Victims of terrorism: Australia offers asylum to 2,500 Hazara families

Published: February 21, 2013

Protesters staged a sit-in in front of the Governor House in Lahore to protest Shia killings. PHOTO: INP/ FILE

The Australian government has offered asylum to 2,500 Hazara families of Pakistan who have been affected by terrorism, reported Express News on Thursday.

The asylum was offered on humanitarian grounds.

Last week, a representative of Australian immigration department met with United Nations officials to make the asylum offer.

Over 80 residents of the Shia Hazara neighbourhood in Quetta were killed when over 800 kilogrammes of explosives packed in a vehicle detonated in the middle of a busy bazaar on February 16.

The attack led to countrywide agitation, with families refusing to bury their loved ones till their demands of the army taking over the city and targeted operation against the perpetrators were met.

In January, twin blasts in Quetta killed over a 100 people and left over 300 injured. After being continuously attacked by militant outfits, the Shia Hazaras went on strike across the country demanding the government to take immediate action.

Correction: An earlier version of the article incorrectly mentioned February 6 as the date of the Quetta bombing instead of February 16. The error has been rectified.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (84)

  • Mahmood
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:07AM

    Until the Pakistani govt is able to truly protect its own people, this is an option that the Hazarans should very seriously consider.

    Recommend

  • m umar
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:10AM

    Great move by Australia. I am looking forward to other countries to follow. Make this the biggest migration in the history of mankind. Pakistan as a state has failed its people.

    Recommend

  • Khan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:14AM

    correction please February 16 not 6

    Recommend

  • Bruce W
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:17AM

    I am happy upon hearing. Take this chance and be free of these intolerant, warped, radical and self righteous elements that seek to harm you as well as this government who never have and never will care about your well being

    Recommend

  • Yoghurt lover
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:22AM

    It’s a very good gesture by Australia. Nice. Need to see what happens now.

    Recommend

  • Saad
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:24AM

    They should accept it without even blinking! There sufferings in Pakistan would worsen.

    Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:27AM

    A country founded on Judeo-Christian values offering asylum to those muslims which live in a country which itself was formed in the name of Islam !

    How ironic and how sad !!

    Congratulations to the very humanitarian Australian government !

    Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2013 - 11:29AM

    Seems now many countries will follow Australia and an exodus from Balochistan is on the horizon. Hazaras are Pakistan loving citizens in Balochistan and after their migration Pakistan will loose a strong pro-Pakistan population in Balochistan.

    Recommend

  • EK
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:31AM

    This is very generous offer by Australlian govt, atleast I would suggest Hazaras to consider it seriously. There are already many muslim families in Austrailia, so no worries about things like being alone.

    Recommend

  • Zahra
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:32AM

    Other countries have to offer our people security now. Shame on our leaders, especially our President who hasn’t even bothered to visit the affected families.

    Recommend

  • Roni
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:33AM

    Yet we keep bashing the western countries and democracies. We love the kings and sheiks but do they really care about us at all. More Pakistanis are beheaded in S. Arabia than any other country of the world.

    Recommend

  • shahzad
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:36AM

    What a shame for the ruler & citizens of an Islamic country? The Muslims are bound to protect even Non Muslims living in their country. Where we stand as a Country, as a Muslim, as a Human being. Such horrible attacks are repeated every month in all part of the Country & the rulers are just enjoying. They just wants to stick with power & to be in Govt till the last day, even at any cost. These shameful parties are looking for another five year terms.

    Recommend

  • SAM
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:38AM

    Question to the Army Chief and all the Generals: Is this the Pakistan you want by supporting LeJ and other such organizations? You do know it will only be you and your puppets in Pakistan when the dust settles….

    Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2013 - 11:38AM

    “Shia Hazaras went on strike across the country”??? They were not only Shia Hazaras. Shias from every ethnic background were on the roads.

    Recommend

  • AK47
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:42AM

    If the current turmoil prevails Pakistan will soon be become a Hardline Sunni state.

