Easily identifiable due to their fair skin and distinguished facial features, Hazara community continues to be the victims of sectarian violence since decades now. The marginalized, besieged Baloch community has suffered the worst of it – and in fact, continues to do so as well.
What’s even more distressing is our criminal silence over the issue. As a public, as well as the ignorance of media allotting them zero broadcasting space. No headlines, no discussions, no protests, no online condemnation on social media – it may come as a surprise to most of you but Quetta’s Hazara community has reached Day 6 of their protest against the targeted killing.
The protest initiated on March 31, when a Hazara man was killed and another left wounded when identified, men opened fire on their taxi in Kandahari Bazaar.
On-going Protest – What Are They Fighting For?
This only represents a glimpse of what this ethnic minority has been facing for almost two decades now.
After the recent incident of target killing, the community took to streets, asking for security and pressing on the government on proving their seriousness on the issue of protecting them. The protestors say that they are restricted to only two neighbourhoods: Hazara Town and Marriabad – which they call as ‘prisons’. The area is surrounded by paramilitary troops, and to enter or leave, they have to show their identity cards.
Reportedly, 40 thousand Hazaras have left the country due to the security threat. Many are detained in the jails of Malaysia and Indonesia while 500 are missing, likely to have drowned in the sea (source: Express Tribune).
Even though the mainstream media didn’t broadcast the protest and gave it much coverage, it is slowly gaining attention across social media as PTI asset Shireen Mizari and civil activist Jibran Nasir spoke against it on their social media platforms.
Jibran highlighted the issue on his Twitter account, bring attention to the sixth day of Hazara sit-in protest against the targeted killing.
Day 6: Sit in by Hazaras continues in Quetta against their targeted sectarian killing forcing them to stay behind barriers and inside their homes. They don't effectively enjoy right to life, freedom of movement, freedom to trade despite all the security checkposts in Quetta pic.twitter.com/KMl3ZGXiQk
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) April 6, 2018
Shireen took to Twitter as well talking about targeted Hazara killing incident followed by Christian target killing, challenging our denial of the presence of terrorist outfits in Pakistan.
Condemnable targeting of Hazaras again by terrorists in Quetta. Where is the security for the Hazara community that is a constant target of sectarian terrorism?
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) April 1, 2018
Condemnable. First Hazaras now a Christian family murdered in Quetta – Daesh claims responsibility for latter. So will our rulers continue to remain in denial abt presence of Daesh in Pakistan? https://t.co/VCzCHgipTX
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) April 3, 2018
Social media community has expressed their solidarity with the victims and protestors as well, urging the government to take action against the recent rise in sectarian violence, again.
The Hazara community has faced violence for years. They are attacked due to their faith & ethnicity. After a spate of targeted killings recently they are staging a sit-in at Alamdar Rd. Jalila Haider, a Hazara activist & lawyer, speaks about the protest.https://t.co/Q5x8mMYxV8 pic.twitter.com/U1dzkuEHmv
— NayaDaur Media (@nayadaurpk) April 5, 2018
Hazara community is the victim of target killing and persecution for decades.after every incidence they collect there dead bodies and start a peacefull protest to let the🌍 know about there miserable condition.once again they are protesting for justice.#Hazara #hazaragenocide pic.twitter.com/dRvYj5dCxm
— Mahrang Baloch (@MahrangBaloch5) April 5, 2018
Hazara community starts a sit-in to protest today's brutal killings. Over 1500 Hazara Shias have been target killed in last few years. Several sit-ins, protests and promises later- we stand here again. Does anyone listen in this country? pic.twitter.com/EEYbKMXSGO
— Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi (@Ali_Abbas_Zaidi) April 1, 2018
Hazara Community Has Been Facing Worst Situations As They Have Lost Many Of Their Family Members In Different Attacks And Bomb Blasts. But There Has Been No Arrests In These Years And Everyone Knows Who Is Behind These Attackers. Break Ur Silence And Stand With #HazaraCommunity pic.twitter.com/p6AC4RgROz
— Balach Baloch (@balach_balouch) April 4, 2018
Hazara community's ongoing sit-in on Alamdar road . Cc: Pak Media https://t.co/jI0aGxxXiA
— S Malaika Raza (@MalaikaSRaza) April 6, 2018
As usual,like PTM congregations,the ongoing #HazaraGenocide & sit-in of Hazara community does not register on #Pakistan’s media & social media radar because it is not #Palestine, #Kashmir#Syria which serve a specific nefarious propaganda..#Hazara
BBC News https://t.co/Cf1Nast5RN
— Kąleem Khąń (@Kaleem_khan18) April 5, 2018
I think not even Shia Hazara Community; all communities those are continuously facing state oppression, are the brothers of each other. Organizers of campaigns (Missing Persons / Genocides / Freedom of speech / Right Activists) must unite, all are the voice of voiceless.
— Haider Rizvi (@shaiderhrizvi) April 6, 2018
— Muqtada Naqvi (@Sayyyeddd) April 5, 2018
The Democratic Students Alliance organised a protest at Liberty in Lahore yesterday against the targeted killing of #Hazara community.
