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HUM Rubbishes the Report of the National Commission of Human Rights, Pakistan (Understanding the Agonies of the Ethnic Hazaras)

The Central Executive Committee of HUM, UK discussed the recent report of the National Commission of Human Rights, Pakistan (NCHR) in detail and, after finding enormous technical blunders in the forms of misquoted references, collating and processing unreliable facts and figures and misrepresented statistics about the overall killings to date etc, the CEC has unanimously decided to rubbish the entire report as completely incoherent, unreliable, misleading and misrepresenting which will only alienate the expectations and hopes of Pakistani Hazaras of the state organs including Pakistan’s so-called independent human rights organisation(s).

Understanding the Agonies of the Ethnic Hazaras.doc

The research pertaining to the genocide of Hazaras lacks essentials of a good report which fails to mention its aims and objectives, the literature received through responses to the questionnaire, open-ended interviews and other relevant material have neither been reviewed properly nor critiqued them thoroughly which could have invoked the interests of stakeholders. Among innumerable incompetencies, the report fails to mention the de facto perpetrators, masterminds, facilitators, coordinators, abetters and sympathisers etc who have been working in concert to cause maximum human casualty to this beleaguered minority group. The report also fails to process the data accurately in order to bring forth the essence of their research work and challenge cognitive and intellectual aspects of this ongoing malaise.

Read the detailed para-wise explanation/commentary.
Mistakes in Chairman’s Message

  • Chairman’s message claims, “the past two decades of Pakistan has seen the scourge of violent religious extremism”. This statement is misleading for the violent religious extremism in Pakistan was started in mid 80s in parts of Punjab. The rough age of religiously-motivated extremism is, at least, 32 years[1].
  • He further says, “the greatest burden of sectarianism is born by Shia Hazara community of Balochistan”. The Chairman has tried to paint the killings of Hazaras with thick brush of sectarianism which is completely false. The killings of Hazaras have nothing to do with sectarianism. These are one-sided killings of a beleaguered community which is tantamount to genocide according to the Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide[2] .
  • His narration that the total population of Hazaras is between 0.4 to 0.5 million is incorrect. The total population of Hazaras is estimated to be between 0.8 million to 1 million with their main population living in eastern (Alamdar Road) and western (Hazara Town, Brewery) parts of Quetta city[3] [4].

Typos:

  • Shia’tte is Shi’a or Shia

Introduction:

  • The report mentions Balochistan’s Home Department as quoting that 509 Hazaras have been killed in the last 5 years (since 2012) in various incidents including bomb blast, suicide attacks and targeted-killings but it has failed to mention the total number of attacks perpetrated against Hazaras since 1999.
    Unfortunately, the terrorist attacks on Hazaras mostly remain unreported by the national channels and newspapers of Pakistan, therefore, the statistics of the Balochistan’s Home Department is incoherent, incomplete and nonsensical.
  • The NCHR’s report has made grave errors in mixing up various incidents of mass execution and suicide bombings which further damage its credibility by relying on misleading and confusing information. For instance, the report says, “In 2011, a vehicle of pilgrims was obstructed near Mastung and selected passengers with Hazara identity were killed.” The report has wrongly linked this unreliable news report to this link, http://www.maca-usa.org/MACADocuments/HazarasGierNick.pdf but referenced-link does not mention the above incident.
    Instead the above link confirms that 29 Hazaras were killed execution style on a highway in Quetta on 20th September, 2011.
  • Mentioning another deadly attack taking place on Mizan Chowk on 17th February, 2013 which took the lives of 84 innocent people and injured 160 others is also mis-quoted and it has no relation to this link: http://www.maca-usa.org/MACADocuments/HazarasGierNick.pdf.

    In fact, the Mizan Chowk incident took place on 3rd September, 2010 which killed 56 peaceful Hazara demonstrators and injured 160 others[5].

