For those readers and visitors who are interested to know about the History of Afghanistan vis-a-vis the History of Hazaras, they can read the interview in Urdu, published on a Pakistan-based Urdu Newspaper, the Daily Awaz-e-Nasle Nau.
The below pictures exemplify the presence and activism of the Hazara Diaspora who have been trying hard to sell out the blood of our martyrs to the interested brokers and international parties including the US.
Please scan these pictures carefully and ask yourself as to whether we can afford to work against the interests of Pakistan as there are over one million Hazaras living in all over the country?
Can we really afford to sit with anti-Pakistani elements who are engineering international plots to create mayhem in the country?
Can we really ignore the sentiments of our people who have been suffering the brunt of religious cum political extremism in Quetta?
The people who attended the anti-Pakistani show in London must be asked as to who gave them the right to play with the sentiments of people?
What price have they agreed to sell the blood of martyrs to anti-Pakistan elements?
When the entire theme of the conference was to focus on the plight of Baloch and their demand for Free Baluchistan, how can they claim to have discussed the Genocide of Pakistani Hazaras?
Jang Urdu Newspaper, London’s Coverage of the event.
Government of Pakistan must also be pressured to the extent of taking reasonable steps against the terrorists, executing targeted operations in the areas of Quetta in which attacks have occurred frequently
The incessant targeted attacks on the peaceful denizens of Quetta city have mostly hit the Hazaras who have lived there for centuries. Numerous authors, writers, intellectuals and columnists analyse the ethno-religious killings of this under-represented and oppressed ethnic group based on reviews and published articles, but I will try to look into it from a different perspective as I hail from the same ethnicity and city.
On various occasions, I have seen terrorists perpetrating acts of targeted attacks and then leaving the scene without fear of being caught by the law enforcement agencies. For instance, the incident of June 8, 2003 when 13 Hazara police cadets were gunned down on Sariab Road, Quetta in broad daylight, which left seven others critically wounded. In less than a month, the terrorists broke into the Grand Mosque on Prince Road, known as Imam Bargah Hazara Kalan, to wreck the Friday congregation prayers with suicide bombing and fierce firing on worshippers, killing about 67 people and injuring about 70 others. The third major attack happened on March 2, 2004 when terrorists targeted the annual Ashura procession in Liaquat Bazar with hand grenades and AK-47s, killing 45 and injuring 100 people. The third orchestrated attack could not have happened without the support of the intelligence agencies of Pakistan as all entry and exit routes around Quetta city were sealed off by the law enforcement agencies three days prior to the main procession. All adjacent hotels, restaurants and inns were being checked several times a day to ensure security measures are in place. Thousands of paramilitary troops and police were deployed with barbed wire, blockades and obstacles blocking the important routes to avoid any untoward situation. Nonetheless, the terrorists successfully struck the heart of the procession with hand grenades and automatic weapons to murder innocent people. The firing of terrorists, in the third instance, did not kill as many people as the targeted firing of the anti-terrorist force (ATF) — the elite commando group to combat terrorism — killed innocent people. For obvious reasons, the fire orders could not have been executed without the instructions of their superiors. Government immediately announced to probe the Ashura carnage under a serving high court judge, which took months of inquest to complete but without bearing fruit as the report was never made public. I later learned through some well-placed friends that the judgment too was implicated as it blamed the mourners for the mass human loss.
In the above mentioned first and second example, I was not at the scene of the crime but I reached about half an hour after the incidents, among mayhem, to shift the dead bodies and the injured to the Sandeman Provincial Hospital, who were later referred to the Cantonment Military Hospital for better care and treatment. In the third instance, I was literally at a distance of 10 metres from the main scene of the crime when terrorists were firing at people. Fortunately, my friend and I were standing in the opposite direction of the culprits’ firing and due to restricted hand movement, they were unable to fire in our direction. Later that day, I witnessed how the members of the ATF were shooting at the protesters from armoured vehicles and many succumbed to their injuries instantly. Shahbaz Mandokhail was the superintendent of police (ATF), but no government official was ever investigated or held responsible for the killings of those innocent people.
Since then, the perpetual targeted killings of the Hazaras have touched new heights with new tactics and a renewed gusto from the terrorists. The number of death casualties for this oppressed ethnicity has crossed the figure of 700, with double this number injured. Most of them are paralysed for life, due to unaffordability of medical bills by the victims and their families.
Then another tragic incident occurred in the heart of Quetta city, which killed six innocent Hazaras and several others were critically injured. Reliable sources have confirmed that the terrorists came on two motorcycles and fired on a shoe shop to target the Hazaras.
In three weeks in just the month of March, Hazaras were attacked four times in different areas of Quetta city. A simple arithmetical calculation reveals that it comes to burying one person a day. Most of the human loss consists of young adults whose estimated age is18-25.