— 🇧️abloo (@Manum_Babloo) April 5, 2018
Activist Dr Alia from Hazara Speaks showed deep concerns over the ongoing genocide as well as the silence and insensitivity of the government. She said that they have an equal right to the land of Pakistan, being a taxpayer. She said that she is concerned that even after six days, no media attention is being given to their peaceful protest and justified demands. Here is what she said in her address to the protestors:
Major Reported Incidents Of Hazara Killing – Timeline (2001 to 2018)
Here’s a brief timeline of the major target killing that started since early 2000.
2001 – Vehicle attacked near Poodgali Chowk, leaving 8 dead.
June 2003 – 11 police officers killed after the attack on a van carrying recruits to police training school in Quetta, several injured as well, most of them belonging to Hazara community.
July 2003 – Hazara mosque attacked on Mechangi road in Quetta during Friday prayers, leaving 47 dead.
March 2004 – Ashura procession attacked leaving 42 people dead
January 2009 – Unknown men killed Hussain Ali Yousafi, Chairman Hazara Democratic Party
September 2009 – Ahmed Ali Najaf, an engineer shot dead while going to his workplace
October 2009 – A Hazara lawyer Walayat Hussain killed on his way to back home from work.
Chief inspector of mines in Balochistan gunned down while going to work.
February 2010 – A young boy Mehmud Ali murdered by armed men in Quetta, leaving another injured as well.
March 2010 – Ghulam Rasool and Muhammad Ali, day labourers, killed near Akhtarabad
Shopkeeper Shabbir Hussain killed while working in a shop located in Hazar Ganji Area
3 vegetable vendors, Muhammad Ali, Ghulam Raza and Ramzan Ali murdered in Hazar Ganji Area.
September 2010 – Suicide bombing during a Shia rally in Quetta, killed 50 people
Muhammad Ali Hazara, kidnapped for ransom, killed even after the amount was paid.
October 2010 – Four Hazaras abducted and killed for ransom.
November 2010 – Owner of Barkat Medical Store, Haji Idrees kidnapped and his bodyguard Muhammad Ali killed.
December 2010 – 3 murdered in a terrorist attack on Arbab Karam Khan Road, one four-year-old girl included in the dead.
May 2011 – 8 killed including children, in a rocket and gun attack, targeting Hazaras in a park.
2 policemen, Ishaq Ali and Muhammad Moosa shot dead on Sipni Road while going home.
June 2011 – Abrar Hussain, former Olympian and Deputy Director of Pakistan Sports board, shot dead by armed men while on his way home.
Terrorist attack on a bus carrying Hazara pilgrims from Iran, killing 3 and injuring 11 in Hazar Ganji Area.
July 2011 – 11 killed, including one woman in an attack on Suzuki van on Spini road
September 2011 – 13 killed, including 4 women in suicide bombing attack on Eid day.
26 killed when a bus carrying pilgrims was attacked in Mastung, the attacker stopped the bus and shot victims one by one.
3 killed in another attack on a van.
October 2011 – 14 Vegetable vendors killed when gunmen attacked a van headed to vegetable market in Quetta.
January 2012 – Inspector FIA, Walayat Hussain, TV artist Abid Hussain Nazish and a Government official Anwar Hussain killed near Mecongi Road when the attackers opened fire on them with automated weapons.
March 2012 – Two killed on Sabzar Road, when unknown men opened fire on them.
Seven, including women, killed in an attack on passenger van.
April 2012 – Two Hazaras killed as attackers opened fire on shops on Mecongi Road.
Six killed as armed men opened fire at a shoe shop on Prince Road, Quetta.
Three killed as armed men attacked a tea shop while six Hazaras murdered on an attack on a Taxi on Brewery Road.
Gunmen opened fire at a tyre shop, killing a businessman, Salman Ali Hazara.
Two brothers, Baban Ali and Hussain Ali shot on their way to market down Brewery Road.
May 2012 – Two killed outside passport office on Joint Road while another killed by unknown men while working in his tyre shop.
June 2012 – 14 killed including 2 policemen and women as a result of a suicide attack on a bus carrying pilgrims from Iran.
August 2012 – 3 Killed as gunmen opened fire on a taxi, while 3 killed a result of firing on a rickshaw
September 2012 – 7 shot dead in separate incidents at the hands of gunmen on motorcycles.
October 2012 – 4 shot dead as a result of an attack on scrap shop.
December 2012 – 1 killed while brother injured in a target killing incident on the airport road, near Askari Park.
January 2013 – 81 killed, 121 injured in a suicide and car bomb blast on Quetta’s Alamdar road
February 2013 – 84 killed and 100 wounded in a blast in a market near Kirani road.
October 2014 – 8 Hazara’s gunned down in Quetta’s bus attack.
May 2015 – 3 murdered in separate incidents of target killing
June 2015 – 5 Hazara men gunned down when gunmen stormed a teashop in the busy shopping area.
October 2016 – 4 Hazara women killed as gunmen open fire on a bus in Quetta.
October 2017 – 5 killed in drive-by shooting in Quetta
April 2018 – Unidentified men opened fire on a taxi at Quetta marketplace, killing a Hazara man.
The number of attacks on the minority ethnic group was 70 in the year 2013-14 alone, leaving 398 dead and hundreds injured.
(Stats Taken From Dawn and Express Tribune)
This is just a minor glimpse of the fear and sufferings of this discriminated community. A lot changed for Pakistan in these years, but unfortunately, nothing for this almost wiped off ethnic group.
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