائیٹ لیفٹیننٹ شربت علی خان چنگیزی سے ہوئی، جنہوں نے بعد ازاں انیس سو پینسٹھ کی جنگ میں طلائی تمغہ جیتا تھا۔ 

ایک بڑی شادی ہونے کی وجہ سے اس کی تقریبات ایک ہفتے تک جاری رہیں۔پہلے تین دن تو نامور بلوچ ریجیمنٹ کے بینڈ نے ہمیں محضوظ کیا۔ تقریبات کا چوتھا روز یادگار ثابت ہوا کیونکہ عین اس وقت جب بلوچ ریجیمنٹ حاظرین کے سامنے دھنیں بجا رہا تھا، اچانک ایک فوجی ٹرک آیا اور اس میں سے پنجاب ریجیمنٹ کا بینڈ نمودار ہوا۔ اس بینڈ نے اس مہارت سے دھنیں بکھیریں اور مارچ کیا کہ پہلے بینڈ کی کارکردگی گہنا کر رہ گئی۔

مجھے یاد ہے کہ پنجاب بینڈ کی سربراہی ایک لمبا چوڑا اور مستند بینڈ ماسٹر کر رہا تھا۔ جلد ہی دونوں بینڈز میں سبقت لے جانا کا ایسا مقابلہ شروع ہوا کہ حاضرین بالخصوص بچے مبہوت ہو کر رہ گئے۔

ہمارے علاقے میں محرم الحرام کے دوران بھی ایک مخصوص اور منفرد سماں ہوتا تھا۔ ہر روز ہی سڑکوں پر چھوٹے بڑے ماتمی جلوس برآمد ہوتے تھے اور چونکہ ہم ان جلوسوں میں عزا داری کرنے والے اکثر شرکاء سے واقف ہوتے تھے لہذا ہمیں ان کی فکر بھی رہتی تھی۔

میں اور میرے چھوٹے بہن بھائی سنی فرقہ سے تعلق رکھنے کے باوجود جلوسوں کے دوران سینہ کوبی اور نعروں سے اس قدر متاثر ہوتے کہ ہم اپنے گھر کے صحن میں ایک جلوس برآمد کرتے، سینہ کوبی اور دری زبان میں واقعہ کربلا کی ذکر بھی کرتے۔

کوئٹہ میں رہائش کے دوران مجھے یاد نہیں پڑتا کہ ہم نے کبھی ماہِ محرم میں دنگے فساد یا پھر لڑائی دیکھی ہو۔

میرے بچپن کا یہ خوبصورت دور اس وقت ختم ہو گیا جب ہمارے والد نے کوئٹہ میں بارہ سال گزارنے کے بعد راولپنڈی منتقل ہونے کا فیصلہ کیا۔ انہوں نے ہمارا سارا ساز و سامان اپنی ووکس ویگن بیٹل میں بھرا اور میری ماں اور ہم پانچوں بہن بھائی بھی گاڑی میں سوار ہو گئے۔ روانگی کے وقت سب ہی افسردہ تھے کچھ کی تو آنکھیں بھی نم تھیں۔

اس موقع پر میں ‘بوڑھے صاحب’ کی آنکھوں میں آنسو دکھ سکتا تھا۔ سبھی محلے دار ہمیں گلے لگا کر بلند آوازوں میں خدا حافظ کہہ رہے تھے۔ گاڑی روانہ ہونے پر میں نے پیچھے مڑ کر دیکھا تو سب ہی دم بخود کھڑے نظر آئے۔ بالآخر گاڑی کے سڑک پر موڑ کاٹنے کے ساتھ ہی وہ تمات چہرے میری نظروں سے اوجھل ہو گئے۔

میں دوبارہ کبھی اس شہر نہ جا سکا جہاں میرا بچپن گزرا تھا۔ وہاں جانا اب خاصا تکلیف دہ ہو گا کیونکہ میں آئے روز اخبارات میں ہزارہ برادری کے لوگوں کی ہلاکتوں کی خبریں پڑتا رہتا ہوں، اس قتل و غارت کے بعض واقعات تغی روڈ پر بھی پیش آئے جہاں ہمارا گھر تھا۔

شاید انیس سو اڑسٹھ میں جن بچوں کو میں نے الوداع کہا تھا وہ بھی ہدف بننے والوں میں شامل ہوں۔ لیکن میں حمتی طور پر یہ کبھی بھی جان نہیں پاؤں گا۔

میں امید کرتا ہوں کہ وہ سب مادر وطن سمجھے جانے والی اِس مقتل گاہ کے مقابلے میں اب کہیں اچھی جگہ پر ہوں گے۔

Thursday, November 22, 2012

UK minister’s comments about Hazaras spark controversy

Murtaza Ali ShahFriday, November 23, 2012
From Print Edition

LONDON: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reportedly said that Pakistani government officials support the killing of hundreds of Hazara Shias in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan.

Alan Johnson MP, former Home Secretary, during the Labour government, told the International Conference on the Genocide of Hazaras held in the House of Commons, organized by the Hazara Progressive Alliance, Hazara Organization for Peace and Equality and the Friends of Hazara, that Aliastair Burt MP had personally told him in April this year that he had made inquiries and found that “there was absolutely no doubt that there was some kind of official sanction to what was happening in Quetta city, that there were elements in government and security forces, who were sympathetic to the people who were murdering and killing Hazara people.”

The conference in the House of Commons was attended by more than 20 MPs from various parties. They included parliamentarians Robert Buckland, John Denham, Tobias Ellwood, Mr James Gray, Mark Lancaster, John McDonnell, Caroline Nokes, Stephen Pound, Mark Pritchard, Dan Rogerson, Andrew Smith, Iain Stewart, Eric Ollerenshaw OBE, Bob Ainsworth, Jim Cunningham, Chris Huhne, Sue Clayton and Lord Avebury, Luci Woodland, Hazara campaigners Inayat Balkhy Syed, Mokhtar Ali, Akram Gizabi, Ali Hakimi and Javed Hussain.

These comments by the former home secretary are likely to create tensions between the two countries as Pakistan maintains that all communities are under attack from extremists, but human rights group confirm that Hazaras are more vulnerable than any other ethnic group because of their distinct Mongoloid feature.

Alan Johnson, who has become a leading campaigner on behalf of Hazaras, expressed frustration that previous meetings had called “that genocide of Hazaras ended and the perpetrators of this crime were brought to justice”, but there has not been a single conviction, there still hasn’t been a single arrest. As many as 5000,Hazaras have left Quetta city which is an enormous loss to the city, student can no longer attend the university due to fear, Hazaras are under siege of terror.

