An open letter to Ban Ki Moon

For a Hazara in Pakistan, stepping out of the house to buy groceries is equivalent to placing one's life in jeopardy.

Zainab Aqdas January 16, 2013
Mr Ban Ki Moon,

Secretary General,

The United Nations.

January 16, 2013.


Your Excellency,

I am not Hazara – my gene pool is not affiliated with the descendants of the great Mongol Genghis Khan, who now inhabit Quetta. But I am writing this to inform you of a pressing issue that has shaken the international community as protests erupt worldwide regarding Jan 10, 2013 bomb blasts on Alamdar Road.

Since the past decade, over 1100 Hazaras have fallen prey to attacks of ethnic cleansing carried out by radical militants claiming to eradicate all those who do not adhere to their brand of Islam.

In September 2011, over 20 Hazara passengers were taken off a bus near Mastung District, made to stand to stand in a line and were executed in front of their wives.

In June 2012, 14 people including a woman were killed in a suicide attack on a bus carrying Hazara pilgrims returning from Iran.

In November 2012, an SMS was in circulation in Quetta calling for information in case any Hazara was spotted in the provincial capital. As a result, Hazara folk confined themselves to ghettos andstudents stopped attending University.

On January 10, 2013, 86 Hazara youth were massacred following the explosion of two bombs on Quetta’s Alamdar Road.

According to the Human Rights Watch – which has also documented the massacre of thousands of Shiite by Taliban forces over the years – Mullah Manan Niazi, the Taliban governor of Mazar-e-Sharif, issued a Fatwa (Law) stating:
‘Shia Hazaras are not Muslim. Killing them is not a sin.’

And in effect, provisioned rampant attacks upon the Hazaras. The banned organization, Lashkar e Jhangvi, also circulated an open letter in 2011 addressed to Hazaras in Quetta reading:
“All Hazara are worthy of killing. We will rid Pakistan of unclean people….”

For a Hazara in Pakistan, stepping out of the house to buy groceries is equivalent to placing one's life in jeopardy.

I ask you, Mr Moon, does the brutal massacre of the Hazara folk in Pakistan not fall within the premise of genocide stated in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide?

The Convention deems the intent to destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as genocide and holds punishable under international law, the act of genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; attempt to commit genocide and complicity in genocide.

Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that all citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection.

Allow me to enlighten you with the following facts:

1. The Government of Pakistan has failed to adhere to its responsibility of protecting its citizens from attack.

2. When 86 Hazara youth were brutally massacred on Jan 10, 2013, the Chief Minister of Balochistan province was vacationing in the Middle East; the President and Prime Minster refused to comment for several hours while the Hazaras with their dead bodies carried a sit in protest for four days.

3. The British House of Commons held a conference on Hazara Genocide in November 2012 in which Members of Parliament announced the formation of an All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) to:
“Address the issues faced by Hazaras in Pakistan and to bring an end to the persecution and racial discrimination carried out against Hazaras.”

The MPs said the government of Pakistan have failed in its duty to protect its people, moving on to state that Hazara professionals were leaving the city as they were under attack.

In light of the above mentioned facts, the Government of Pakistan is not only defying its own Constitution, but is also defying International Law.

As a Pakistani, I am appalled upon realising that in order to seek justice; the oppressed must turn towards foreign help and protest, and cannot rely on the mechanisms of justice installed by the our government.

But British Parliamentary Groups cannot help eradicate the radical militants that have infiltrated into Pakistani society, targeting the innocent Hazara minority whose distinct Mongloid appearance makes it impossible for them to hide.

The massacre of 86 Hazara right at the start of the new year foreshadows an ominous, deadly year for this subjugated community and for those belonging to the Shiite sect.

And thus, I turn to you Mr Moon, with a desperate plea for help with hope that the United Nations will stand to defend humanity in times of strife.

My plea is representative of the wishes of the civilian population of Pakistan – from Lahore to Quetta to Karachi and to Hyderabad – that had taken to the streets in protest of the injustice faced by Hazara folk, calling for an end to genocide and oppression.


I thank you for your time and attention.

Yours Sincerely,

A concerned citizen

Read more by Zainab here or follow her on Twitter @zainab_aqdas
Zainab Aqdas Is a freelancer and recently got done with her O levels. She enjoys reading South Asian writers and hopes to pursue a career in International Relations. She tweets @zainab_aqdas
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Zainab Jameel | 11 years ago | Reply There is no religious extremism in Pakistan. This is out and out USA financed terrorism trying to break up Pakistan. It is of the same nature as trying to break up or destroy Syria. And there are willing traitors in Pak government and out side the establishment.Being a Pakistani, I don't feel that you are giving enough coverage to the Pakistan's National Issue i.e. the current Sit-In going all over Pakistan including USA/UK/Australia/Spain/Oslo/Denmark.The relatives of 86 maryrds have denied to bury their martyrs and are Sitting on Road from last 3 days with unburried bodies under -3 degree temperature. The Protest is going all over Pakistan. Please give it a through coverage to spread the voice of Oppressed, just like you do for Paliestine, Syria and Lebonan. Pakistani Media is basically trying to supress the voice of OpressedThank you.
haroon | 11 years ago | Reply Ban ki moon is exactly that.
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