The Pakistani media is deliberately silent, mostly, about these atrocities. The federal government, including the president and the former prime minister of Pakistan, were content with verbal consolation to the victims’ families and condemned these incidents, without any directives to arrest the perpetrators.
The Balochistan Chief Minister, Aslam Raisani, who hits headlines with his preposterous statements about the loss of Hazaras’ lives, spends most of his time in the capital Islamabad, which evidently depicts his interests in running the affairs of the province. Instead of seeking an amicable solution to these problems, he was quoted as saying last September that he would send a truckload of tissue paper for the victims and their families and that killing of some people would not affect the overall population of the province.
These religious fanatics were produced under the patronage of the Pakistani intelligence agencies, with financial support of some Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia. In a terrorist attack that targeted a moving Suzuki pick-up van on Spini Road, Quetta, on March 29, 2012, the police check post was literally at a distance of 15 metres from the main scene of the crime. This check post is manned 24 hours a day but the security personnel turned a blind eye to the scene. Had they counter-fired on the terrorists, they could have thwarted their plan to kill innocent people.
The provincial government claimed to have deployed about 3,000 paramilitary troops and police in Quetta city but they could not stop these heinous attacks. The provincial Interior Minister Mir Zafarullah Zehri spoke in TV interviews, numerous times, about the involvement of provincial ministers in these targeted killings and kidnappings of innocent city dwellers, but still the government and the judiciary showed passiveness to take any action against the culprits and their supporters.
It is high time Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organisations as well as the international community exerted meaningful pressure on the government of Pakistan to protect the lives of minorities. Government of Pakistan must also be pressured to the extent of taking reasonable steps against the terrorists, executing targeted operations in the areas of Quetta in which attacks have occurred frequently.
The writer is a London-based freelance journalist and the Chairman of Hazara United Movement (HUM) — a political organisation working for the rights of the Hazara Diaspora with its head office in London.
This article was published on the Daily Times on 4th July, 2012, a Pakistani English Newspaper.
The perpetual attacks, specifically focusing one ethnicity with particular physical features in Quetta have adequately answered many questions to the city-dwellers who had been living there for centuries with exemplary peace and fraternity. The hate and conspiracy-mongers, for the last thirteen years’ one sided brutal killing of the innocent people, tried hard enough to name it sectarian violence in a bid to pit communities against one another in the small valley but the victims have borne the brunt with utmost tolerance and humbleness. Every tactic has been applied to provoke people of picking arms and revolting against others but, so far, the conspirators, the perpetrators, the financiers and the masterminds have miserably failed to achieve their targets.
Today’s cowardly attack on university students, which killed 4 bright students and injured 69 others including children and female students; exhibits the weaknesses of its executors who have resorted to adopt this method in sheer perplexity. The elaboration of the word, “Weaknesses” of the enemy refers to their demoralized attitude, curtailing their manly strength of confronting their rivals instead of targeting innocent people. No one had claimed responsibility of the attack till writing these lines, however, the government, the law enforcement and intelligence agencies will have to make an obnoxious call to relate the whole episode to unknown underground organisation.
Recent off-air video clips, disseminated to social networking websites have also proved that the event-ridden Pakistani media in the pocket of the establishment and its mercenaries. As a result, one cannot expect the just and fair coverage of these incidents. I have particularly noticed that the people, especially the youths are chagrined about the prospects of bright future of Pakistan. Too many cooks have culminated in spoiling the broth as all factions endeavour to portray the Founder and his companions according to their will. The religious hardliners chant the loudest to declare Pakistan as a model Islamic state who are backed and financed by the military establishment and the Saudi sheikhs. The dissidents, on the other hand, echo comparably mild voice to assure their supporters of moderate Islamic country where minorities are equally treated and cared for. The ultra-liberal stratum interprets the sayings of the Founder differently to showcase another notion of the Pakistani society.
In contrast, the youths who count for an overwhelmingly large proportion of the Pakistani society remain uncertain as to who to follow. They are so confused to step forward and take the reign in their hands, hence, exacerbating the situation to the extent which indulges them into despondency.
Due to vested interests of contractors of Islam, their financiers and touts, Quetta’s eternal peace and harmony has been converted into appallingly dangerous situation where laymen feel trapped among monsters and cannibals. The entire city, which is otherwise very small as compared to other metropolitan cities of Pakistan; has been handed over to trained assassins who can kill people with impunity. The Hazaras, in particular, have been the prime target of these attacks whilst the perpetrators’ arrest remains unnoticed. The involuntary disappearance of Baloch nationalists, the kill and dump policy as well as the wish of pitting Hazaras against others have not worked so far. I wonder what else the military establishment and ISI apparatus have in the roster to apply to achieve their ulterior motives.