MPs on this occasion announced the formation of All Parties Parliamentary Group on Hazaras to “address the issues faced by Hazaras in Pakistan to bring an end to the persecution and racial discrimination carried out against Hazaras”. Ian Steward, who was the sponsor of the conference, pledged that he will set up the group and will visit Pakistan with his colleagues.

About 0.6 million Hazaras live in Quetta, Balochistan. Campaigners claimed that over the last 12 years, nearly 800 Hazaras have been killed and over 2,000 injured in 109 recorded terrorist attacks. For majority of these attacks, Lashkar-e-Jangvi, the banned sectarian group, has accepted the responsibility but so far not a single terrorist involved in the killing of Hazaras has been brought to the justice.

MPs said in their speeches that the situation of Hazaras was grave, and they needed protection from terror groups and normal life restored to them. The MPs said the government of Pakistan had failed in its duty to protect its on people and that was a tragedy. They said Hazara professionals, businessmen and labourers were leaving the city as they were under attack.

Inayat Syed told The News: “Some terrorists are occasionally arrested but are then either directly released or helped to escape. They have support within the security forces and these terrorists don’t fear anything and anyone, they are above the law. Security forces further persecute Hazaras for being victims and don’t actively provide any support. Media and the government are not interested in us. We protested outside Pakistan missions as a first step but nothing happened. Now we have gone a step forward and the government of Pakistan needs to blame itself for its failure. He said that the government of Pakistan should be trialled on the cases of crime against humanity.

Ali Hakimi said Hazaras are patriot Pakistanis but the government of Pakistan had shown no interest in their concerns and ministers such as Chief Minister Lashkari Raisani made a joke about their plight. “Our chief minister laughs at us when our relatives are killed and Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi quoted his Inspector General of Police (IGP) as saying that high-ups calls for the release of criminals and terrorists who are involved in the killing of Hazars. We have come to the conclusion that provincial government officials are helpless. That’s why we have contacted the international community to help us get protection in Pakistan. We want the world to know that genocide is unfolding before their very eyes and they can help stop it.”

Our Islamabad correspondent adds: When this correspondent contacted a former security official he said there was no truth in assertions that elements in the government and security forces are sympathizing with killers of Hazara Shias in Quetta. He said there are many Shias in the security forces. He said it is an international conspiracy against the country. The enemies of Pakistan have pushed the country in war against Taliban and now they wanted to spoil internal situation and also damage Pakistan’s relations with Iran.

He said everybody including Shia and Sunni ulema are well aware of the drama being staged by Pakistan’s enemies as there is no difference between the followers of two sects in Pakistan.

Genocide of Hazaras in Pakistan International Conference in House of Com...

Aapas ki baat 21 November 2012 (Pakistan's Reaction to Mumbai Attacks) ...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Socio-demographic and Economic Survey in Bamiyan, Afghanistan

‘پھلوں کے شہر سے شہر ِ آشوب تک’

سجاد حسین چنگیزی

بچپن کی ایک یاد

“بابیئ (ابّو)، اگر کراچی روشنیوں کا شہر ھے اور لاھور زندہ دلوں کا شہر تو ہمارے کوئٹہ کی کیا خصوصیت ھے؟”

“بچیّم (بیٹے)، یہ تازے تازے خربوزے، انگور، آلوچے، تربوزے، زرد آلو، آڑو، سیب اور یہ بادام، اخروٹ، چلغوزے اور 
شنیے، سب بھول گئے پاگل؟ کوئٹہ پھلوں کا شہر ھے۔ یہاں سے آم، کیلے، کنّو افغانستان اور آگے ایکسپورٹ ہوتے ہیں ۔ ۔ ۔

Dawn; Facebook Cover

Dawn's Facebook Cover; Accessed on 11/21/2012

ہزارہ کی شناخت

قبریں، کتبے اور تصویریں
ہزارہ کی پہلی شناخت

پہاڑوں کے دامن میں آباد یہ جگہ جمعے کی نماز کے بعد لوگوں سے بھر جاتی ہے۔ پتھروں کی چھوٹی چھوٹی ڈھیریوں کے بیچ ایک راہداری میں دونوں طرف جیتی جاگتی تصویریں لگی ہیں۔ طالبعلم، اداکار، استاد، بینکر، سپاہی، وکیل اور کھلاڑی۔ خوش پوش، امنگوں سے بھرپور، جن کی آنکھوں سے زندگی چمکتی ہے۔ سورج ڈھلنے کے ساتھ ساتھ قرآن پڑھنے اور بین کرنے کی آوازیں بھی آہستہ آہستہ لرزنا شروع ہو جاتی ہیں۔ یہ ہزارہ قبرستان ہے۔

فارسی کے سائن بورڈ، سنگتراشوں اور کاتبوں کی دکانوں سے ایک تنگ گلی اوپر کا رخ کرتی ہے، موڑ مڑنے پہ دو دیواروں کے بیچ بہت سے جھنڈے، علم اور نشان دور تک پھیلے نظر آتے ہیں۔ جب قتل و غارت کا سلسلہ چل نکلا تو اپنی مدد آپ کے تحت اس قبرستان کا ایک حصہ شہداء کے نام مختص ہو گیا۔ جتنا وقت زمین کے اس ٹکڑے کے حصول میں لگا اس سے کہیں کم وقت میں یہ جگہ کم پڑ گئی۔ ایک میت دفنانے پہنچے تو پتہ لگا کہ ایک اور میت تیار ہے۔

قبرستان کے تین حصے ہیں۔ پہلا حصہ بنتے ہی بھر گیا، پھر دوسرا حصہ بنا اور بھر گیا اور اب تیسرا حصہ بھی بھرتا جا رہا ہے۔ قبروں کے کتبوں پہ ان لوگوں کی تصویریں ہیں، تاریخِ پیدائش، مرنے کا دن اور حادثے کی جگہ درج ہے اور سب سے نیچے قرآن کی آیات لکھی گئی ہیں۔ ہر قبر ایک کہانی ہے، کوئی دفتر جاتے مارا گیا، کوئی زیارت کی طرف موت کے حوالے ہوا۔ کوئی دکان کھولنے جا رہا تھا تو کوئی پڑھنے۔ ایک جگہ پانچ قبریں اکٹھی ہیں، یہ سب ایک ہی باپ دادا کی اولاد تھے اور کرکٹ کھیلنے کی خواہش سے گھر سے چلے تھے۔