  • The incident on 17th February, 2013 did not take place on Mizan Chowk, contrary to the report of the NCHR.
    This tragic incident was perpetrated in Hazara Town, Brewery where people were busy shopping when an imported water-tanker filled with C4 and highly inflammable explosive material weighing 800 kg to 1000 kg was exploded was transported to Hazara-inhabited populace from outside Quetta, crossing dozens of security check posts[6]. As a result of this terrorist attack, the death toll later reached to 110 being killed and 250 critically injured. The victims were mostly school-going children.

Methodology:

  • The report claims to have used qualitative research method but it has failed to showcase the number of responses received on questionnaire, the number of people interviewed and the number of organisations responding to the questionnaire etc. The methodology has also failed to critique and process the data thoroughly to mention complicity of the state and its security establishment in providing fullproof security to Hazaras.

Aims and Objectives and Literature Review:

The report skips the essential parts of the research and failed to explain the aims and objectives of their work. The literature received was not properly analysed, critiqued and processed which further invalidates the credibility of the entire report.

Hazaras’ Historical Roots:

  • The report errs to portray Hazaras as descendants of Genghiz Khan which is not true. As the Buddhas of Bamyan were built in around 4th century[7] and Bamyan always being ancestral place of Hazaras even before the construction of the Giant Buddhas which gives weightage to the fact that Hazaras were living in Afghanistan years before the built of Giant Buddhas in 4th However, Genghiz Khan was born in 12th century[8].

    Herald Lamb, in his book titled, “Genghis Khan, the Great Khan”, mentions that the Hazaras fought with the grandson of Genghiz Khan for a week in Hazarajat. During war, Genghis Khan’s grandson, Mutakan was killed by Hazaras which led Genghis Khan himself to attack Bamyan with much larger troops to capture it (1221)[9]. The incident has been reported by other portals too ie.,

    There are Moghul and Turk tribes in Hazaras and the DNA taken by the UN in 1991 in parts of Hazara-inhabited areas in Quetta proved these claims[10].

  • The report goes on to confuse the readers by labelling the Genocide of Hazaras as sectarian killings.

    The perception of sectarian killings could be applied to other parts of Pakistan where members of both sects attack each other with the aim of inflicting severe bodily harm to maximize the likelihood of instant death. However, the same narrative is not true about the Genocide of Hazaras. Since, 1999, the Hazaras have faced the brunt of one-sided targeted-attacks, suicide bombings and mass executions whereas they have never made retaliatory actions against peoples of other faith.

Analysis of Existing Situation:

  • The report lacks in-depth understanding and elaboration of existing situation which cannot be summed up in one paragraph.

    FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS:

    Stable financial position is integral to the upbringing of family but the report, unfortunately, fails to highlight this important segment. As such, the volatile security situation has forced Hazaras to either sell off their business establishments in bustling bazaars of Quetta or shut them indefinitely. The report also fails to sketch out the trauma, pain, miseries and hardships of critically injured people and affected families who have lost their breadwinners. The researchers have failed to interview families of victims to document their financial, psychological and survival problems after the killings of their sole breadwinners? The report has failed to document first—hand information about financial difficulties of survivors and victims’ families in terms of means available to meeting their living costs, paying utility bills and tuition fees as well as meeting their requirements of daily ration.

    Right to Social Liberties:

    The report has failed to underscore the Right to Social Liberties of this persecuted community. Questions like why security establishments should be allowed to confine them in concentration-like camps in the name of precarious security situation, why the federal and Balochistan’s provincial governments have completely failed to cleanse Quetta city and its immediate suburb of the filth of terrorists and why unarmed and innocent civilians are confined behind security check posts while terrorists are roaming around freely in the city remain unanswered, giving impetus to the fact that the report was an attempt of eyewash to appease people in the corridors of power. There are other important questions which could have been incorporated into the report to make their efforts worthwhile and reliable.

    Community Cohesion:

    Unfortunately, the report fails to address issues of community cohesion. It has failed to mention of any sincere effort of the federal and provincial governments in integrating Hazaras into the social, economic, educational, cultural and political fabric of the country. The Hazaras have been forced to live marginalized, isolated and separated life without sincere efforts of the government in their timely integration.

