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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)

Talib Hussain Should Be Honoured Like a Hero By Civil Society

Talib Hussain (Watchman - 19-07-15)

Talib Hussain (Watchman – 19-07-15)

Talib Hussain, the unsung hero, who intercepted yesterday’s suicide bomber of Brewery Road was inadvertently quoted in an earlier press release of this Organisation as a Hazara tribesman which has now been confirmed to be an honest and sincere watchman of non-Hazara ethnicity performing his duty in Railway Housing Society at the time of the attack. This further corroborates the fact that religious extremism and terrorism in Balochistan is imported from elsewhere to keep people under continual threat while the civil society still showcase the will to curb such a menace by whatever means possible.

The sacrifice of Talib Hussain should not underestimated nor should it be taken at face value as he was the only breadwinner of his entire family. He has set an inextinguishable example for international community that Pakistanis, in general, are against terrorism lest unendorsed individual or small group-scale acts.

As Talib Hussain laid his life to protect the lives and happiness of other citizens, it is now moral and religious responsibility of everyone to fund-raise for his family so that they are not forgotten on this auspicious occasion of Eid.

In the meanwhile, HUM has decided to take up the issue with the Government of Pakistan for posthumous award-conferment (Sitara-e-Shujaat) and monetary compensation to his family on this invaluable sacrifice.

Talib Hussain Hazara Be Honoured With Sitara-e-Shujaat For His Gallantry

A Picture From The Scene of Incident

A Picture From The Scene of Incident

While people were busy in preparations and celebrations of Eid festivities on Chaand Raat in Eastern and Western parts of Quetta city after the official moon sighting was confirmed throughout Pakistan, a burka-clad suicide bomber attempted to enter the densely populated area of Hazara Town. Talib Hussain Hazara, the alert security official at the entry/exit point on Brewery Road braved to thwart the attack by stopping the suicide bomber who instantly blew himself up. The failed attempt took the lives of two innocent people including Talib Hussain Hazara who sacrificed his life to prevent the loss of hundreds of other lives.

HUM demands from the Government of Pakistan to confer Talib Hussain Hazara Sitara-e-Shujaat (Star of Bravery) as well as endorsing monetary compensation to the heirs of the martyr.

Pakistan’s Complicity Implies Clean-chit to Religious Extremists and Terrorists

Victims of Joint Road Incident

Victims of Joint Road Incident

Quetta city witnessed the cold-blooded murder of three innocent people today outside yet another bustling and crowded Government Department when “unknown” motorcycle riders target-killed them in a broad day light. Two brothers Hasan Raza and Shabbir Hussain lost their lives on the spot while their parents have sustained critical bullet injuries who are fighting for their lives in a local hospital. Reportedly, a policeman on duty succumbed to his injuries who dared firing on the target-killers and receiving retaliatory shots. After the incident, the CCPO, Capital Police promptly claimed to have identified the killers but hundreds of such previous attacks still try to determine as to how the perpetrators remain unpunished in the last 16 years provided the proven agility and efficiency of law enforcement agencies in knowing the killers.

In a separate incident yesterday, over 20 innocent shoppers including women became injured owing to a bomb blast in the heart of the city centre which also took the lives of two people.

Prior to that on 1 July, three people lost their lives as a result of a targeted attack on a shop on Sirki Road who were quietly buried the same day in Hazara Graveyard Alamdar Road.

The Pakistan’s Federal Government as well as the Balochistan’s Provincial Government have hurriedly issued rote condemnation statements blaming foreign hands behind the previous two incidents while today’s incident is likely to attract the same level of government’s attention. However, given the threshold of complicity exhibited by the Pakistani Government towards these perpetual killings, it is transpired that she has granted clean-chits to the religious extremists and terrorists to exercise the title of “the unknown” at discretion.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Two Days Sit-in Protest Outside Pakistani High Commission London Ended Peacefully

20150610_111556[1] The two-day sit-in protest, which started at 10 PM on 10-6-2015, ended peacefully with mutual consultation and consent of Hazara leadership in Quetta.