ہزارہ آبادی ایک طرف پہاڑ اور دوسری طرف علمدار روڈ کے درمیان قید ہے۔ پہاڑ چونکہ بے ضرر ہیں سو اس طرف آبادی کا جھکاؤ زیادہ ہے۔ علمدار روڈ پار کرنے پر سلامتی کی سرحد بھی پار ہو جاتی ہے۔ مائیں اب اپنے بچے اسکول نہیں بھیجتیں کہ زندگی کو خطرہ ہے اور بہت سے استاد جو کبھی بلوچستان یونیورسٹی میں علم عطا کرنے پر مامور تھے، اب ہاؤسنگ سوسائٹی کی لکیر پار کرنے سے قاصر ہیں۔ دکانوں پر تالے پڑ چکے ہیں اور شہر میں ہزارہ کم کم نظر آتے ہیں۔ یونیورسٹی کی بس پہ دھماکہ ہوا تو باقی لوگوں نے اپنے بچوں کی بسیں علیحدہٰ کروا لیں۔ ہزارہ کے لوگوں پہ زندگی تلخ کرنے والوں نے 
ہر راستہ مسدود کر رکھا ہے۔

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am a Hazara; Dawn's special feature

Close to 1,000 Hazaras have been killed in targeted attacks and shootings in the capital of Pakistan’s largest province. The indifference towards the atrocities has forced this shrinking community to take escape routes and gamble between life in the promised land and death on the ocean.

I am the gravestone and the photograph

Every Friday, after the Juma prayer, people start filing into this small place at the foothills. Nobody in the community seems to miss this ritual. Other than the small mounds topped by two or three stones, a corridor stands out prominently. It is dotted with portraits of young students, ambitious bankers, committed teachers and promising lawyers on each side. Each image is full of life. A humming recitation spreads around and the sound of sobbing women can be heard clearly with the setting sun, which eventually dissolves into dusk. Welcome to the Hazara Graveyard.

Persian signboards, calligraphers and engravers are lined up along the road that leads to this necropolis. A small street turns from the corner of a marriage hall and heads up towards the hill. A few houses down, a narrow by-lane funnels to reveal an array of flags and standards that mark the skyline – a sight which beholds every observer. This cemetery surpasses any possible manifestation of tragedy. As the targeted killings picked up, the Hazara community decided to dedicate a part of the graveyard separately for this purpose. Before the logistics could be sorted out, this ‘section’ was already filled to capacity. While Hazaras buried the victims of one tragedy, the news of another would reach them.

The graveyard has now expanded to three portions. After the first part, another was procured and soon it was overloaded too. Given the continued frequency of killings, the third portion is likely to run out of space at any time. All the tombstones are uniformly designed: a photo of the deceased, his date of birth, the date and place of the incident and a verse from the Quran. Each grave is a story, and a unique one. Some were killed while going to work, while others lost their lives on the highways. One Hazara was killed commuting to his business and others on their way back from university. At one corner, five graves are built in a line. These belong to five cousins who had ventured out for a friendly cricket match and were fired upon at close range...Please follow the link to read the rest of the story... 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gunmen kill Shia Muslim of Hazara community in Quetta, Pakistan

Pakistani volunteers carry a gunshot victim on a stretcher at a hospital following an attack by gunmen in Quetta. (File photo)

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:45AM GMT

Unknown gunmen have killed a Shia Muslim in the Pakistani city of Quetta in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, Press TV reports.

The masked men, riding motorbikes opened fire on a bus parked in a terminal in Quetta early Monday, leaving a Shia Muslim of Hazara tribe dead.

Pakistan’s police has launched an investigation into the attack.

No group has claimed responsibility for the offensive.

Dozens of Shia Muslims belonging to Hazara community have lost their lives in Baluchistan in recent months.
Pakistan’s pro-Taliban militants have launched a violent campaign against Shia Muslims over the past years.

According to local sources, militants affiliated to Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorist groups have killed hundreds of Shia Muslims in the region since the start of the campaign.

The country’s Shia leaders have called on the government to form a judicial commission to investigate the bloodshed.

The killing of Shias in Pakistan has sparked international outrage, with rights groups and regional countries expressing concern over the ongoing carnage. Still, those behind the violence are rarely caught or punished.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lone survivor 'floated for three days'

Kate Bastians, The West Australian
November 16, 2012, 6:24 am

Lone survivor 'floated for three days'

An asylum seeker says he clung to a rubber tube and drifted helplessly for three days before rescue as the sole survivor of a boat that sank en route to Christmas Island.

Habib Ullah, 22, of Karachi, said he was among 34 Hazara from Afghanistan and Pakistan aboard a rickety boat that left Indonesia on October 26.

Speaking from Jakarta's Kuningan Detention Centre, an emotional Mr Ullah said the engine failed and the boat started taking on water in treacherous conditions after about one-third of the voyage.

He described the horror of watching friends, many who could not swim, drown around him as he clung to the tube he took aboard with him.

"One by one they were drowning before my eyes," he said. "I could not do anything but watch. I witnessed about 18 to 20 people drown."

He said he was in despair as his hopes of rescue faded fast.

"I saw very big oil tankers but they were too far from me," he said. "I was at the mercy of the ocean and very scared.

"My face was burnt, my legs were sore and my whole body was in a critical condition."

He was semiconscious when fishermen picked him up and nursed him for five days before handing him to Indonesian officials.

Mr Ullah told his story to send a message to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

"Please accept asylum seekers because it is too dangerous to go back to our homeland," he said. "We Hazaras are very grateful to the Australian Government and people for their generosity that is willing to accept us into their society."

But he did not see offshore processing as the solution.

Mr Ullah said Hazaras in Pakistan and Afghanistan gambled with their lives just walking to the markets. "I want to complete my education in a safe environment where there is no prejudice or religious violence," he said.

Refugee advocate Victoria Martin-Iverson said it was the second boat lost in the past four months with neither reported in the media.

Shahin Tanin, of Brisbane, has grave fears for his cousin Mohammad Jawad, 40, who left Jakarta on August 13.

Mr Tanin said none of the 26 Hazara passengers, including women and children, has been heard from. "I fear he has drowned or why wouldn't one of them contact us," he said.

He said Mr Jawad was forced to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban threatened to kill him when he refused to join them.

