Losing ground: 30,000 Hazaras fled Balochistan in five years

Published: April 12, 2014
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Members of a Hazara community light candles for peace against sectarian attacks in Quetta February 15, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

Members of a Hazara community light candles for peace against sectarian attacks in Quetta February 15, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

QUETTA: 

With a surge in violence in Balochistan, members of minority groups have increasingly sought shelter in other parts of the country. Nearly 30,000 members of the Hazara community have migrated in the last five years, according to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Vice Chairperson Tahir Hussain Khan.

Speaking with The Express Tribune, Khan said the flow of migration increased as nearly 1,000 members of the Hazara community have been killed in targeted attacks since 2009.

Khan, who is also president of the HRCP’s Balochistan chapter, added that more than 10,000 Hindus have also fled the province as abductions-for-ransom have become routine over the last three years here.

Members of the Hazara community leaving Quetta and other parts of the province comprise businessmen, highly educated workers and senior government officials, amongst others, he said. Discussing sectarian violence in the province, Khan warned, “This conflict can turn into a civil war if it is not addressed properly at this stage.”

The Hazara community has been confined to two localities in Quetta, he pointed out – a four-kilometre radius on Alamdar Road and an 11km area within Hazara Town – after the provincial government set up security checkpoints around these residential colonies.

“They are physically isolated from the rest of the city’s population,” he said. “They are not aware of how long they will continue to be confined in such a way.”  He pointed to the growing presence of religious parties in the country as a possible reason for increasing sectarian conflict.

Within classrooms, Khan said school syllabi create rifts between students of different faiths and sects, particularly when religious extremist thought is inculcated in educational institutions.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2014.

Correction: An earlier version of the article was carrying an incorrect picture. The error has been rectified.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • sehr.siddiqui
    Apr 12, 2014 - 10:27AM

    Why are Islamist parties silent on this genocide. Where is the State? Where is Army and where is Supreme Court ?. The system, Democracy and the state has palpably failed.

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  • Changezi
    Apr 12, 2014 - 11:53AM

    ET,
    The picture is not of Hazara Community. That is the picture of people of Hazara Division. Please rectify it.

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  • Fujin Naz Haidery
    Apr 12, 2014 - 11:58AM

    you have mistakenly related the picture of ppl from ”Hazara Province”….Hazara nation/community originated from Afghanistan is totally different from ppl of ‘Hazara Province’ on ethnic grounds…

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  • Habib-Jakarta
    Apr 12, 2014 - 1:48PM

    The file photo dosent belong to the Hazara Community, please correct,

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  • Ali
    Apr 12, 2014 - 2:28PM

    ^^ agree.. The picture is from one of the protests of Hazara Division People (in Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa Province) and its not the Hazara Community

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  • Changezi
    Apr 12, 2014 - 3:08PM

    Thanks ET for changing the picture.Recommend

  • Dina
    Apr 12, 2014 - 5:52PM

    @sehr.siddiqui:
    The Islamist parties just support one idealogy. Someone falls disadvantaged under it as much as they argue no one does. Lets see two counties in the world follow sharia law, that is Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran is a Shia theocracy and Saudi Arabia is an Wahhabi autocratic state. If you ask anyone can you really live as a Sunni under Iran and live in Saudi Arabia as a Shia ? And what state will pakistan be ? Only Islamic party is jamaat e Islamic and that too I hate with a passion, if they come in to power over the state, bye bye Pakistan. I think the only Islamic party that really promotes religious harmony is Tahir ul Qadri’s and he doesn’t have much support. Jamaat is trying to modernise itself (failing massively at that) some of the stuff they say about women is actually pretty not that bad compared to what they believe in real life and that is saying something.Read their books and see for yourself, that just makes me wish I was a man!

    Pakistan made a big mistake for not adopting Islamic values in practise when it was made. If it did no one would be having a debate like this now and I would have hoped no one would be dying everyday for no reason.

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  • Abdul
    Apr 12, 2014 - 7:21PM

    @Changezi:
    its not ET’s Fault. He/She even dont know about the hazara nation and hazara division, therefore he/she cannot differentiate between them.

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  • lol
    Apr 12, 2014 - 9:04PM

    hypocrisy of pakistan exposed…. they cry always for kashmir rights…. but look their own pathetic record of human rights…. mass exodus of hindus from their own land…. pathetic is the word….. utter shameRecommend

  • Apr 12, 2014 - 9:23PM

    why is Iran not giving them refuge – no wonder iranians have started hating khomeni and his so-called revolutionRecommend

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