By: Abdul Ghafoor
In September 2011, two buses on their journey to Taftan, the border between Iran and Pakistan were stopped by militants in Mastung area of Baluchistan, Pakistan. all the passengers were identified, taken out of bus and targeted. The victims belonged to Hazara minority, who are mostly following the Shite sect of Islam.
According to one of the eye witnesses, the extremists checked the ID cards of the passengers and asked all Hazaras to step out of the buses. They were then lined up and shot. As a result 26 people lost their lives and another 6 were injured.
This was not the only incidents Hazaras of Quetta Pakistan have faced in recent years. Extremist belonging to LEJ ( Lashkar – e – Jhangvi ) has carried out multiple attacks on Hazara minorities since 2009. The worst of the attacks took place in January and February 2013, which claimed 200 lives and wounded hundreds of others.
Most of the attacks has taken place under the arms of the Pakistani establishment and agencies. After these many deadly attacks, yet there hasn’t been taken solid step to stop the extremists from carrying on the attacks and no culprit has been arrested or brought into justice.
Recently, the attacks on Hazaras of Afghanistan has also increased and has spread tensions among the Hazaras of Afghanistan. with turning the pages of history you will find how Hazaras were massacred during the Abdul Rahman Khan regime, and how they were targeted due to their ethnicity and religion. But, in the recent years Hazaras were hopeful for a better future in Afghanistan, and as a result thousands returned back to Afghanistan from neighboring countries Pakistan and Iran.
Most of the returnees have settled in capital Kabul, but yet they face numerous problems while traveling back to their home provinces. students, government employees, NGO employees are regularly targeted, taken out of vehicles and killed, without baring in mind what ethnicity or sect they belong to. But in some cases, only people belonging to Hazara minority are targeted.
Some of the recent incidents highlights and reminds of the LEJ style attacks on Hazaras in Quetta Pakistan. in these particular incidents innocent Hazaras were identified, taken out of vehicles and then targeted. On 30th June 2014. “Taliban in Police dress took Hazaras from District Gezab in the area of Qakhor-o-JarPiyaz in a mountain pass known as Chasma-Raig, tied their hands, chopped off their ears, noses, hands, then beheaded them, and threw their bodies from mountain top into the mountain pass.”
This indicates Hazaras of Afghanistan are never safe, and the culprits, Taliban and extremist can target Hazaras anytime they want with out any obstacle from the weak Afghan Governments. which has just control over some of the provinces, but the rest are still in the hands of Taliban and they rule in those provinces.
In the latest incident that took place on early morning of 25th July 2014. 17 innocent belonging to Hazara minority were identified, taken out of buses and then massacred. According to the eye witnesses; the attackers stopped two minibuses over night, separated Hazaras from other passengers, lined them up and shot them from back. The victims of the incident includes 3 women and one child.
The alarm of the recent incidents has waken up the activists to raise their voice against the target killings of Hazaras in Afghanistan, and it is time for all the Hazaras to wake up and stand for their rights, otherwise it won’t be late, when Hazaras mightn’t be able to travel to their provinces and get stuck in Kabul like the Hazaras in Quetta. This is the time to stand against the genocide and let the terrorists know, they couldn’t stop us in Quetta Pakistan and they won’t stop us in Afghanistan. On the other hand, this can be huge plan of the enemies of Afghanistan to demonstrate this kind of ethnicity based attacks and find a reason to aggravate the current situation of Afghanistan, and lead us back to a civil war.