The sit-in protest managed to secure the safe release of Athar Khan Hazara who was abducted by Frontier Corps from Spin Karze Coal Depot without any viable charge. This abduction came in the wake of the recent fiery speeches of Tahir Khan Hazara, a veteran politician, who sharply criticized Pakistan army and the intelligence agencies for being complicit in perpetual targeted attacks. Tahir Khan Hazara started his political career with working with Ghaos Buksh Bezinjo of National Party.
This retaliatory abduction of Athar Khan Hazara reflects the typical mindset of the security agencies in exerting maximum pressure on campaigners and politicians in Pakistan with an effort of curbing criticism against army and intelligence agencies of Pakistan.

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Tahir Khan Hazara is widely respected by Hazaras and non-Hazaras alike due of his vivid standpoint on Pakistan’s discriminatory and self-centered policies against the minorities. His vocal and honest viewpoints about the killings of Hazaras in Pakistan raised eyebrows of civil and military establishment who resorted to abduction of his innocent son without credible charges. These arbitrary actions against honest and sincere people in Pakistan has alienated their interests and sympathies towards state organs.

It is highly likely that prospective sit-in protests and demonstrations, organised outside Pakistani Missions on a foreign soil, could get out of control due to cold and unprofessional attitude of the diplomatic officials. Similar trend of the diplomatic staff was witnessed in the two day sit-in protest outside Pakistani High Commission in London. Such official malpractice was manifested by its Head of Chancery and the incumbent High Commission whose behaviour as such has brought disrepute to the Government of Pakistan.

Despite attempts from the Chief Organiser of the sit-in protest for meeting the Pakistani High Commissioner to convey their demands, the Head of Chancery and other staff of the High Commission exhibited reluctance in facilitating such a meeting. Similarly, the Pakistani High Commissioner feels pride in portraying himself as a viceroy, with the support of the red tape in the High Commission, which has further tarnished the already dilapidated reputation of Pakistan on a foreign soil.

HUM is thankful to all those who showed their support and sympathy to the protesters by phone, emails, text messages as well as joining the sit-in protest with their families and kids. We are, particularly, thankful to Dunya TV Channel for coverage of the event.

Visit our facebook page to view the video coverage of the event.

The Government of Pakistan Should Accept the Constitutional and Legitimate Demands of Pakistani Hazaras Immediately.

Slogan From London Sit-in Protest

Slogan From London Sit-in Protest

The Pakistani Hazaras are not only facing the brunt of religious extremism in Quetta but also braving the unconstitutional and extra extra judicial attempts of its security agencies which have significantly targeted all those who make efforts in bringing awareness among the masses through their thought-provoking speeches and writings. Unfortunately, the abduction of Athar Khan Hazara from Quetta’s coal depot is a similar practice by the security agencies of Pakistan. Athar Khan Hazara is the son of a veteran Hazara politician, Tahir Khan Hazara, who has huge support from Hazaras and non-Hazaras in Balochistan’s capital Quetta. Tahir Khan Hazara has amassed this support because of his out-spoken and honest approach towards political and social issues in the country.

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His son’s abduction from their Coal Depot in Quetta is deemed as a retaliatory attempt of the security personnel to suppress the voice of the Hazaras. This is evident that Pakistan’s Federal and Balochistan’s Provincial Governments have clearly signalled that they can adopt unconstitutional measures to curb the condemnation and criticism of Pakistani citizens on the government. Tahir Khan Hazara’s only guilt is his sharp criticism of the government towards lack of security arrangements for minorities.

Another Slogan From London Sit-in Protest

Another Slogan From London Sit-in Protest

The London sit-in protest, jointly organised by the Hazara International Forum of Great Britain and Hazara United Movement (HUM), UK outside Pakistani High Commission from 10 PM on 09-06-2015 is ongoing until the legitimate demands of the Quetta protesters are met.

Similarly, HUM strongly condemns the extra judicial and unconstitutional attempt of the Pakistani Government in abducting the son of Tahir Khan Hazara and demands his immediate and unconditional release.