Steps taken by the Government:

  • Unfortunately, the report has relied on unreliable narrative of the Balochistan Home Department and shared summarily an incoherent list, detailing the numbers of individuals killed and injured since January, 2012. The NCHR should be aware that undocumented narratives cannot be used in compiling report about the ongoing Genocide of a beleaguered community. The NCHR failed to question Balochistan Home Department as to why they don’t have the complete list of people killed and injured from first incident taking place in 1999? Such pathetic attempts expose the lethargy and non-serious attitude of NCHR and the government in addressing this grave issue.
    The number of Hazara individuals killed was quoted as saying 509 since January, 2012 but NCHR has failed to confirm the number of terrorist attacks leading to these casualties. If the Balochistan Home Department maintains that the terrorists come from Afghanistan as reported, the NCHR should have tried to establish the fact that how the terrorists can succeed in target-kill people in a city having only two exit/entry points. Despites dozens of security check posts, how can terrorists escape after these terrorist attacks? The exit/entry point falling in north-west of Quetta is relatively safe while the exit/entry point towards south has been the epicentre of terrorist attacks.
    NCHR has failed to pinpoint the local assets and connections of terrorists, the arrest and prosecution of their abetters, financiers, masterminds, facilitators and sympathisers.

    The Home Department’s narration that Hazaras killed since 2014 adopted unsafe and unfrequented routes to Pakistan from Afghanistan is completely false as all Hazaras killed to date have been targeted inside Quetta metropolitan or in immediate suburbs of the city where security check posts are manned 24/7 by security personnel. Foregoing to this view, Chaman city bordering Afghanistan is situated in north-west of Quetta city which has not had any incident of terrorist attack on Hazaras, then, how is possible to target-kill Hazaras on safe routes?

    It absolutely false that the Hazaras themselves become involved in the killings of their brethren where, almost, every home has now had its loved ones either killed or severely injured as a result of these terrorist attacks.

    In sectarian violence, it is important that both the parties should kill each other while, in terms of Genocide of Hazaras, this is completely different as the Hazaras are being killed only without retaliatory action from the victims. If Iran-Saudi proxies are active in Quetta, why security establishments have failed to apprehend them? Why terrorists, target-killers, facilitators and local contacts involved in terrorist activities have not been arrested yet?

    Answers to these and many other important questions were either left out deliberately or the researchers were of extremely low-calibre who were oblivious to essentials of compiling a trust-worthy report.

Jobs:

  • The reliability of the report further diminishes its essence where they have relied or collated material from sources accessible through internet. However, there is no doubt that the NCHR has not adopted pragmatic approach in relying on authentic and referenceable sources. For example, in footnote 49, the link about support of minority groups in Pakistan is bizarrely inaccessible/broken/dead for unknown reasons.

Conclusion:

  • The NCHR report fails to address the genuine grievances of Hazaras, the failure of LEAs and security establishment in taking concrete steps against those involved in these terrorist attacks. The Genocide of Hazaras is ongoing since 1999 but no remedial measures have been taken to root out religious extremism and terrorism from Quetta.
    Elements of banned religious organisations take out rallies in Quetta city routinely while provoking protesters to attack Hazaras but the LEAs, instead of arresting them, provide security to these rallies.

    The central leadership of Anjuman Sipaha-e-Sahaba aka Ahle Sunnat Wa Aljama’t (ASWJ) gathered in Quetta city to pay homage to their suicide bombers in the aftermath of January, 2013 attacks and attributed congratulatory songs to them[11] [12]for killing over a hundred people in one attack, nonetheless, the security establishment, LEAs and federal and provincial governments provided foolproof security to patrons of terrorists.

  • The report is farce, incoherent, unreliable and deceitful.