    Recommend

  • Rsk
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:42AM

    This seems to be a serious offer. The community leaders should immediately jump on the offer. The life in quetta too is not very conducive.

    Recommend

  • Voice of D.I.Khan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:48AM

    I feel humiliated as a Pakistani after this ,, Sorry Hazara Brothers and Sisters….

    Recommend

  • Usman Lateef
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:50AM

    Can not Aus grant asylum to our few hundred parliamentarians ?? :(

    Recommend

  • expaki
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:50AM

    THANK YOU Australia for offering life to people of my birth country in death trap. God bless Australia and any other who helps suffering people.

    Recommend

  • Aijaz Haider
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:58AM

    The gesture by Australia must be appreciated.

    Recommend

  • Patriot Paki
    Feb 21, 2013 - 11:58AM

    Infact Australia should send there army in Baluchistan to protect them:

    Recommend

  • rajesh
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:00PM

    Its strange that out of 57 Islamic nations in the world which adhere to Islamic culture,rituals and laws, none of them offered asylum to these unfortunate hazara families.
    As usual its the “decadent” western world with their secular constitution offering asylum,which proves that religious puritanism is all garbage its the secular humanist values which champions all shades of religious triumphalism or their laws.

    Recommend

  • Ayaz Hussain Soomro
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:14PM

    It great gestured by The Australian and its shame for Pakistani people who not love with Shia community. we are born for Shahadat so Kill our every person but we never forget Mola Hussain a.s

    Recommend

  • Truth before self
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:20PM

    I salute the Australian government’s gesture. Pls save the poor Hazaras and Shias of Pakistan.
    Stop the genocide in Pakistan. India should also offer asylum to Hazara’s and Shias.

    Recommend

  • Mj
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:21PM

    Time for another two nation theory as the majority sect is proving to be intolerant of other sects?

    Recommend

  • SALEEM
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:22PM

    Anyhow ,i dont think that after this we should bow down our heads in shame ……we are shameful to you our shia brothers

    Recommend

  • Khalid Pathan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:23PM

    As an Australian citizen of Pakistan origin I salute to Australian Govt to offer 2500 families of Hazaras from Pakistan. Hazaras have been subjected to worst atrocities no less than a carnage.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani in US
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:27PM

    They need to seriously consider it as someone rightly pointed out that the suffering of our shia community is far from over.

    Recommend

  • jugnoo
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:36PM

    In such an hour of need only western countries offer asylum to the affected. I can not recall any occasion when muslim countries ever offer such asylums to muslims in need. Hats off to Australia!

    Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:36PM

    That is what ethnic cleansing is all about. Still a great gesture by the Australians.

    Recommend

  • Enlightened
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:38PM

    It is a matter of great shame for the Pak govt and its security forces who failed to give adequate protection to its own citizens that an another country had to make an unprecedented offer for their protection. It is not only Hazara community but others as well who would also like to leave Pakistan soon if the situation is not brought under control.

    Recommend

  • Gul
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:40PM

    It is a matter of great despair for Pakistani citizens for letting the events reach to such an extent that its Hazara ethnic as well as religious minority is in state of insecurity. I can not express my feelings of how I am ashamed of state not protecting its citizens and offering them before non-state-actors for slaughter. While the whole world is watching us of our apathy towards our people, let me make a note that history will haunt Pakistan of its attitude towards Hazara Genocide.

    Recommend

  • ASad
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:43PM

    glad to see helpless people have atleast some cover . but shame and pain at the same time adn such a pitty that we can not protect our homeland and only can borrow time to post comments on this page .Recommend

  • Happens
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:48PM

    * Australian gov is committing the same mistake which other countries did several years ago and repenting now . For example UK. Now there are organizations like “Sharia for UK”. Giving land to these illiterate and medieval community means cutting your vein . They breed like bacteria and After some days they will say “return our Muslim land”. Isn’t it? *

    Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:50PM

    Wonder when will Australians give help to the victims of American terrorism or drones?