Ms Martin-Iverson said she wondered how many lives were lost at sea without the public knowing.In June, it was reported a boat with 67 asylum seekers disappeared en route to Christmas Island.

Political fallout: Raisani fires Changhezi from cabinet

By Our Correspondent
Published: November 16, 2012

Changhezi says he had told Raisani govt should resign as it had failed to control situation. PHOTO: ONLINE/FILE

Quality Education Minister Jan Ali Changezi was stripped of his cabinet post on Thursday. Changezi, a leader of the PPP, had earlier blamed the provincial government for its “failure to stop the killing of Hazaras”.

Talking to the media, Changhezi said that he was informed in Islamabad that he had been relieved of his post. He said that he had told Chief Minister Aslam Raisani that it was alarming that every day five to six Hazara people were being killed and the government should resign as it had failed to control the situation.

“It is my duty to raise the voice for the people of my constituency,” he remarked. “I took a principled stance not to attend the special session of Balochistan Assembly that reposed confidence in Raisani,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2012.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two injured in Quetta firing


An ethnic Hazara Shia man is comforted by his relative after he arrived at a local hospital in Quetta to find a family member shot dead, Sept 20, 2011. — Photo by Reuters/File

QUETTA: Two people were injured as a result of gunfire in Quetta, DawnNews reported on Thursday.

Police said the men were wounded when unknown gunmen riding motorbikes opened fire on them in the provincial capital’s Akhtarabad area.

The injured were immediately shifted to a nearby hospital where their conditions were reported to be critical.

Both men were from the Hazara Shia community.

Balochistan, of which Quetta is the capital, is rife with Taliban militancy, sectarian violence targeted against minority Shia Muslims and a regional insurgency waged by separatists.

Violence has surged in the province this year and human rights activists have raised concerns about an increase in targeted killings.

In September, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said more than 100 Shias had been killed in sectarian attacks in Balochistan this year.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Band-e Amir National Park, Afghanistan

Gunmen Kill Three In Volatile Pakistani Province

November 12, 2012
Officials say gunmen have shot dead three Shi'ite Muslims and wounded two others in Pakistan's troubled southwestern province of Balochistan.

Officials said the shooting took place on November 12 in the town of Mach, some 70 kilometers southeast of the provincial capital, Quetta.

Local police officer Sher Ahmed said the three men from the Shi'ite Hazara community were killed and two others were wounded when gunmen on a motorbike sprayed bullets at two vegetable shops.

Balochistan is rife with Islamist militancy, sectarian violence between majority Sunnis and minority Shi'ite Muslims, and a regional insurgency waged by ethnic Balochi separatists.

In September, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said more than 100 Shi'ites had been killed in sectarian attacks in Balochistan this year.

فائرنگ سے ہزارہ برادری کے تین افراد ہلاک

آخری وقت اشاعت: پير 12 نومبر 2012 ,‭ 15:02 GMT 20:02 PST

پاکستان کے صوبہ بلوچستان کے علاقے مچھ میں حکام کے مطابق نامعلوم مسلح افراد کی فائرنگ سے ہزارہ برادری کے تین افراد ہلاک ہو گئے ہیں۔

مقامی انتظامیہ کے ذرائع کے مطابق ایک موٹر سائیکل پر سوار نامعلوم مسلح افراد کی ایک دکان پر فائرنگ کے نتیجے میں دو افراد زخمی بھی ہوئے ہیں۔

خیال رہے کہ صوبہ بلوچستان میں ہزارہ برادری پر آئے روز حملے ہوتے رہتے ہیں۔

ان حملوں کی وجہ سے نہ صرف ہزارہ برادری کی جانب سے کئی بار احتجاجی مظاہرے کیے جا چکے ہیں جبکہ حقوق 
انسانی کی تنظیمیں ان حملے پر اپنے تحفظات کا اظہار کر چکی ہیں۔

Geo TV Reports on Dangerous Levels of Talibanization in Balochistan

Sunday, November 11, 2012

One more falls prey to Quetta violence

* Demonstration slams killings of Hazara people

QUETTA: A man was gunned down in Satellite Town area of the provincial capital on Sunday.

According to police sources, unidentified armed men on a motorcycle opened fire on a shop near Gol Masjid area of Satellite Town. Resultantly, the owner of the shop was killed on the spot. The body of the deceased was shifted to the Civil Hospital Quetta. He was identified as Manzoor Ahmed. The body was handed over to his relatives for burial after medico-legal formalities. A case has been registered against unidentified persons and investigation is underway.

Meanwhile, the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) staged a protest demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club against the targeted killings of members of their community and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits. At least four Hazaras were gunned down in the provincial capital on Saturday in two separate incidents. The HDP members were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans demanding an end to Hazara killings. They chanted slogans against the government over its failure to provide security to the Hazara community.

The protesters also criticised the silence of certain quarters over the genocide of Hazara community, and demanded the government and other quarters concerned provide justice to Hazaras and bring the culprits to book as soon as possible. staff report

Govt under fire in Senate over Balochistan issue

By Mumtaz Alvi
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
From Print Edition

ISLAMABAD: Senate Tuesday resumed discussion on the motion on law and order situation in the country with particular reference to target killings and sectarian violence in Balochistan, Karachi and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Treasury and opposition senators spoke at length on the law and order situation, and some believed the state was patronising armed groups and even there was a demand that by involving all the stakeholders it should be decided whether Pakistan was to be run like a civilised state or not.

Maulana Adbul Ghafoor Haideri of JUI-F alleged that how could the law and order situation be controlled when so many influential figures, including ministers and legislators were involved in kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities.

“Today kidnapping for ransom has become the highest paying business,” he remarked.About the Asghar Khan case judgement and the army chief’s speech, he said that when the state institutions would not act within their well-defined limits and resort to funding for achieving electoral results of their liking, there would be debates, and criticism would also be hurled at them.

The senator said there was a warning that the conduct of a certain institutions should not be discussed anywhere but if politicians committed a mistake, they were produced before courts. “But it is also said that a certain institution is being defamed through criticism. If someone commits wrong, he has to be held responsible for this,” he noted.

About Balochistan situation, he said things would not improve until the ‘powerful hand’ there reviewed its policies in the province. The National Party Senator, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, also charged that the state was involved in the law and order situation and patronised certain armed groups in Karachi and militant forces in Balochistan.

“Does this happen anywhere that a person, who confesses being a target killer, is set free due to lack of evidence? Has the state decided to keep promoting terrorists or will stop doing so from now on,” he wondered.

