by Muhammad Zia Sultani, social activist
Hazaras have been subjected to unfairness, violence, persecution and mass killing in the past one and half century. They have always been the targets due to their beliefs and more importantly their ethnicity. On the other hand, oppressions on them have always remained ambiguous and controversial according to the people.
More than 60% of Hazaras were brutally massacred by Abdur Rehman in late 18thcentury as they were announced to be infidels for their adherence to Shia sect of Islam. However, in 1980s and 1990s civil war, Martyred Abdul Ali Mazari,evidently said that it was not sectarian war any more.
“War is ethnic while slogans are sectarian”. After a very long time history is repeating itself and a banned outfit, Lashkar-e-Jangui, the sworn enemy of Hazaras pledged to accelerate their non-stop killing. Since 1998 more than 700 Hazaras are being killed many injured but even a single perpetrator has not yet been brought to justice.
What are the key reasons behind Hazaras’ mass killing? It is the question which needs to be answered when every individual peruses a particular dogma.
Sardar Sadat Ali Hazara, ex provincial minister is of the belief that this is a sectarian issue.
“We are targeted because we are followers of Imam Ali (a.s). If we announce to abandon our sect today, continuing target killing of Hazaras will drag to a halt forever; which is impossible.”
However, many believe that it is not wholly sectarian in the province of Balochistan. Ahmed Ali Kohzad, General Secretary of HDP (Hazara Democratic Party) says, “This is not confined to Balochistan. This is an international game. Neighboring countries have their interventions and interests in this region due to its strategic location…”
HDP, being the only political party has been working with an objective of bringing about public awareness, giving people political track and vision by a having a unified platform. Party believes that regardless our population unless we ourselves take our decisions and determine to stand committed to struggle for our identity, culture and predestination, others can never do anything for us. These feelings must have been the causes for formation of the first ever political party for Hazaras in the history of Pakistan.
Sayed Nasir Ali Shah, MNA (Member of national Assembly) has a different point of view. In a recent interview on April 10, 2012 in Perth city of Australia he was asked about the progress and activities of Hazara Democratic Party.
“I am not very optimist. We limit ourselves if we pursue politics based on nationalism.”
In reaction to this response many people think that pursuing the ideology of nationalism does not mean confrontation with other communities. Living in a multinational province like Balochistan where all the other communities struggle through their political nationalist parties, it is must to have a party like HDP. To be honest, Hazara Democratic Party has been working day and night for inter- sect harmony, mutual respect among different tribes in Balochistan. Due to its democratic attitude, other nationalist parties have upright relations and have organized several combined workshops and conferences so far to express their sympathy and condemn terrorists. On the bases of these democratic statutes, Hazara Students Federation being its student wing has an eminent position among the other students’ organizations in whole Pakistan. There has not been a single meeting with the presence of other communities and absence of Hazara students. To maintain this atmosphere, we should give impression to other communities living in Balochistan that Hazaras can do their politics and are not supporters of Iran.
It would be right to say that Iran has always been interfering in the internal affairs of the neighboring countries. By supporting some regularly paid organizations numerous civil disturbances are created. Youmul Quds was staged in September 03, 2010 which resulted in loss of more than 80 precious lives. There American flag was burnt, people were taking Hassan Nasrullah’s photos in their hands and chanting slogans against Isreal and America. These are the conspiracies exported from Iran and displayed by their agents by shedding the blood of innocent Hazaras. These traitors want to exploit the sentiments of Hazaras, who have not been able to solve their regional conspiracies yet.
Ms. Rukhsana Ahmed, Provincial General Secretary of PPP said, “These mullas (clerics) who were leading the procession are all agents of Iran. They wanted to make some video clips and capture photos by burning America’s flag so that they would send to Iran for receiving money (Toman).”
The ground realities speak volume of Iran’s cruelty and irreparable consequences to Hazaras. Nobody has kept count of the victims, but there must be hundreds of innocent Hazaras who went to earn living in Iran believing on the symbolic statement of Rohullah Khomaini that “Islam has no borders” were killed and hanged. Hazaras are being jeered, kept deprived of sending their children to schools and enjoying human basic rights. In March 2012 entrance of Afghans was prohibited in a park in Isfahan, Iran.
A video running on YouTube shows a Hazara man saying, “I have Iranian wife but unfortunately I was caught by Iranian police and I am deported to Afghanistan.”
Haji LashkariRaisani, ex- provincial president of PPPP said that one of the reasons behind Hazaras target killing might be Hazaras affiliation and adherence to Iran. He believes that government is concerned about formation of another Hizbullah from Pakistan.
It is true that Iran has remarkable influence on Shias living in other provinces of Pakistan. Jawad Naqui, a Shia clergy publically announces, “Momineens of Quetta(Hazaras) should lead 20% Shias in Pakistan. All the Momineens (Hazaras) should be Hizbullahi.”
Being a Hazara I want to ask that who the hell are you to portray Quetta another North Lebanon?
The fanatic attitude of Iran is on the ground. When in 80s Hazaras were massacred in Afghanistan on daily bases, and Hazaras (Shias) were reported to be less than 05%, Iranian fascists were totally silent. In this era of democracy, freedom of speech and media, demonstrations were staged in 36 major cities of the world on October 01, 2011; a single protest was not witnessed in Iran where population of Hazaras stands second after Afghanistan.
Fazal Rahman Orya a renowned Afghan Journalist was called on one of the Iranian channels. He had been asked to speak in favor of Iran before he was to appear on the screen. It was on air that Mr. Orya said, “Iranians give vast sum of money to journalists to speak in the favor of Iran.” Consequently, he was stopped and went off air.
In short Hazara Students Federation shall never let the nation be part of internal and external conspiracies that pave path for sectarian up rise leading to permanent destruction of peace and harmony of the city. HSF shall fight preventing the nation being dragged to violence and civil war. HSF will not let any internal and external power exploit the sentiments of Hazara youth for their sinister purposes.