RSS Feed

Category Archives: Other Minorities

Government’s Complicity Has Accelerated Targeted Attacks on Christians

Targeted attacks on Christian community have alarmingly in restive Quetta in the past few months. The unfortunate terrorist attack taking place on 15th April resulted in the loss of, at least, two innocent souls while leaving 7 others injured when terrorists opened fire on worshippers standing outside church in Essa Nagri. The level of complicity and incompetence by government officials have facilitated the escape of terrorists after the incidence. The so-called Daesh claimed responsibility of the attack through an electronic message to local media outlets. Daesh is the name being used in wake of recent terrorist attacks although terrorists of Anjuman Sipah Sahaba (ASS), Lashker-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Ahle Sunnat wa Alajma’at (ASWJ) and Daesh etc are different sides of the same coin with full knowledge and appreciation of the government and its security agencies. Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba and its militant wing Laskher-e-Jhangvi later becoming Ahle Sunnat wa Aljama’at (ASWJ), despite being banned by Pakistan, UK and USA as terrorist organisations; are free to hold anti-minority rallies and deliver inflammatory speeches provoking attacks on marginalized and under-represented communities.

Soon after the Essa Nagri terrorist attack, a Hazara delegation comprising senior community leaders visited the church and expressed their heartfelt condolences to the aggrieved families. The Hazara delegation was led by Tahir Khan Hazara, a seasoned and outspoken local leader, lauded for his firm stance and rhetoric for minorities. Through a press release issued by the Hazara Siyasi Karkunan (Hazara Political Workers), the Hazara delegation condemned this cowardly attack and offered their full support to the Christian community, who, in return, thanked them for their visit, terming the complete failure and apathy of the government in providing full security.

In the aftermath of the attack, the government authorities instead of taking decisive action against the terrorists; have advised the Christian community that they should remain at their homes instead of venturing out in order to avoid such attacks. In an interview to the DW News, the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church’s priest, Simon Bashir expressed his dismay over government’s lack of interest in providing them security.

Over two weeks ago on 2nd April, 2018, the terrorists opened fire on a rickshaw which killed four innocent people of the same family including two women who had arrived to Quetta for family visit during Easter Vacation.

HUM, UK urges international community, the UN’s Human Rights Council and the Human Rights Organisation to intervene into this serious matter to protect the loss of innocent lives in Pakistan.

 

Documentary Highlights Intolerance and Hope For Pakistan

Never Forget, Londonbranch of a Pakistani non-governmental organisation, hosted an important event at SOAS, Vernon Square, London on 23-02-2016 to screen the recently-prepared documentary of Minority Rights Group InternationalThe purpose of organising the event was to showcase religious hatred, bigotry and intolerance which was initially aimed at minorities but this menace has not tilted towards mainstream Pakistani society. The documentary started with interviews of the heirs of Hazara victims becoming targets in various targeted attacks in Quetta, then, it slowly moves to inter-marriages of Shias and Sunnis and the extent of problems they face being family units of different sects. The documentary also captured glimpses of Sufism and ending with constructive notes from interviewees of all faiths about the future of the country.

Screenshot of the Documentary (Photo Courtesy: Never Forget, London)

Screenshot of the Documentary (Photo Courtesy: Never Forget, London)

Ali Raza of Never Forget, London hosted the event who briefly introduced the salient points.

Ali Raza Hosting the Event

Ali Raza Hosting the Event

Liaquat Ali Hazara was requested to give introduction about the Pakistani Hazaras. After thanking the host and the other organisers of the show, he highlighted about the Hazaras’ history and how they are living in modern-day Pakistan. His introductory session consisted of three sections, ie., (i) the migration of Hazaras to then sub-continent, (ii) current challenges and (iii) Expectations of Hazaras from HR Organisations and International Community.

LAH

LAH

Later, Carl Soderbergh, Director of Policy and Communications at the Minority Rights Group International and Emma Eastwood, Senior Media Officer of the same organisation were invited to share their views. Carl Soderbergh mentioned about the brief history of MRG and HR activities across the globe while Emma Eastwood talked about their firm resolve in protecting rights of minorities and liaising with respective governments in respect of human rights violations.

Carl Soderbergh (Director Policy and Communication, MRG)

Carl Soderbergh (Director Policy and Communication, MRG)

Emma Eastwood (Senior Media Officer, MRG)

Emma Eastwood (Senior Media Officer, MRG)

The last part of the show consisted of interactive debate and feedback on the rights of minorities.

Rights Activists at SOAS

Rights Activists at SOAS

Geo and Jang Newspaper covered the event. For viewing the documentary and video coverage of the event, please visit our facebook page.