REFERENCES:

[1] Faith-Based Violence and Deobandi Militancy in Pakistan. Springer. 2016. p. 346. ISBN 9781349949663. The grave impact of that legacy was compounded by the Iranian Revolution, and Zia-ul Haq’s anti-Shia policies, which added the violence and regimentation of the organization.

[2] http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html 

[3] https://thediplomat.com/2013/07/the-plight-of-the-hazaras-in-pakistan/

[4] https://tribune.com.pk/story/267225/who-are-the-hazara/

[5] https://www.dawn.com/news/560121

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21485731

[7] Gall, Carlotta (5 December 2006). “Afghans consider rebuilding Bamiyan Buddhas”International Herald Tribune/The New York Times.

[8] Rashid al-Din asserts that Genghis Khan was born in 1155, while the Yuanshi (元史, History of the Yuan dynasty) records his year of birth as 1162. According to Ratchnevsky, accepting a birth in 1155 would render Genghis Khan a father at the age of 30 and would imply that he personally commanded the expedition against the Tanguts at the age of 72. Also, according to the Altan Tobci, Genghis Khan’s sister, Temülin, was nine years younger than he; but the Secret History relates that Temülin was an infant during the attack by the Merkits, during which Genghis Khan would have been 18, had he been born in 1155. Zhao Hong reports in his travelogue that the Mongols he questioned did not know and had never known their ages.

[9] https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Siege%20of%20Bamyan%20(1221)

[10] Sengupta, S; Zhivotovsky, LA; King, R; et al. (2013-08-12). “Table 3: Complete Data Set of Y-Chromosomal HGs, Numbers of Repeats at 10 Microsatellite Loci, and Descriptions of Populations”The American Journal of Human Genetics78 (2): 202–21. doi:10.1086/499411PMC 1380230 . PMID 16400607

[11] https://lubpak.com/archives/308845

[12] https://www.facebook.com/Alamdar.Road.Quetta/videos/622857444451200/

 

Incessant attacks on Pakistani Shias speak volumes of government’s complicity.

Pakistani security personnel inspect the mosque following the attack. A Majeed/AFP / Getty Images

Pakistani security personnel inspect the mosque following the attack. A Majeed/AFP / Getty Images

Hazara United Movement (HUM), United Kingdom is particularly saddened at this crucial time when the Pakistani Government is using delaying tactics in implementing the National Action Plan which could, otherwise, minimize such attacks.  The recent attacks on Shia worshippers in Friday congregations display the sheer negligence and apathy of the federal and provincial governments in thwarting such heinous crimes. It seems that the Pakistani government is siding with religious extremists and terrorists who can successfully execute such actions at will.

The Pakistani religious schools and seminaries, which are mostly funded by Arab countries; have become the epicentre of spreading hatred, harbouring and producing religious fanatics and defaming Islam. The government must take stern action against those madrasas which are involved in carrying out such terrorist attacks. After thorough investigation, the Saudi-funded seminaries, glorifying and promoting terrorism, on the pretext of Jihad, should be closed down permanently while their proprietors should be prosecuted. The Pakistani seminaries, which only promote the orthodox and wayward Wahabi views; must be taken into task for creating such chaotic law and order situation in the country.

Pakistan’s all-time powerful cadre, in the corridors of powers, must decide as to how long more they intend to burn the country and justify the killings of innocent people just due to the difference of opinion, creed, race, faith and religious belief. This is the fundamental responsibility of the government to ensure all citizens are protected from such menaces.

The government should implement the National Action Plan without any further delay and those responsible for harbouring, promoting and financing terrorist activities, should be prosecuted in order to rid the country of bigots and religious extremists.

The peculiar case of Liaquat Ali Hazara

LAH - File Photo

LAH – File Photo

The West tells Muslims to condemn terror but Britain wants to deport a prominent anti-Taliban campaigner back to Pakistan. Doing so would seal his fate.