    Recommend

  • M. Ahmed
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:59PM

    Thank you Government of Australia for sharing the woes of the surviving Hazaras. They deserve all the compassion and humanitarian treatment from all the world governments after all untold sufferings endured by this brave communuty.

    Recommend

  • waqas
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:09PM

    will any country consider to give migration to people of karachi….who have been suffering long enough & become numb……every day 5 to 10 ppl bite the dust & now no body cares !!!!

    Recommend

  • Yahya Azeem
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:10PM

    Thank you Australia – this shows there are humans in the world. And a big slap on your face Pakistan and Balouchistan government!

    There would be contentions so I’ll just give arguments here:

    a) Hazaras are patriotic and should work to fix the situation in the larger picture.
    No – going overseas does not say you’re unpatriotic. You just care about your family, livelihood and security, which is not being granted in your country

    b) this would be a ‘win’ for the terrorists or leave more divided society in Balouchistan (pro-Baloch etc) – well, everytime someone dies, it is a win for these people, and clearly its about time you take your province seriously. Individual security is the most important.

    Recommend

  • Sexton Blake
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:22PM

    @Haris Chaudhry:
    `It is about time the Australian Government improved its act. So far the Australians have assisted the American Government in killing over a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, bombed those two countries into the stone-age and injured many millions more. However, the old adage applies. Better-late-than-never.

    Recommend

  • meedan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:28PM

    those who are favoring the offer should goes into the shoes of Hazarian and soon there will be an offer for them as well. No doubt this is a tough time but the should go all out to support the hazaras rather any thing else we as a Pakistan think that we have to come out this mess to show the world our metal it is matter of emotional strength.

    Recommend

  • saleem
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:45PM

    @Happens:
    Let me tell you that Hazaras are the most contributing and progressive community in Quetta

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:53PM

    @Happens: No they wont. They will be as peaceful as they are in Quetta. You need to learn the difference.

    Recommend

  • Yamuri
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:57PM

    Australian government has no sympathy for Hazzaras. It is a stunt played to breed ethnic groups from Pakistan on outside grounds as we see in some western countries. They will pick individuals form their community, train them and will bring them up as Hamid Karzai like puppets, or those from Free Syrian Army, or Iranian opposition leaders in exile etc etc…. Australians are getting more and more involved with their cousin US and British colonials in international invasions in the recent years. Pakistan is the main target of these imperialists for obvious reasons. Their ultimate goal is to divide Pakistan and its community for their future agenda. Only fools will think they would do it on simple humanitarian grounds. Hazzaras need to reject this, and all Pakistanis including Hazzaras Sindhis Punjabis, Balochis, Pashtoons should unite and throw away corrupt politicians, administration from the land, and make a peaceful and prosperous place to live.

    Recommend

  • GhostRider
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:57PM

    Malik Ishaq would be feeling so proud right now!!!

    Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Feb 21, 2013 - 1:57PM

    But they all coming to Karachi, and in big numbers…

    Recommend

  • Ian
    Feb 21, 2013 - 2:13PM

    UN should intervene by sending peace keeping force

    Recommend

  • ayesha
    Feb 21, 2013 - 2:19PM

    they must not leave , this will turn the minority extremists into majority in this country. plz save our homeland

    Recommend

  • Anoni
    Feb 21, 2013 - 2:21PM

    If they could just take away all our so called politician i think the number is around 2000 and take the beurocrate number 3000 and some general say 500. We would be the most nicest country on planet.

    How about that ?

    Recommend

  • Jadoon
    Feb 21, 2013 - 2:23PM

    Death of so many Hazaras is indeed tragic, but according to Balochistan’s home secretary, 40 of the dead were Afghan nationals. So Australia my offer asylum directly to Afghans too so that they don’t get displaced twice.

