By: |Syed Tazmeen Javed|
While penning down this brief article of mine, I chose to display a picture from the Facebook history archive, January 2013, showing a child protesting against the targeted persecution against the Hazara community, calling upon the former eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon from January 2007 to December 2016, to address the inhumanity committed continuously against the Hazara community.
The community, whose physical features make them easy targets has been targeted in a sustained campaign of murders and bombings that has claimed at least 509 lives since 2013, according to Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR)
On Saturday, 28 April, 2018 a latest assault on the Hazaras was reported, as two members of the community were gunned down in the heart of the Quetta city.
It was the second attack on the minority community within a week and third this month. Two Hazara men were killed in a similar attack last Sunday.
“It is an incident of sectarian killing,” a police officer said, adding that the bodies were handed over to their heirs after completing medical- legal formalities.
The plight of the Hazara community still persist in Pakistan. The State has failed to protect its citizens who are being killed on a pretext of having distinctive features, easily recognized living mainly in the Balochistan’s capital Quetta.
I remember, it all started in 2013, when targeted attacks against the brave, resilient and perhaps the most peaceful in their conduct, began drawing attentions from the world wide.
Every heart was saddened when watching live on the Television, bereaved family holding stage-ins along with coffin of loved ones, seeking the then government to summon the Pakistan’s Army and let the reigns of the city to be handed over to them.
They were adamant, that the former Balochistan’s government and the ex- Chief Minister Aslam Raeesani was somehow or the other responsible for showing ‘criminal negligence’ amid enjoying heavy perks on the dead bodies of Hazara Community.
But the woes of Hazara community continues up till to this date. Reasons are known, but somehow mysterious.
The State throws the bunk of allegations over the Research and Analysis Wing(RAW), National Directorate of Security(NDS) for sponsoring terror in Pakistan, buying local mercenaries for creating subversive activities in the region.
State narrative mainly focuses on the arrest of the convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, working for the Indian prime agency (RAW), nabbed by Pakistan’s security agencies from Balochistan, who later admitted his nexus with the Iranian and Indian agencies, both fueling sectarianism, terror in Pakistan.
He was later convicted by the military court and awaits the execution of the death sentence signed by the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, last year in April.
Whereas, there is one more dimension, ignored, and that is the emergence of the ISIS, which had recently claimed the killings of the Christian community in Quetta.
On 15th April, two Christian community members were also killed and five injured as a gunmen opened fire near a church in Quetta’s Esa Nagri locality. The victims were coming out of the church following Sunday service.
All three of the attacks, have been claimed by ISIS , the group whose presence has been categorically dismissed by the State.
Despite my serious concerns over the failure showed by the State in protecting it citizens, I, however would not disregard the sacrifices made by security officials including police, soldiers and civilians in the war against terror.
The state must gear up against the miscreants of having whatever affiliation, ideology and implement a zero-tolerance policy towards bigotry shown against the selected group.
Yes, without a sheer of doubt the menace of extremism has taken lives of people from all the walks of life, either a Sunni, Shia, Baloch, Majahir, Punjabi, Pashtun, but the atrocities committed against the ‘Hazaras’ are quite different and must be addressed with firm conviction to resolve their plight for all good!