The senator said that the state was solely responsible for acts of terrorism and unfortunately the target killers were being freed and in this connection, he referred to ex-US ambassador Anne Patterson’s figures, leaked by the WikiLeaks about Karachi terrorists. “If these figures are correct, I don’t think, there will ever be peace in the port city,” he said.

Quoting from the figures, he said MQM had 15,000 armed personnel, different Sindhi and Baloch groups consisted of 3,500 persons while Taliban and other armed groups including mafias were estimated to be 15,000 persons. He wondered how and who would restore peace in Karachi if there were 30,000-35,000 armed and trained personnel active there.

“Each criminal has a connection with the state one way or the other. I mean they are backed by the state or its institutions be they the rangers or police etc,” he alleged.

The senator said the state would have to change its attitude and then a line or a strategy could be adopted to challenge the anti-state elements. He recalled how the state had supported Mujahideen in Afghanistan and then got them crushed by Taliban, and today, lashkars had been formed to eliminate Taliban.

He said same strategy was being followed in Balochistan, wherein the state backed one group to crush the other instead of acting itself against the enemy. He said an SMS was in circulation in Quetta about sharing information in case any Hazara was spotted in the provincial capital and the result was no Hazara student was going to the Balochistan University for the last five months. “Hazara community is confined to a particular area today,” he claimed.

He said there was no government in Balochistan and the same was mentioned by the apex court in its recent order but Islamabad was unmoved by it.

ANP’s Shahi Syed, Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of MQM and PPP’s Usman Saifullah also took part in the debate and called for functioning of all the state institutions within their constitutional ambits and the law taking its course against the terrorists and militants.

Earlier the firebrand PPP Senator, Faisal Raza Abidi, delivered a hard-hitting speech. His remarks were expunged by the chair. He protested against the decision of the chair.

Quetta: Hazaras protest against targeted killings

November 11, 2012 - Updated 1610 PKT

Quetta: Protesters belonging to Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) staged demonstration against the targeted killings of the members of the Hazara community, demanding arrest of the culprits, Geo News reported on Sunday.

Led by HDP Vice Chairman Mirza Hussain Hazara, the party workers chanted slogans against the Balochistan government for what they said its failure to curb the unending targeted killings.

Speaking on the occasion, party leaders condemned the killings of Hazaras and said the incidents of targeted killings were taking place in the city but the government had failed in discharging its duties.

They demanded of the government to immediately resign, as it had no right to rule after its failure in establishing its writ.

The Hazaras are the much-affected community of the sectarian targeted killings in volatile Balochistan province, facing ethnic and sectarian violence.

Pakistani Taliban's Threat Looms on Baluchistan

"........ Conflict Monitoring Center’s field researchers reported that Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan is expanding its operations in Pashtun areas of Baluchistan. Zhob district is badly affected by TTP militancy. Sectarian militants targeting Hazara community are mostly Bloch and the close networking between Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and TTP can create a bridge between Bloch nationalist rebels and Taliban militants, which will make the security situation in the province even worse... " 

TTP’s looming threat in Pashtun areas of Baluchistan

Majority of the affected districts belongs to Bloch population however; now Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is gaining grounds in Pashtun districts of the province. The district of Zhob is increasingly falling into the hands of TTP militants who are consistently targeting tribal elders. This is a tactics they used in FATA to paralyze the existing cultural and social system. In FATA, these militants effectively destroyed the Malik and Jirga system to implement their brand of Shriah Laws. Under pressure from Pakistani security forces in FATA, the TTP is not only relocating its infrastructure but also expanding itself beyond a restricted area where it is relatively easy for the forces to conduct a military operation to root them out. The influx of TTP in the province is expected to make security situation worse. The militancy in Baluchistan is complex in nature where overlaps of the type of insurgents make it somewhat difficult to understand who is fighting for what cause. The Bloch nationalist militants are generally of secular and liberal thoughts but most of the militants targeting Hazara community also belong to Bloch ethnicity. It is no secret that the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which targets Hazara community in the province, is also working closely with Pashtun TTP. Sectarian militants of Bloch origin can work as a bridge between anti-state Bloch militants and the Taliban. Any such united front will be devastating for the security situation in the province. Zhob district of the Baluchistan province is increasingly becoming safe haven for TTP militants. The district borders with South Waziristan Agency of FATA and Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtunekhwa Province. Conflict Monitoring Center’s field researchers have reported an alarming development that some of the influential clerics of the province are now supporting TTP clandestinely. After establishing strong holds in certain areas, the TTP commanders have started to issue threats to the local tribal elders to obey their orders. Those who resist are becoming targets of the TTP. On September 28, the TTP carried out an attack on the residence of a local tribal elder Sardar Qaymo Kabaz. The Sardar was injured along with three other people. Local tribal elders and traders are upset with the latest development. On September 17, Frontier Constabulary came under attack in adjoining Lora Lai district. One FC personnel was killed. The FC arrested ten suspects from the area. Although only one violent incident was recorded in Zhob district but the developments taking place are of worrying nature. If the looming threat is not assessed at its initial stages and adequate measures are not taken at right time, the Pashtun belt of the province, which remained generally peaceful, may become more violent than the Bloch belt because the TTP is better equipped and more experienced than the nationalist rebels active in the province. The response from security forces in Baluchistan remained limited to just one search operation in Quetta where they arrested 15 suspected militants and recovered two SMGs, five pistols, three motorbikes, one mobile phone and two bottles of liquor during the operation. 

Conflict Monitoring Center 

Talibanisation touches dangerous level in Balochistan: report

Tahir Khalil
Sunday, November 11, 2012
From Print Edition

ISLAMABAD: Talibanisation has touched a dangerous level in Balochistan. The Pashtun Tehreek Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have joined hands with each other, in a move seen as extremely harmful for Balochistan.

This was revealed in a report that claimed the law and order situation in Balochistan has taken a new direction due to the collusion of two groups. According to the report, district Zhob in Balochistan is under the control of the Taliban where Talibanisation is rapidly increasing. Like Fata, the extremists are targeting pro-government tribal leaders in the district.

The report, issued by the Conflict Monitoring Centre Islamabad, said that militancy in Balochistan has taken a complex shape. Among the Baloch community some of the formerly secular individuals in Balochistan have tilted towards extremism. It is not a secret that the militants of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi are targeting the Hazara community of Balochistan. On the other hand, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Balochistan is working in the Pashtun areas.