    Recommend

  • Mr Mulla Pakistan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 2:33PM

    the Ahmadis have already been migrating to the west for many years and now that shias will follow….soon only mullahs will be left in pakistan

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 2:51PM

    Australia is inviting its own peril. Now the sectarian crap will start in Australia after a few decades and demands for sharia etc will grow. Srilankan migration has brought lots of headaches to Canada and Australia. The best thing will be to put UN embargo on Pakistan to safeguard its own citizens. What did they get the separate country for in 1947, To run butchery and abattoirs or what? What a shameless country. Pakistan president, if he has any shame, should make a categorical stmt to protect its citizens and implement the same with/without the help of army. Or he can resign.

    Recommend

  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:04PM

    History of Pakistan 101:–1947: Migration based on religion, 1971: Migration based on language, 2012-2013: Migration based on religion (reas hindus to India) and sect (Hazara to Australia, Ahamadis to Canada). Purification to single sect continues in the Land of Pure.

    Recommend

  • Zaheer Ahmed
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:19PM

    Where would they go from Australia once attacked by Racists in Australia? The solution is not to migrate but to fight out the terrorism.

    Recommend

  • ab
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:30PM

    @Ian: well it would bring more bad in the region then good.

    Recommend

  • Erwin
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:46PM

    This is very humane on the part of Australia. I hope the so called Muslim brotherly nations follow suit like the likes of the GCC countries, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei who can well afford to house these tormented people.

    Recommend

  • Shah
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:51PM

    Its not something to be happy that Australia is offering asylum to the Hazaras. It gives such a negative impression that the people are not safe in their own country and another country is offering to give refuge. This is such a degrading situation for the state (Pakistan) and this should not be happening.

    Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2013 - 4:09PM

    This report is fiction. There is no special visa opportunity for Hazaras. The existing humanitarian program does not discriminate for/against any ethnicities or countries. All offshore humanitarian visa applicants must first register with the UNHCR. This misinformation has quite unfairly raised people’s expectations.Recommend

  • Stranger
    Feb 21, 2013 - 4:11PM

    Pak’s loss Australia’s gain .2500 cultured families are leaving Pak Aus will be benefitted by these people .

    Recommend

  • Haris
    Feb 21, 2013 - 4:13PM

    A slap to an indifferent Pakistani Nation. We should be ashamed on the level of immorality and apathy we have accomplished.

    Recommend

  • Syeda
    Feb 21, 2013 - 4:32PM

    What a shame that no Islamic state has offered to help, yet Australia have shown the most humanity. Thank you to the Australian Govt, you have restored a small piece of faith in my heart.

    Recommend

  • Nasir Hussain
    Feb 21, 2013 - 4:36PM

    @Happens:
    U r right.

    Recommend

  • Aitzaz Ahsan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 4:56PM

    nice offer by the austrlian Government for the innocent people of Hazara

    Recommend

  • rahema hasan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 5:00PM

    is this offer really on humanitarian grounds or political grounds.. Australia a country which is tryin to populate its bare lands with people, indeed cheap labor. wat else could they have offered. its a way to mock the people of pakistan. we should rather demand more from the govt. and stand up for our rights as this is not the solution for such a massacare.

    Recommend

  • AK 47
    Feb 21, 2013 - 5:15PM

    Its not a point that the Australian Gov. has done well or not … !

    But our Gov shud resign from their failed government body. which has failed in each respect.

    Recommend

  • D Azad (England)
    Feb 21, 2013 - 5:20PM

    As a Hazara I am very grateful to Australia for helping our helpless people. This what i call humanity. I have not been this for so long. Thank you so much Australia!!!!