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to you mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State….. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state…….. I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in due course. Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religion sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”
The above is the excerpts of Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah (R.A)’s speech of August, 11, 1947. You may have already noticed that the great leader of the world who was well known for his political wisdom, academic intellect and proven rhetoric states clearly to the people of Pakistan that they can live in this country however they want to and no matter what school of faith they belong to or what religion they are required to practice, they are all the citizens of the country and these religious activities are so personal that they have nothing to do with the business of the state. Some may wonder as to why we need to read this cliché’ passage but I, assertively, describe them essential for Pakistan as these are basis which could have established sound foundations for the country, had we pursued the golden sayings of the father of the nation. As Stanley Wolpert’s classic quote below would illuminate my heart which is about the great leader of the world, “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation- state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”
The great land of Pakistan was created by our forefathers who ranked amongst top most barristers, philosophers, statesmen, thinkers, revolutionists and academics of their time and many of them followed Shi’ite school of thought including the Great Leader Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah but, needless to say, they all believed in supremacy and oneness of Allah Almighty. Regardless of what religion or school of faith they belong to, all Muslims would struggle for an independent land for the Muslims of South Asia in order for them to live in a free environment, get education of their own and run a state based on Islamic ideology. Although, clerics belonging to Deobandi school of thought vehemently opposed the creation of Pakistan and on the forefront were Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (Which later became Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam under leadership of Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman), Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam and Jamat-e-Islami (Being led by Maulan Munawar Hussain). The Mullahs and their henchmen, who have now become the self-declared saviour of Pakistan and its fanciful ideology, were very active in those days to oppose the idea of a separate Muslim State because they considered it against the Islamic concept of Muslim brotherhood but at the same time, they sided with the Congress and supported its Indian nationalism. Among them were Maulana Abul Ala Maudodi, who wrote many books at that time and died in late 70’s in Buffalo Hospital America, was an arch-opposer of the creation of Pakistan and when Pakistan was made, he wrote in one of his books the land of impure (Na Pakistan). Paradoxically, the Ulemas of Deoband have always utterly deprecated the idea of creation of a separate Muslim land and later became champions of Islam, boastfully talking of independence of Pakistan from the British Raj.
The, otherwise, liberal and educated Pakistani society has been overshadowed with orthodox practices which are widely unacceptable by the large proportion of people living in this country. Ironically, the country’s brotherly and communal harmony is under continues threat by alien forces whose roots and origins remain a big mystery. Teenage children are indoctrinated in the name of owning a permanent place in heaven whose fatal ordeal services could be hired by affluent people providing they wish to dismantle the law of the land or target any innocent citizen not practicing Deobandi theology. The pure Islamic traditions and values are being digested by radical thoughts in forms of extreme inculcation of Deobandi ideology which is devoid of rational and Islamic injunctions. The entire Pakistani society has been taken captive and the people of the land fell easy prey to illiterate religious fanatics who utilize youths for suicide bombings and mass killings for vested interests. But, thankfully, the entire world has come to conclusion that the religion Islam or Muslims are not the real threat for their security but a small faction of people who are defaming genuine Islamic values and creating chaotic situation among the masses.
They have openly flouted Islamic rules and principles, negating the sayings of Allah and practical life of the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him and his progeny). Islam bestows equal rights to men and women but they keep women locked at homes. Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him and his family) urges all Muslims, “Seek knowledge from cradle to grave,” but the Taliban type of Islam keep girls off schools and blow school buildings with bombs. Islam has greatly emphasised on human rights including the rights of neighbours, (Haqooq-ul-Ibad), but they spare no time in beheading their neighbours should they be found to practice or follow other school of thought. Allah says in the Holy Quran, “Killing one human being is as if killing whole humanity.” (05:32). But, they kill innocent people without mercy and claim to take responsibility for that. In short, their explanation of the Holy Quran is totally ambiguous and incomprehensible by others but they keep counting figures as if their thirst is quenched by counting befallen heads.
Shi’ites who formed the foundation of this country are being alienated by Deobandi faction of Islam. The Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and its affiliated groups carrying out suicide bombings and target killings across Pakistan, especially against Shi’ites, could give them a lead in updating their counts but it will not demoralize the people who have made this beautiful land. On the contrary, the Pakistani intelligence agencies who cherished this tiny plant to stand against the brotherly infrastructure of the country, may feel compunction as it is now digesting the foundations like termite but the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are losing the war. More youths and disbelievers are turning to processions and rallies to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) and his family.
We have vowed not to give up or succumb to pressure of fistful miscreants whose death is nearly certain as their demolition through the ages has already started. Their true face is recognized widely by world community who are pursuing them in caves and bunkers with pilotless planes to parish them all together. The Shi’ites and Sunnis have also learned lessons from Deobandi’s dirty tricks which will boost up their moral for national unity and solidarity.
Long Live Shi’ite Sunni Unity, Long Live Pakistan.