Hazara community has been facing mass killings, instructions of attending schools, targeting of their livelihood sources and different types of defamation since the eighteenth century in Afghanistan. Hazara community is historically the most discriminated against, subjugated, centralised and exterminated community with a huge population in Afghanistan.

During the regime of Amir Abdul Rahman (1880-1901), Hazara suffered severe political, social and economic repression, culminating in a self-backed declaration of Jihad or holy war against Hazaras from 1890 to 1893.

Similarly, Abdul Rahman Khan, a Pashtun, mobilised a large number of government forces as well as ethnic and tribal militias in the war against Hazaras’ identification, many women and men, from the Hazara community, were killed by Pashtun active fighters and many others, those who couldn’t migrate from Afghanistan to neighbouring countries were enslaved. In that war, a large number of Hazara had to migrate to India, Iran and Pakistan, mostly to Quetta Balochistan, the current population of the Hazara community is estimated at 60000 in Quetta.

However, after migrating to Balochistan from Afghanistan, they have also been targeted and executed multiple times in Quetta and surrounding areas. The first major attack on Hazara took place on July 4, 2003 in Balochistan, when three gunmen entered a Hazara mosque during a Friday’s prayers and killed 53 people and wounded 57 others.

On September 20, 2011, near the town of Mastung in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, some gunmen stopped a bus having 34 Hazara out of 40 Sunni Muslims while coming from Iran where they had gone for a religious holy site, but Sunni Muslims were let to go and Shia Muslims/ Hazaras were taken to the mountainous area where 27 people were killed and 7 wounded, later the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi(LeJ), a Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack. On June 18, 2012, a suicide car bomb attacked a university bus in Jinnah Town, Quetta, killing four Shia Hazara and wounding 72 others including 28 students. The LeJ also claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Similarly, on February 2013, at least 48 Hazara were killed and 160 injured when a bomb explosion took place in a vegetable market in Quetta Hazara Town. The attackers had denoted hundreds of kilograms of explosives in a water tank and it had a much more deadly result.

January 3, 2021, was an unexplainable alarming day for me ever, when 11 coal miners were decapitated after being kidnapped in the mid of the night, after finishing their work and going to bad, in Mach Balochistan.

Families took the dead bodies of their loved ones and went for a demonstration to demand justice from the government, and law institutions. The Prime Minister of the country, Imran Khan was in power at that time, went there and assured them he would provide them justice and they buried their loved ones, but nothing happened.

The recent suicide bombing on Hazara girl students in the Kaaj Educational Centre in Kabul, according to United Nations, 30 people were killed and 57 were wounded, also finds IS guilty though no organisation claimed the responsibility because IS has always been in front to target Hazara community in Afghanistan and sometimes in Pakistan as well.

However, the institutions and administration of the government of Pakistan and Afghanistan have always been failed to safeguard the Hazara community. Hazara community has also been front to be victimised and whenever they were attacked a heavy loss was seen there.

The government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan must alongside work for the protection of the community in every field of life and their ethnic cleansing problem must be discussed in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the coming years so that the leaders of the world may go for a good decision for their safeguarding.

AMEER SAJIDI,

Khuzdar.