At the end of last year, the world recoiled in horror as the Pakistani Taliban launched an attack on a school in Peshawar that killed 145 people, the vast majority of them children of members of the country’s armed forces. It came against the backdrop of a government campaign against militants in the tribal regions of the country which has thus far taken the lives of thousands of innocent civilians. In the days following the attacks, global leaders united in their condemnation of the bombing, also taking the opportunity to speak about the threat posed by extremist groups who follow the Saudi-backed Wahhabi ideology – in the Pakistani context, the Deobandi school of thought.

Last week, as people were fixed to their television sets watching the dramatic events in Paris unfold in real time, demands were already being made on innocent Muslims to “condemn” the actions of terrorists. While such derisory demands deserve the contempt they have been met with, they ignore a few wider truths. The first is that, as a 2009 study shows; extremist groups like al-Qaeda kill 8 times as many Muslims than Non-Muslims. This research was conducted before the rise of the so-called Islamic State last summer who have overwhelmingly targeted Muslims, in particular Shia Muslims who they deem heretics and apostates and whom they instruct their young and brainwashed recruits to kill.

The second is that there exist numerous brave Muslims who have stood up to the extremists at considerable risk to their own personal safety. They live under death threat and make their stand, not because they have been prompted to by hypocritical politicians or right-wing media demagogues, but because they consider it a religious duty to resist the extremist trend ravaging their faith.

Two women wearing full-face veils walk in Regents Park in London (Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett)

Two women wearing full-face veils walk in Regents Park in London (Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett)

So it beggars belief that in the current environment, the British government has been working to deport one such activist back to his native Pakistan. Liaquat Ali Hazara has been a prominent critic of the Taliban for the last 4 years. Initially in the UK as a student, he began his political activities after the Sunni-extremist group Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) launched bomb attacks which targeted the Hazara Shia minority, killing scores of innocent people. But Liaquat hasn’t limited his campaigning to just the Shia, regularly advocating for the rights of Christians, Ahmedis and Sunnis in Pakistan.

Liaquat led protests outside the Pakistani embassy demanding authorities there take action to stop the ongoing gun, bomb and suicide attacks which regularly target Pakistan’s Shia and in particular the Hazara, easily recognizable by their distinct mongoloid facial features. For this, militants back in Pakistan issued death threats, even going so far as hand delivering them to his parent’s home in Quetta, capital of the Baluchistan region.

Much has been written and said of the role played by Pakistan’s security agencies in the growth and support of extremist groups like the Taliban. There is no guarantee that the police or army could protect Mr. Hazara’s life. He himself believes that he wouldn’t make it to his front door before being abducted and killed. That reflects the view of human rights organizations who have documented the relentless campaign of terror waged against Pakistan’s Shia community.

In this photograph taken on December 18, 2014, a Pakistani army soldier stands guard at the site of a militant attack on an army-run school in Peshawar.

In this photograph taken on December 18, 2014, a Pakistani army soldier stands guard at the site of a militant attack on an army-run school in Peshawar.

The UK Home Office say they have reviewed Liaquat’s case and in spite of the death threats, the documented abuses in Pakistan, the lack of action by authorities there to reign it in, and the testimony of human rights groups, community leaders and religious groups of all denominations, they don’t see a threat to Liaquat’s life. Liaquat had been held at a removal centre near London’s Gatwick Airport for several months, living under the fear of being put on a plane and sent back to Pakistan at any moment.

That nearly came to pass in October when Liaquat was physically being prepared to be placed on a flight to Pakistan before he was given a short-term last minute reprieve. Then just last week, a judge bailed Mr. Hazara so he could go home until his appeal against deportation is heard.

If the Home Office succeeds in deporting Liaquat and others in a similar situation to his, the only outcome will be a further erosion of trust between the government and the Muslim community in the UK. It would merely show that on the one hand the government calls on the community to fight extremism and on the other, it deports those who do take a stand to their certain death. And with government measures already contributing to increased tensions and suspicion, nobody would win in such a scenario.

Eisa Ali, RT UK’s correspondent in London. (Twitter: @EisaAli_RT)

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

(Source)