According to the report, Talibanisation is touching the red line in Balochistan and the Taliban are issuing orders to the local tribal Sardars. The report further revealed that the operations and activities of the security forces have been confined in Balochistan as a result.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sectarian Murder: Hazara man slain in Quetta

By Our Correspondent
Published: November 10, 2012

QUETTA: Gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead a man of Hazara origin in Arbab Karam Khan Road area of Quetta on Friday, police said. The victim died on the spot.

Police rushed to the crime scene soon after the incident and shifted the deceased to the Civil Hospital. The deceased was identified as Ghulam Raza and belonged to the Hazara community. No group has claimed responsibility of the targeted attack as yet. A case has been registered against the assailants and an investigation is under way.

Meanwhile, members of the Majlis-e-Wadatul Muslimeen staged a protest on the Prince Road neighbourhood of Quetta against the killings of Hazaras.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2012.

Quetta Target Killing of Hazaras (08/27/2012)

Three people killed in separate incidents in Quetta


The first incident took place on Double Road where armed assailants opened fire killing one person, while another was injured. – File photo

QUETTA: Three people were killed in two separate incidents of target killing within just a few hours in different localities of Quetta on Saturday, DawnNews reported.

The first incident took place on Double Road where armed assailants opened fire killing one person, while another was injured.

In another incident in the central commercial area of Quetta known as Qandhari Bazaar, a vehicle was fired upon by armed assailants killing two people and leaving two injured.

The injured were immediately shifted to CMH hospital in Quetta, while all nearby shops and surrounding markets were shut after the incidents.

Police and FC rushed to the areas where the incidents had taken place to cordon off and begin investigations.

Quetta violence: Three Hazaras gunned down in separate incidents

By Zafar Baloch
Published: November 10, 2012

Four others were injured in the attack in Sherpao Colony.

QUETTA: At least three men belonging to the Hazara community were gunned down in separate incidents in Quetta on Saturday.

According to details, one Hazara was shot down on Zarghon road, while two were killed and two injured at Manak Chowk.

The motive behind the incidents remains unknown.

On Friday, gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead a man of Hazara origin in the Arbab Karam Khan Road area of Quetta.

The Hazara community has been targeted several times in the past in the ongoing sectarian violence in Balochistan, with banned militant organisations often claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Target Killing of Hazaras Continues in Quetta

Muhammad Dawood Hazara
A Hazara man by name of Ghulam Rasool was targeted killed here on Arabab Karam Khan road on Friday morning. On Thursday another Hazara Muhammad Dawood Hazara was targeted killed when terrorists fired at electric shop on Munir Ahmad Mengal Road. It is the 3rd attack in 4 days. On Tuesday, terrorists riding on motorcycles fired on a yellow cab killing three Hazaras and wounding critically two others. 

Two more shot dead in Balochistan

Staff Report

QUETTA: Two people were shot dead in Quetta and Kharan districts of Balochistan in separate incidents on Thursday.

In the first incident, unidentified men opened fire on Munir Mengal Road of the provincial capital and seriously injured a person identified as Daud Khan. The man succumbed to his injuries on his way to hospital.
Separately, a person was shot dead in Kharan Town. Later, the victim was identified as Habibullah. Police reached the scene and shifted the body to hospital.
Police said that unidentified men riding a motorcycle targeted the deceased near Sabzi Mandi.
Police said that the motive behind both murders was yet to be ascertained. Police said further investigation was underway.

Daily Times

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Conference at UCLA: Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas: Archaeology and History in the Modern and Ancient Persianate World

A two-day program at UCLA and UC Irvine, showcasing the cutting-edge of international research on Afghanistan's archaeology and history

UCLA: Thursday, November 08, 2012, 1:00 PM - 5:45 PM
UC Irvine: Friday, November 09, 2012, 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Visit the event's page for details for the conference.

The destruction of the giant Buddha statues at Bamiyan in March 2001 briefly brought the world's attention to the rich pre-Islamic heritage of Afghanistan. Appalling as it was, the tragedy at Bamiyan has overshadowed the larger stories that surround the Buddhas, both in terms of the longer history of archaeological excavation in Afghanistan and the plurality of ancient cultures that flourished in the region. Bringing together archaeologists and historians, these two half-day conferences at UCLA and UC Irvine explore two related issues. First, what archaeological, art historical and philological research can tell us about the evolution and interaction of societies and religious groups in the ancient and late antique Persianate world. And secondly, what roles have domestic and international politics had to play in the sponsorship or reception of historical and archaeological research on pre-Islamic Afghanistan. By addressing these questions, the conferences aim to understand the larger issues that surrounded both the creation and the destruction of the great Buddhas of Bamiyan.

Showcasing the cutting-edge of international research on Afghanistan's archaeology and history,Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas is jointly organized by Nile Green, chair of the UCLA Program on Central Asia, and Touraj Daryaee, Director of theUCI Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, with support from the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, the UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies, the Center for Near Eastern Studies, the Center for the Study of Religion, and the Musa Sabi Term Chair in Iranian Studies (2004-2009).

... Payvand News - 11/07/12 ... --

Sectarian strife: Three Hazaras killed in Quetta

By Mohammad Zafar
Published: November 7, 2012

Pakhtun tribesman dies after angry protesters open fire. PHOTO: FILE

Even as the stand-off between the government and the judiciary continues over the flagrant abuse of rights in Balochistan, four people were killed in sectarian violence on Tuesday.

Three members of the Hazara community were gunned down while two others sustained injuries when assailants on a motorcycle opened fire on a yellow taxi cab on Spinny Road in the provincial capital on Tuesday.

The victims were on their way to Hazara Town when the cab they were travelling in was attacked. Three people died on the spot, while the injured were rushed to Bolan Medical College Teaching Hospital, DIG Police Hamid Shakeel told The Express Tribune.

“The attackers were wearing masks to hide their identities,” said Jamaluddin, a constable at the Saddar police station.

The deceased were identified as Mohammad Zaman, Rehman Ali and Mohammad Essa.

Law enforcement agencies said heavy contingents of the police and Frontier Corps rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area to prevent any ensuing violence. However, a pedestrian lost his life in another part of the city when angry protesters fired gun shots in retaliation.

A large number of persons belonging to the Hazara community burnt tyres on Brewery Road and blocked incoming traffic. Some angry protesters also donning masks opened indiscriminate fire.