Jang Coverage of the Event

Jang Coverage of the Event

(Photos Courtesy: Never Forget London)

HUM Raised the Issue of Genocide of Hazaras in the 8th UN Session on Minorities Issues in Geneva

Hazara United Movement (HUM), United Kingdom sent a delegation of Hazara Diaspora to the 8th UN Session on Minority Issues in Geneva, Switzerland. The two-day conference was held on 24th and 25th of this month with side events taking place and addressing the issues faced by minorities world-over. The Delegation consisted of Agha Marzooq Ali, […]

HR Campaigners Pledge to Raise Voice for Minorities at All Platforms

Group of Panelist

Group of Panelist

A heart-warming event was organised by Never Forget, London on 19th September, 2015 at the heart of London to raise awareness about the rights of minorities. This time the rights of minorities of Pakistan were the focus of the event which started at 7:00 PM. Umer Tariq hosted the programme who announced the details to include a documentary on the abuse of blasphemy law in Pakistan and followed by interactive debate. The panel included Rev. Rana Youab Khan, Dr Lakhumal Luhana and Liaquat Ali Hazara who focused on the rights of Christians, the forced conversion of Hindu girls into Islam and the rights of Hazaras and their mass displacement as a result of ongoing targeted attacks on them.

In the beginning of the programme, a documentary on the abuse of blasphemy law was shown which depicted the plights of the Christian minority and their displacement in the wake of a personal dispute which was cunningly painted as blasphemy.

Followed by talks of the panelist where Rev. Rana Youab Khan mentioned that Pakistan came into being to protect the rights of minorities including Muslims who, in terms of population, were in minority at the time given the entire population of the then sub-content. Therefore, the state should safeguard the rights of minorities in today’s Pakistan. Although, Pakistan, after its formation is a Muslim country, it is essential that all minorities should enjoy their rights like other citizens. He said that Pakistan 97% population consists of Muslims and the remaining 3% is all non-Muslim minorities so there should be no genuine reason to be afraid of the 3% population. Reminiscing about the past, he continued that he was born and brought up in Pakistan and, until recently, he had never experienced such orthodox version of Islam which requires Muslims of wearing a hijab. Talking of his own sisters as an example, he said that they all grew up wearing a typical Dupatta and Chaadar like other women.
Focusing on blasphemy law, he said that everyone is afraid of talking about this in Pakistan due to imminent threats generating from extremists.

Dr. Lahkumal Luhana, the Chairman of World Sindhi Congress, sketched an overall dismal picture of Sindh province. He said that Sindhis are dying without empathy from the government although Pakistan’s large revenue generates from this province. He continued that parts of Sindh are badly affected by drought where livestock, women and children are affected alike, however, the government shows no interest towards this serious problem. He said that pain has no colour and however the countrymen are suffering or affected by the scale or frequency of pain, we must stand together to support them.
Talking about the forced conversion of Hindu girls into Islam, he lamented that nothing is falling on deaf ears of the government for this deplorable problem. He said that the Hindus are the only minority in Pakistan whose girls are forcibly converted into Islam and we have done anything to stop this menace. “This is very bad for Pakistan’s overall reputation and we must build up a momentum to stand up against such cruelty”, he exclaimed.

Liaquat Ali Hazara, Chairman Hazara United Movement (HUM), UK briefly mentioned about the history of Hazaras’ killings in Pakistan and maintained that by the definition of the Geneva Convention, the killings of Hazaras must be recognized and mentioned as Genocide. He briefly defined Genocide as, “the deliberate killings of a large number of people, particularly belonging to the same nation or ethnicity” He said that Pakistan was boastfully celebrating the 50th Anniversary of 1965 war on the occasion of its Independence and Defence Days in August and September this year, but no official tribute was paid to the then Commander-in-Chief who was a Hazara and the main architect of the victory. He said, “Pakistan owes an official apology to Hazaras. He demanded that either the Head of the State or the Chief Executive should officially apologize to the Hazaras for their incompetence in stopping their Genocide.
He said, “Balochistan has always been the most liberal and tolerant province in Pakistan where people of all ethnicities and nationalities have co-existed peacefully for centuries.” All the main stakeholders of the province such as the Baloch, Pakhtuns, Hazaras and Punjabi settlers have never had any factional disputes or sectarian animosity. Mentioning of Alamdar Road which constitute Hazara populace, he said that there were over 300 house of the Baloch who would enjoy their complete religious freedom, going to their mosques and mingling with their Hazaras friends but they were compelled to sell out their houses and locate to Baloch belt when terrorist attacks on Hazaras increased manifold.
He said that sectarianism never existed in Balochistan nor were their any target killers. Such menaces were imported into the province by the de facto rulers of the country to accomplish their ulterior motives.

At the end of session, questions relating to the protection of minorities were asked from the panelist which reflected on blasphemy law, the rights of Christians, Hindus and Hazaras etc and how the international community can be approached for a timely pressure on the Pakistani government for safeguarding minorities.