HUM (Slogan)

Quetta City-dwellers Should Play Their Part In Containing the Waves of Targeted Killings

(Meezan Chowk Incident - A Dead Body Being Shifted To Hospita)l

(Meezan Chowk Incident – A Dead Body Being Shifted To Hospita)

Another attack took the lives of five (5) innocent Hazaras in Quetta which has happened days after the meeting of the Hazara Diaspora with the Pakistani High Commission in London who assured of Government’s foolproof measures in securing the lives of people, especially of Hazaras, in Pakistan. While the lack of will of the Pakistan’s Federal and Balochistan’s Provincial Governments is profusely disparaging in taking decisive action against the so-called religious extremists who can terrorize the entire Quetta city with impunity, the deliberate silence and non-cooperation of the city-dwellers approves of their complicity in attacks against the Hazaras.

Pakistan has utterly failed to implement the true spirit of the 21st Constitutional Amendment which was approved in a joint session of the Parliament in January this year. Similarly, the implementation of the 20 Points Agenda of the National Action Plan is completely blurred given the existing waves of terrorist attacks against the minorities especially the Hazaras. The officially banned religious extremist organisations are still carrying out their mantra of spreading religious hatred, inciting derogatory slogans and glorifying killings of minorities including Hazaras under the nose of the Government and the law enforcement agencies. The defiant fully operational activities of internationally-designated terrorist organisations in Pakistan are an open secret which has further deteriorated the law and order situation in the country.

Seemingly, the Balochistan’s Provincial Government has turned a blind eye to the cold-blooded killings of the Hazaras although Balochistan-based nationalist parties are partners in power sharing in the province as well as in the Federal government.

These targeted attacks perpetrated against the peaceful Hazaras in the last 16 years have frequently occurred in bustling bazars and the city centre where the Pashtun community owns considerably large numbers of business establishments. The non-Hazara traders in the town witness these incidents but their reluctance in identifying the perpetrators corroborate the fact that they discreetly endorse these attacks in an effort to change the demographic landscape of the city.

This is about time that the non-Hazara city dwellers broke away from the confines of rote condemnations and helped contain such incidents.

Hazara Diaspora Meets the Pakistani High Commissioner for UK Syed Ibne Abbas In London

A delegation of Hazara Diaspora met the Pakistani High Commissioner for UK, Syed Ibne Abbas, in the Pakistani High Commission in London on 02-06-2015. The delegation expressed their concerns on increasing unlawful activities of the banned religious extremist organisations in Quetta.

A delegation of the Hazara Diaspra, under the leadership of Haji Agha Marzooq Ali, held one hour meeting with the Pakistani High Commissioner for UK, Syed Ibne Abbass, against the ongoing persecution and targeted attacks on Hazaras in Quetta. The delegation, particularly, expressed grave concerns over the increasing activities of banned religious extremist organisations in Quetta. The delegation expressed surprise as to how these  incidents of targeted killings in a city like Quetta have been happening unabated whereas no terrorist has ever been apprehended or prosecuted. Unlike Quetta, the terrorists involved in attacking an Army Public School in Peshawar in December last year; have either been arrested or killed. Similarly, the terrorists involved in Safoora Chowrangi incident have also been nabbed by the law enforcement agencies.

The delegation, while condemning the recent Mastung Incident, said that one major incident against the Pashtun community brings the Pakistani Prime Minister and his cabinet to Quetta for holding an All Parties Conference, however, the government never showed any interest in calling an APC for Hazaras’ killings given the magnitude of the previous such terrorist attacks on them.

At the end of the meeting, the Pakistani High Commissioner was handed over a Petition and the High Commissioner ensured the delegation to relay it to the Government of Pakistan.

The delegation included Haji Agha Marzooq Ali, Fida Hussain, Abdul Wahed, Sadiq Noyan and Liaquat Ali Hazara.

News Coverage of the Meeting (Jang Newspaper)

News Coverage of the Meeting (Jang Newspaper)

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