As a result, two men were injured. One of the casualties, identified as a member of the Tareen tribe of Pakhtuns, succumbed to his wounds on the way to hospital.

Shaista Khan’s death triggered a domino effect when Tareen tribesmen blocked Jinnah Road in protest.

The Hazara Democratic Party condemned the murder of its community members.

While banned militant outfits often claim responsibility for such sectarian killings, no group had done so till the filing of this report.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction over the law and order situation of Balochistan, blaming the provincial government for its ‘failure’.

The federal government, however, sees the court’s interest as an infringement of the president and parliament’s mandate. In its written reply submitted to the apex court last week, the government blamed insurgent elements for the prevailing lawlessness.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2012.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Sath 6 November 2012 (Firing in Karachi, Hyderabad a...

در مسیر داوود سرخوش شدن

نما و صدا

در سلسله برنامه «یک پنجه ساز؛ گپی با هنرمند»، این بار داوود سرخوش معرفی می گردد. داوود پس از کشته شدن 23 عضو خانواده اش به پاکستان مهاجرت کرد. آنجا او روزگار دشواری را سپری کرد و به هنر روی آورد.

نمی دانست چند روز است که پاهایش را دیگر بر خاک وطن نمی گذارد. از آن روز چند شنبه که برای آخرین بار شاهد غروب آفتاب در پشت کوه های خانۀ پدری خود بود، شاید هم هفته ها گذشته است. اینجا هر چیز طور دیگر است. خانه ها نقشۀ دیگر دارند. خیابان ها نام های دیگر دارند. خاطره ها صاحبان دیگر دارد: ناصر آباد، شهر کویته، سال 1362 خورشیدی.

اعضای خانواده، جدا جدا و یکی یکی تا به اینجا آمده اند. چشم همه سوی دست های کار آزمودۀ برادر بزرگ تر است. برادر، دکان ساعت سازی و رادیوسازی باز کرده؛ او باید پهلوی برادر بیاستد تا روزگار سخت مرد افگن، برادر را از پا نیافگند. هنوز فقط دوازده بهار عمر را شاهد بوده. کار را کم کم از برادر فرا گرفته است. زمان می گذرد و او از پی عقربه های ساعت، بیهوده پشت زمان گم شده می گردد. دکان آهسته آهسته کلان تر می شود. دو تا جوان که از لوگر هستند شریک دکان شده اند. آنها ترمیم تلویزیون و رادیو را به عهده گرفته اند. شب ها اما عاید دکان عادلانه چهار قسمت می شود. بچه های دیگر هم ـ چه بزرگ تر و چه کوچک تر ـ هر کس به کاری مشغول است. هر روز از مقابل دکان، جوان های می گذرند که در معدن ذغال عرق ریزی می کنند. گاهی بر سر و گاهی در دست های شان کلاه های پلاستیکی است که آن را هنگام کار در معدن می پوشند. او چند تا از آن بچه ها را می شناسد. یک روز صدا می زند: فلانی! اگر از این کلاه ها یک تا اضافه پیدا شد، من آن را کار دارم.
سرخوش یکی از هنرمندان محبوب افغانستان است

شب ها چیزی در خیالاتش سرگردان است، چیزی جدا از عقربه های ساعت. چندی نمی گذرد که یکی از بچه ها برایش از همان کلاه های کارگران معدن را می آورد. چشم هایش از دیدن آن می درخشد. می داند فردا کجا باید برود. می رود به دکانی که از آن همیشه سودا می خرد. این بار بر خلاف همیشه مقابل یک صندوق خالی چای خشک می ایستد. دکاندار که سکوت او را می بیند، می پرسد که چه می خواهد. این بار خواهش عجیبی دارد. از دکاندار می خواهد برایش یکی از تخته های صندوق خالی چای را بدهد. دکاندار که شاید خودش هم صاحب فرزندانی است بدون این که از او چیزی بپرسد، یک تخته را از صندوق جدا کرده برایش می دهد. شب با برادرزاده و پسر کاکای خود یکجا تلاش می کنند با استفاده از این تخته چوب و آن کلاه پلاستیکی، چیزی بسازند که پیش از این شاید به این صورت کسی آن را نساخته باشد. از ساختن که فارغ می شود، خنده اش می گیرد. می بیند به هر چه شباهت دارد جز به یک آلۀ موسیقی، آنچه که او در صدد ساختنش بوده است. اما او آن را دمبوره می نامد. آرزوی داشتن دمبوره، نوجوان دوازده ساله را آرام نمی گذاشت. با خود می گوید: "به نظر من رفیق خود را یافته ام".

.از همین جا دمبوره همراه و همکار همیشگی سفر و حضر او می شود.

کوئٹہ میں فائرنگ، تین ہزارہ ہلاک

آخری وقت اشاعت: منگل 6 نومبر 2012 ,‭ 15:10 GMT 20:10 PST

گذشتہ کچھ عرصے سے ہزارہ قبیلے کے افراد پر حملوں میں اضافہ ہوا ہے۔

پاکستان کے صوبہ بلوچستان کے دارالحکومت کوئٹہ میں فرقہ وارانہ ٹارگٹ کلنگ کا ایک اور واقعہ پیش آیا ہے جس میں تین افراد ہلاک اور دو زخمی ہوگئے ہیں۔

یہ واقعہ منگل کو کوئٹہ شہر کے علاقے اسپنی روڈ پر پیش آیا۔

پولیس کے مطابق پانچ افراد ایک ٹیکسی میں شہر سے ہزارہ ٹاؤن کی جانب جا رہے تھے کہ نامعلوم موٹر سائیکل سواروں نے ٹیکسی پر اندھا دھند فائرنگ کر دی۔ گولیاں لگنے سے ٹیکسی میں سوار تین افراد ہلاک جبکہ دو زخمی ہوگئے۔

حملہ آور موقع سے فرار ہونے میں کامیاب ہوگئے جبکہ زخمیوں اور ہلاک ہونے والوں کی لاشوں کو بولان میڈیکل کمپلیکس ہسپتال منتقل کیا گیا۔

پولیس کے مطابق ہلاک اور زخمی ہونے والے افراد کا تعلق ہزارہ قبیلے سے ہے۔

بلوچستان میں ہزارہ قبیلے کے لوگوں کا تعلق شیعہ فرقے سے ہے۔

پولیس کا کہنا ہے کہ واقعے تحقیقات شروع کر دی گئی ہیں لیکن یہ فرقہ وارانہ ٹارگٹ کلنگ کا ایک واقع ہے۔

کوئٹہ اور بلوچستان کے دیگر علاقوں میں سنہ دو ہزار کے بعد بڑی تعداد میں لوگ فرقہ وارانہ تشدد میں ہلا ک اور زخمی ہوئے ہیں جن میں سے سے زیادہ تر کا تعلق ہزارہ قبیلے سے ہے۔

بلوچستان کی قوم پرست جماعت ہزارہ ڈیموکریٹک پارٹی کے اعداد و شمار کے مطابق اب تک قبیلے کے سات سو سے زائد 
افراد فرقہ وارانہ ٹارگٹ کلنگ کے واقعات میں ہلاک ہوئے ہیں۔

In the shadow of violence, Quetta’s divides multiply

By Matthew Green
NOVEMBER 6, 2012

Persecution can bring people together. It can also prise them apart.