Never Forget Holds an Event to Voice Against Violence and Persecution of Pakistani Minorities

File Picture

File Picture

Never Forget London, part of an international Non-Governmental Organisation, has organised an sobre event to raise cognizant voice against violence and persecution of Pakistani minorities. The event will take place in London on 18th September from 7:00 PM which shall include interactive debate about the infamous blasphemy law and highlighting the plights of Hazaras and their involuntary migration from Pakistan in search of safety and protection. A short documentary is also scheduled to be shown chronicling organised promotion of religious hatred and bigotry against Christian minority and their constant fear from religious extremists.

Dr Aisha Siddiqa and others (Recent Event)

Dr Aisha Siddiqa and others (Recent Event)

Being a harbinger of change in the society, you are invited to stand by the under-represented and most persecuted minorities of Pakistan and join the event to show your unparalleled support to all those who have been effected by the menace of intolerance, religious bigotry and distorted interpretation of Islam. The event is taking place at the following address:

ADDRESS: Millman Street Resource Centre 50, 
                       Millman Street London WC1N 3EW

Time:          7:00 PM (Friday)

Nearest Tube Station: Russell Square (Piccadilly Line)

HUM Participates In an Event Marked to Raise Voice for Minorities of Pakistan

1
Never Forget London, part of an international NGO which consists of members of civil society in the UK as well as in Pakistan to raise voice against persecution and show solidarity with minorities of Pakistan, held an event outside Pakistani High Commission London on 14-06-2015. The event started at 15:00 hours which included slogans against religious intolerance, militancy and terrorism in Pakistan. The event was coupled with revolutionary, devotional and attributive songs to pay tribute to the innocent Pakistani civilians who became the targets of religious bigotry, extremism and terrorism.

HUM also joined the event to support such cause and Liaquat Ali Hazara was requested to make a speech expressing solidarity with victims of extremism.

13

He thanked the organisers of the event for inviting HUM and incorporating the voice of Hazaras who, like other extremist-hit Pakistanis, would like to be heard, solaced and sympathized with. He started with describing the colours of the Pakistani flag and said the Green represents Islam while Crescent and Five-rayed star symbolizes prosperity and the white stripe symbolizing minorities. But, unfortunately, mammoth targeted attacks and suicide bombings have completely changed the White Stripe into Red which can only be restored to its previous order provided the state takes stern action in eradicating the menace of religious extremism and terrorism from country. He quoted the verses of the Quran and said that Allah has fixed a day for punishing the wrong-doers as well as rewarding the righteous ones and no one has the right to take the lives of others on the pretext of booking a plot in heaven. He continued that Pakistan was founded by secular leaders such as Quaid-e-Azam who emancipated his countrymen from religious bigotry and faith-based hatred by saying that you can go to your mosques, churches and other places of worship and the state has nothing to do with it. He assured the event-attendees that the youth can restore the true spirit of Quaid’s Pakistan by defying mullah’s false interpretation of Islamic teachings and injunctions.  He appealed to the audience to use their resources and raise voice against discriminatory and derogatory laws in Pakistan which have usurped the rights of women and minorities such as the Hudood Ordinance and the Blasphemy Law. He stressed upon the need that these laws be repealed as they have always been used to further the political interests of mullahs.

He also revealed to the audience that the Hazaras in Pakistan feel more pain than others whenever religious extremists and terrorists kill innocent people. He said that whenever such a tragic incident happens anywhere in the country, the Hazaras take out candle-lit processions on Alamdar Road Quetta as well as organise fatheha khawani for the departed souls while pray for rapid recovery of the injured.

19
The event ended peacefully at 17:00 hours and Never Forget London’s branch in Karachi Pakistan will hold a similar event on 16-06-2015. More pictures and video coverage of the event will become available soon.

3 2 6 4 10 5 14 7 16 8 17 9 18 11 20 12
15

HUM Participates in a conference on Ethiopian Human Rights

LAH Delivering a Speech in the House of Lords

LAH Delivering a Speech in the House of Lords

The Ogaden Civic Society, UK organised a conference in the House of Lords to invite views from minority rights groups, human rights activists, members of parliament, Lords and other active members of civil society about the on-going grave human rights abuses in Ethiopia. A large number of people of all walks of life, including the representative of Amnesty International for East Africa, minorities rights’ organisations, intellectuals and MPs attended the conference to pledge their support to the Ethiopian people.

A handbill, distributed among the people, highlighted mass human rights violations perpetrated by the Ethiopian army including its security agencies, appealing to the international community for taking serious action against the Ethiopian government.

Among other valuable speakers, Liaquat Ali Hazara – representing Hazara United Movement (HUM), United Kingdom was invited for sharing his views over the ongoing persecution of minorities in South Asian countries including Afghanistan with emphasis on strategic and tactical approaches towards combating the spread of religious extremism, militancy, terrorism and intolerance in the region.

LAH sketched a clear picture of the volatile situation with particular focus on the extension of ISIS from Middle East to countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. He expressed grave concern and urged the international community for taking the right step at the right time to harness such menace.

He also thanked the Ogaden Civic Society for organising the conference and hoped that such initiatives could bring together minorities on a platform for greater community cohesion and integration.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.