Pakistan’s Hazaras once again become targets

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  • When will the attacks on Hazaras end?

For the past few decades, terrorism has struck Pakistan at its core sweeping away the blood of thousands of innocent civilians. Families have been destroyed facing the menace of terrorism, butchered within the confines and sanctity of their homes, enduring countless tragedies in one form or the other. The armed forces of Pakistan have nevertheless, out maneuvered the widespread terrorism and have narrowed it down to a few isolated incidents.

Terrorism until recently was not limited to any particular area. The entire country has been targeted by religious fanatics. However, even prior to widespread terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11, sectarianism was prevalent in certain parts of the country. People belonging to minority sects have always faced the brunt of religious intolerance and extremism and the state has repeatedly failed to safeguard them. Targeted killing of the minorities is the crown jewel of our intolerant society.

Be it an ophthalmologist in Lahore or an engineer in Quetta, attempts have always been made to silence the Shia minority. However, most notably, the Hazara community of Quetta has been centre stage when it comes to ethnic cleansing. Thousands have been targeted and an equal number have been forced to abandon their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. It is said that there isn’t a single household of the Hazara community which has not lost a person or two at the hands of the targeted terrorism that they have faced.

Although the armed forces have diligently pursued and rooted out terrorism from most of the country, a more proactive approach should be adopted by them for providing relief to the Hazaras. The political leadership has time and again proven its incompetence to deal with this predicament

The peace loving community’s only crime is their love for the Household of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The price they pay for their unprecedented devotion to the Ahle Bait is the blood of their own children. Each time the Hazara community is targeted, promises are made, condolences are extended and even high-profile public appearances, including that of the Prime Minister of the country, are witnessed. A couple of months down the line, the attacks are repeated followed by a fresh tirade of promises and condolences.

Even large-scale protests have been organized in the past, with mass sit-ins taking place countrywide in solidarity with the Hazaras, only to eventually die down in the wake of promises made by the state. The political as well as military leadership of the country have always pledged peace to the ill-fated community and assured them that the attacks won’t be repeated. Yet, here we are, with another attack targeting the community, once again forcing the Hazara community to perform the obsequies of their beloved.

One of the leaders negotiating with the provincial leadership wept out about their desperation and frustration. The promises being made, he said, have been heard countless times in the past but all in vain. “We are tired of the empty promises made by each and every member of the leadership in Pakistan,” called out the elderly leader of the community, whilst addressing the provincial leadership.

If we analyze the entire predicament objectively, the Hazaras are right in declaring their frustration and zero confidence in the state. Apart from helping organize the funerals of their children and making a few leaders attend the same, what has the state provided them? Their blood has gushed down the streets of Quetta for decades now and we still stand here to extend solidarity and condolences alone. We stand before one of the classic modern-day examples of ethnic cleansing and yet are unable to take decisive action against the perpetrators.

What should we call it? State failure? Political failure? Intelligence failure? The military’s failure? It doesn’t matter who failed. What matters is that thousands of Hazaras have been mercilessly slaughtered in the very streets they consider home, and Pakistan, as a nation, has miserably failed to provide them safety and protect the sanctity of their homes. Even the citizenry of Pakistan, who rush to tweet on various matters, find little time. Whatsapp down in Pakistan was trending far more in the country as opposed to the Hazara genocide.

The peace loving community’s only crime is their love for the Household of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The price they pay for their unprecedented devotion to the Ahle Bait is the blood of their own children

The keyboard warriors, safe within the comfort of their homes, away from the barbaric attack, find little time to raise a voice. More cries echoed for the Christchurch victims and very few are being heard for the Hazaras. The political leadership has far more important matters to worry about, in between which the killing of Hazaras is too trivial for them. The opposition leaders themselves are so downtrodden by NAB and other authorities that raising a voice for the Hazaras is almost an impossibility. God forbid if they were to stand with the Hazaras, then NAB might put them behind bars and take away what’s theirs. The blame cannot even be shifted towards a single political party. Each and every leader who has ruled the country in the past shares equal blame for failing to curb the peril of sectarianism.

Although the armed forces have diligently pursued and rooted out terrorism from most of the country, a more proactive approach should be adopted by them for providing relief to the Hazaras. The political leadership has time and again proven its incompetence to deal with this predicament. The provincial government has further glorified its impotence over the past years by making empty promises and then forgetting to fulfill every single one of them. It is high time the military leadership steps in and works out a lasting solution otherwise, it is only a matter of days before the Hazara community loses faith all together and acts in desperation, which would be the only choice they would have left.

As regards to the perpetrators of the horrific attack, they have time and again failed to realize the consequences of their actions. History has not been able to teach them a lesson. Killing a believer of Hussain (AS) will never extinguish the love, devotion and the message of Karbala. To their utmost misfortune, these barbarians have failed to comprehend the 1400 year old reality. The 72 men of Karbala were slaughtered and the enemy forces emerged victorious, on the face of it. 1400 years later:

Pakistan Today

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