Hazara’s protest in Pakistan — and more people should care.


The Hazara, a Shiite minority group found in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, are being slaughtered with impunity in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

These historically discriminated against people are blown apart with bombs at pool halls and at produce stands in the most cold blooded and cowardly fashion imaginable:  210 have been killed since 2013 began, in less than two months. 

Hazaras are targeted by terrorist group Lashkar-e Jhangvi, which some say gains support from the Pakistani government itself, but they are not the only radical group out for their blood.

Hazara.net reads like a long litany of abuses against these people: the Hazaras I’ve spoken to often quite plainly refer to the killing as a “genocide.”

I don’t know why the international media isn’t paying as much attention as it could be to the atrocities the Hazara continue to suffer. When they die in very large numbers, they are accorded blurbs on CNN and brief stories in the news, but then they fade into the background again

Anyway, here’s something brief I did for GlobalPost, largely thanks to my Hazara friend Ahmad Shuja, who is entirely dedicated to getting the story out about the suffering his people are undergoing.

It also includes a brief account of the blast by Zainab Yaqubi, a Hazara high-schooler who wrote her own piece on Fox entitled “Education, resolve greatest weapons in fight against terrorists.” 

The Hazara agreed to end the protest and bury their dead on Tuesday, after the Pakistani government – which has traditionally dragged its feet when it comes to protecting the Hazara — arrested about 170 believed to be involved in the killings, and a “target operation” is ongoing. It remains to be seen how effective all of this will actually be.

Pakistan’s Shiites refuse to bury dead to protest deadly Quetta bombings

Pakistani Shiites are protesting a continued lack of security and government protection after bomb blasts ripped through a Quetta produce market over the weekend, leaving 84 dead and more than 169 wounded. Shiite leaders blame the Sunni militant group Laskhar-e-Jhangvi for the bombings.

The bereaved Shiite community, made up of mostly ethnic Hazaras, is for the second time in five weeks making a radical statement to the Pakistani government: They are refusing to bury their dead.

“The protests of the Hazara-Shia community have gone unnoticed for so long — about a decade now — that refusing to bury the dead is a desperate last-resort act to get attention to their plight,” Hazara political commentator Ahmad Shuja told GlobalPost.

“In Islam, the dead should be buried as soon as possible, but by refusing to bury them, the community is making a strong religious-cultural statement.”

Shiite women began the shocking demonstration in Quetta on Feb. 17, according to the BBC, calling on the government to investigate the perpetrators of the bombings.

Shuja said that the protesters are thus “throwing the ball into the government’s court, by making burial contingent on a decisive crackdown on terrorists who killed so many innocent civilians.”

Read more from GlobalPost…

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