In Pakistan, so many minorities are threatened by homicidal extremists that travelling the country can feel like hopping across an archipelago of communities under varying degrees of siege.

Rarely is the impression stronger than in Quetta, the fear-filled capital of Baluchistan province, and a cauldron of the bigotry and intolerance that has poisoned so much of Pakistan’s body politic.

A wave of killings unleashed on the Hazara community has left its 500,000 members afraid to venture out of their enclaves in the east and west of the city. At least 100 have been killed in Quetta and its environs since January. Nobody has been prosecuted.

Hazaras blame Lashkar-e-Jhangvi , a Sunni militant group, for the killings. The group has stepped up its campaign against Pakistan’s Shi’ite minority this year, spreading fear from hamlets in the foothills of the Himalayas to the backstreets of Karachi. The Hazaras of Quetta, who are Shi’ites, have suffered the heaviest losses.

From one perspective, the persecution has undoubtedly reinforced a sense of Hazara unity by distributing a shared burden of grief. On another level, the pressure appears to have cracked fault-lines that long pre-date the start of the killings in 1999.

In broad terms, the division is between what might be termed Hazara “nationalists”, who draw strength primarily from their ethnic identity, and those for whom their Shi’ite faith is primary.

As is often the case in Pakistan, mutterings about a foreign hand are never far from the discussion. In the eyes of Hazara nationalists, the escalating campaign of violence has bolstered the position of clerics who turn for guidance to Iran, the spiritual centre of Shi’ite Islam. Religious groups say concerns about Iranian influence are wildly exaggerated and point out that their members are as staunchly patriotic as any Pakistanis.

Though examining the Hazara sub-division might sound like an unusually pedantic exercise, it is worth placing under the microscope because it mirrors a broader trend. A creeping sense of insecurity engulfing much of Pakistan has spurred a proliferation of ethnic, sectarian or regionally-oriented groups. Such organisations offer their members a greater sense of belonging than the state, which in many places provides little in the way of protection, jobs or even reliable electricity.

The story is not new: Pakistan’s elite has struggled to rally a consensus around a shared set of values since the country’s creation as a Muslim homeland in 1947. But these days, the void seems more dangerous than ever. Pakistan seems to lose a little more cohesion with each new sectarian or politically-instigated murder.

In Quetta, the splintering is stark. Hazaras emigrated to Baluchistan to escape a previous round of persecution in Afghanistan in the 19th century. They pride themselves on their record of building businesses, performing in the civil service and military and running well-appointed schools. Now, they are not only facing a new bout of victimisation, but struggling with internal rifts.

It is difficult to gauge the true extent of Iranian influence in Quetta, but Hazara nationalists are sure it is slowly growing. For example, the nationalists say that Iranian-inspired Quds Day rallies, held to protest Israel’s annexation and occupation of east Jerusalem, have become more prominent. A few years ago, a new sign was put up at a Hazara cemetery bearing the name Behesht-e-Zainab after Zainab, the grand-daughter of the Prophet Mohammad, one of the most revered figures in Shi’ite Islam. The name is reminiscent of the Behesht-e-Zahra, a well-known graveyard in Tehran.

One source said that clerics at Ashura festivals, one of the holiest events in the Shi’ite calendar, have increasingly offered Hazaras solace by emphasising a transnational sense of Shi’ite identity – an implicit appeal to solidarity with Iran.

A legal battle over the name of a mosque in Quetta symbolises the divide. In September, more nationalist-oriented Hazaras filed a law suit demanding the word “Hazara” be included in the name. The mosque is run by the Shia Conference, a Shi’ite group which manages dozens of mosques in Baluchistan. The dispute turns on whether the word “Hazara” is part of the rightful title.

The Shia Conference is contesting the case. Although its leaders say most of the group’s members are Hazaras, they argue that the word “Hazara” was not included in the name when the mosque was founded in 1922. They stoutly deny the nationalists’ contention that Iran is seeking to influence their activities, stressing that loving your religion is perfectly compatible with loving your country.

(This is by no means the only controversy over nomenclature in Quetta. Even the name of the Hazara enclave on the eastern edge of the city is contested. Some Hazaras have taken to referring to the area as Mehrabad. The term rankles with ethnic Baloch in the city, who say the area should retain its existing name of Mariabad, after the Marri, a Baloch tribe who once predominated in the district).

The question of Iranian influence – whether real or imagined – is not an academic one for Hazaras. Conversations with several serving or former Pakistani military officers suggest that there are elements within the security forces who view all Shi’ites with suspicion, questioning their loyalty to the state. Hazaras fear that this hostility may make it easier for the uniformed forces of law and order to turn a blind eye when Sunni extremists such as LeJ add a few more Hazaras to their hit list. Certainly, the military has failed to stop LeJ’s rampage in Quetta. Hazaras are certain that this is because the officers are not really trying.

The remedy, of course, would be for Pakistan’s leaders to foster a greater sense of shared nationhood. The body count in Quetta shows they need to work harder.

3 killed, 2 injured in firing on Quetta cab

By Web Desk
Published: November 6, 2012

Unidentified gunmen open fire on a yellow cab carrying five passengers to Hazara Town. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Three people were killed and two others injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire at a yellow cab in the Spiny Road area of Quetta on Tuesday, reported Express News.

According to details, five men were going to Hazara Town in a cab when they were shot at. Sources say that it was an incident of target killing.

The injured were shifted to Bolan Medical Complex for treatment, but they are yet to be identified.

Police cordoned off the area after the incident and initiated a search operation.

Sectarian violence has been on the rise in Balochistan where several people, particularly Shias travelling for religious purposes, have been targeted.