    Recommend

  • Vikrant
    Feb 21, 2013 - 5:28PM

    Some will see this move as a conspiracy…. i.e. the Hazaras themselves in order to get so called “asylum” (in other words they are simply “economic migrants” looking for a better life elsewhere) are themselves engineering bomb-blasts in Quetta without even caring that their own members are being butchered! Clearly this is another element in the widespread world-wide anti-Pakistan plot… now even reaching the distant shores of Australia. Clearly these analysts will now point out that it is not the so-called “Lashkar-e” this or that who are responsible for these massacres but in fact renegades among these communities (be it Hazaras, Baltistanis, Balochs, Ahmediyas etc etc) that are supported by that famous anti-Pakistan “Axis of Evil” — USA, Israel and India!

    Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2013 - 6:26PM

    The Hazara community will be migrating to Australia for reasons of security and honorable citizenship. Inshallah. This is a noble and compassionate decision and should be taken in the spirit of verity.
    Our noble Prophet (SM) migrated to Madina Munawwara along with Sahaba e Ikram and the new converts to escape and avoid the ruthless persecution of the Qureish. The early Muslims were also advised by our Noble Prophet (SM) to migrate to Ethiopia where an impartial and compassionate Christian king, the Negus of Ethiopia ruled. They were received very warmly and stayed there for a long time.
    We have not understood the meaning of nationhood due to lack of education and the ubiquitous mullah germinating sectarian strife. Add to it, a haughty aura of “know it all” that encompasses our thoughts and actions, describes adequately what Pakistan is today. We will be better off to accept cold facts and today’s reality is doing just that. Wake up and grace the day. Salams

    Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2013 - 8:18PM

    Dear Sir, My name is Hassan Syed. I was born in Quetta. I am married and I have 4 dependents, a spouse and 3 children. I am a Shia. We feel insecure and are very fearful. I wish to seek Asylum in Australia.I am working as a Deputy Chief in the Federal Ministry of Communications, Government of Pakistan. I have a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. Over 25 YRS of working knowledge and experience in Research, Planning, Construction, Monitoring in Roads, Bridges, Airports.Recommend

  • Faqir Ipi
    Feb 21, 2013 - 9:01PM

    Connecting dots

    China take over Gawadar Port.

    Queta butchery just after Butchers of Kabul, Baghdad, Bin Ghazai

    Minority Protection, stopping genocide, woman rights always an excellent excuse for US, UK, UN to invade and occupy countries with resources.

    Great phrases, such as ‘humanitarian agenda’ and ‘promoting democracy’ are being used just to lend an air of dignity and to cloak their intervention with the veneer of morality.

    Recommend

  • And then this happened.
    Feb 21, 2013 - 9:26PM
  • Feb 21, 2013 - 11:50PM

    I wish to seek asylum in Australia, keeping in view the terrorist attack. I was born in Quetta. I am married and have four dependents including my wife and three children. I am working in a government organization. A civil engineer over 27 YRS of working knowledge and demonstrable experience in Research, Planning, Construction of Roads, Bridges and Airports. Extensively travelled to USA, CANADA,UK and Singapore. URGENTLY NEED HELP.Recommend

  • Ali Baloch
    Feb 22, 2013 - 3:50AM

    First of all Hazaras are NOT!!!!! Pakistani citizens they came after the Afghan war and they were refugees until Musharraf decided to issue all Afghan refugees Id cards to weaken the Baloch Nationalists. Secondly Why is the Army and FC still targetting the Nationalists instead of going after Lashkar E Jhangvi?????.

    Recommend

  • Rangeela Rasool
    Feb 22, 2013 - 9:43AM

    Good luck Aus, be ready for Pakistan like situation.After all muslims are muslims and you are inviting problemRecommend

  • Munna
    Feb 22, 2013 - 5:58PM

    @m umar:

    No, the people have failed Pakistan. Why should the state do ANYTHING for freerollers?

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Feb 23, 2013 - 4:58AM

    Apart from the humanity reason, Australia is a country of migrants from around the world and the country needs more migrants and prefer people of caucasian ethnicity. This could explain their offer.to the Hazarans. It is a beutiful country and its popuation is concentrated in few cities. The kangaroos are galloping across the city roads, and the coala bears on the eucapliptus trees.
    On the weakends some dig in the garden for opals stones, while others look for gold: Most go to white sand beaches and surf or swim. A great country with wonderful people.

