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Unabated Targeted Killings of Hazaras Expose Government’s Compicity

Deceased Muhammad Nabi (Coalmine Labourer)

Deceased Muhammad Nabi (Coalmine Labourer)

Today, two innocent Hazaras became the latest victims of terrorists on Sariab Road, Quetta when the poor coalmine labourers were target killed. According to sources, the assailants stopped an auto rickshaw and identified the victims as Hazaras before shooting them from point blank. As usual, the target-killers fled the scene after the attack.

Ghulam Nabi (Coalmine Worker)

Ghulam Nabi (Coalmine Worker)

The unabated targeted attacks on innocent Hazaras, which are started after intervals, exhibit malign intention of the government to penetrate an environment of fear and insecurity among minorities. This is a shame that the government routinely issues condemnatory statements after these incidents without taking any practical steps against the culprits. The lack of serious efforts in arresting the terrorists and religious extremists glorifying such killings further show that the government is covertly supporting them.

The leaders of the banned terrorist organisation, ie., Ahle Sunnat Wal Jama’at (ASWJ) are sharing and enjoying the full support of the government and its security agencies as their inflammatory press statements provide breeding grounds for such inhumane attacks on minorities including Hazaras.

Khurram Zaki’s Killing Strengthens Extremism and Intolerance In Pakistan

Khurram Zaki (File Picture)

Khurram Zaki (File Picture)

The cold-blooded assassination of Khurram Zaki, a civil society activist and human rights defender, unequivocally defies all narratives adopted for eradication of religious extremism and terrorism in Pakistan. Despite receiving life threats from religious extremists, the Federal and Provincial Governments’ failure in providing him security further exposes the intention of the government in taking decisive action against perpetrators. Understandably, Khurram Zaki’s years’ long struggle against all forms of discrimination, religious hatred, bigotry, intolerance and schism in the name of factional and communal differences; represented the views and support of the mainstream Pakistani society. Silencing human rights defenders in the country endorses covert support to the religious extremists and terrorists.

Khurram's dead body during a protest.

Khurram’s dead body during a protest.

The government’s half-hearted response in ridding the country of religious extremism, intolerance and terrorism is a shame. Such cold response shall only consolidate its dismal human rights record. The government has completely failed to prosecute the convicted terrorists who are successfully running their terrorist activities from within prisons in Pakistan. Similarly, the release of leaders of banned terrorists organisations from prisons have further deteriorated the security situation.

After the bomb explosion in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore on 28th March this year, it was expected that a full-scale operation against religious extremists would be launched in southern Punjab but, unfortunately, this operation was diverted towards the so-called dacoits. In essence, the operation ended with no fruition at all. The federal and Punjab governments’ unwillingness in starting operation clean-up against religious extremists in southern Punjab, approves their official support for the latter. Hence, the emboldened terrorist activities of religious extremists have plagued the rest of the country resulting in the loss of thousands of innocent lives.

The Pakistani government should stop its exploitative tactics which will further enhance the feeling of deprivation among other citizens and start a full-scale Punjab-wide operation against religious extremists, their sympathizers and supporters.

Lahore Bomb Explosion Laments Partial Implementation of the National Action Plan

A Grieving Man at the site of Lahore Explosion (Dunya TV)

A Grieving Man at the site of Lahore Explosion (Dunya TV)

Yesterday’s cowardly attack in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Lahore grieves partial implementation of the National Action Plan, which should have helped eradicate terrorist organisations and its splinter groups, if the Federal Government had implemented it indifferently. The NAP’s 20-point agenda required the government to register and regulate the seminaries (madrassas) which has completely remained beyond its reach and domain. Similarly, protection of minorities was pledged and eradication of terrorists’ hideouts in Punjab was vowed, nonetheless, they could not be promulgated.

Unfortunately, banned terrorist and religious extremist organisations are still using internet and social media websites to spread hatred and intolerance and commit allegiance to international terrorist organisations such as Daesh, however, the government deliberately overlooks these sensitive issues in that their supporters and protectors are sitting in the parliament.

Injured woman of Lahore Explosion (Guardian.com)

Injured woman of Lahore Explosion (Guardian.com)

Terrorist organisations and their affiliates claim responsibility of such attacks but the crackdown on perpetrators seem a distant reality. Yesterday’s attack was specifically on Christian minority to turn joys of Easter into a bloodbath which killed over 70 innocent people including women and children. This attack cannot be viewed as sheer coincidence with yesterday’s protest in Islamabad, where thousands of religious fanatics entered Red Zone area on the occasion of Chehlum of Mumtaz Qadri – an executed police official assassinating then Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer.

While HUM condoles with the families of victims of Lahore’s tragic terrorist attack, it demands the Federal Government for taking concrete steps in eliminating terrorists and religious extremists from the country.

Pakistan Should Prosecute Religious Extremists Involved in Killings of Minorities

File Picture

With arrest of RAW’s undercover agent from Balochistan, whose preliminary investigation has revealed his collaboration with religious extremists for subversive activities in Balochistan, the Pakistani Government must initiate a broader investigation to ascertain the involvement of religious extremists, their in-country patrons and financiers and prosecute them under anti-terrorism laws.

In particular, the banned religious extremist organisation such as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jama’at (ASWJ), its sympathizers, supporters and leaders have been spreading religious intolerance, extremism, communal hatred and terrorism across the country whose large-scale terrorist activities chronicles rigorous financial support from  Saudi Arabia and India, therefore, the Federal Government should arrest its leaders and try them in military courts.

Moreover, the arrest of RAW’s intelligence agent from Balochistan shall not exonerate the Government of its constitutional obligations in providing fool-proof security to its citizens, especially the minority communities of the country.

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)

Non-operational Public and Welfare buildings on Alamdar Road Are Dilemmas

Non-operational Public Property

Non-operational Public Property

Where the Pakistan Hazaras have been deprived of their civil liberties and confined behind secluded concrete walls in eastern and western parts of Quetta city, whose movements and mobilization are restricted to their enclaves, there the closure of public and welfare buildings is sheer dilemma. It is also an irony that the land grabbers and retired government employees are working and coordinating in tandem to keep these communal buildings inaccessible to general public.

Progressive Academic Society

Progressive Academic Society

In absolute despondency and apathy from local political parties, the responsible members of civil society starteded a sit-in protest on Alamdar Road braving cold weather to attract the attention of the Pakistan’s Federal and Balochistan’s Provincial Governments. However, the Government has routinely turned a blind eye to this urgent matter. The public and welfare buildings, which were constructed with tax-payers’ money, include a well-equipped library, IT University, sports stadium and multi-purpose community hall etc. The depreciation and decay of these public buildings amount to animosity, betrayal and usurpation to the general public.

Pad-locked Public Library

Pad-locked Public Library

HUM is extremely concerned about non-operational status of these buildings and assures the masses to take up these issues with the Pakistani High Commission, London for timely resolution.

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, […]