    Rex Minor

    Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Feb 23, 2013 - 6:34AM

    @vasan:

    Australia is inviting its own peril.
    Now the sectarian crap will start in
    Australia after a few decades and
    demands for sharia etc will grow

    Well said.
    Shia Hazara are persecuted because they do not have numbers. Once they have numbers they will demand the very same laws that led to their own persecution and commit the exact same crimes. And down the lane, Aussies will be the infidels and the Pakistanis their brothers.
    It’s the observed behavior of Islamic societies and there is no escape.

    Recommend

  • hasan
    Feb 23, 2013 - 10:53AM

    @Rex Minor:
    Rex, as a regular visitor to Australia (and married to an Australian) you speak nonsense! All of what you have said is far from the truth. What is true is that migrants have developed Australia into a wonderful country. The successful migrants have be OPEN-MINDED and generally from non-muslim backgrounds. Both men and women are treated EQUALLY! HEAD SCARVES are seen as a medi-evil concept with women are being forced wear them to adhere to a man’s command. The Australian heat means that both men and women wear shorts and t-shirts. Women drive and ride motor-cycles. Alcohol is consumed with most meals eaten outside the house (and many meals are eaten this way). I suppose what I am trying to say is that the Islamic faith rarely sits comfortably in a Judeo-Christian society such as Australia. Unless migrants are prepared to adapt (read as CHANGE) their ways lifein Australia will be hard for them and finding employment and being accepted and a valued member of the community will be impossible. One final word: In Australia both politics and religion are viewed as a PRIVATE matter and never to be spoken about in public.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Feb 23, 2013 - 11:32AM

    Rex minor :

    The kangaroos are galloping across the city roads, and the coala bears on the eucapliptus trees. On the weakends some dig in the garden for opals stones, while others look for gold:

    As a person who lived in Australia for 8 years and that too in the 1980s, I can vouch that there were and are no kangaroos hopping around the cities and no gold diggers either.
    The most beautiful city, in my opinion, in the world is Melbourne, my home during my stay there.

    Recommend

  • HarlemShiekh
    Feb 24, 2013 - 3:30AM

    @Happens:
    The organizations like “Sharia for UK”, Islam4UK etc.. that you allude to are largely overseen (behind the scenes) by one man Anjem Chaudury and his handful of cohorts. He is well protected by the British establishment, who seem to provide him immunity from any sort of prosecution for making openly inflammatory statements and incitement to hatred, which an ordinary Muslim would be banged up for many years. He is the media’s favorite whipping boy and he is used as a pawn to rile the general public. Look up his shady past and you will find some interesting tit bits.
    Mainstream Muslims consider him as a publicity seeking nutcase and agent provocateur.

    Recommend

  • Habib-Jakarta
    Feb 24, 2013 - 5:26AM

    I hope in Australia there wont be any LeJ , SSP and ASWJ.
    But there is human rights

    Recommend

  • DD
    Feb 25, 2013 - 11:13AM

    Blaming the government,as so many commentators are doing will serve no purpose. What is needed is for people to renounce religion in large numbers because that is the prime reason for the rot in the country.

    Recommend

  • Feb 26, 2013 - 8:34PM

    the report about australians allowing 2500 hazaras to migrate to their country was a lie:

    http://www.pakistan.embassy.gov.au/islm/PR130221-Hazara.html

    Recommend

  • Feb 27, 2013 - 4:25PM

    I’m a long time watcher and I just believed I’d drop by and say hi there for your quite very first time.Recommend

  • Muhamma dWaqas
    Feb 27, 2013 - 7:03PM

    read the Australian embassy press release regarding this issue. its only a lie

    Recommend

More in Pakistan