Being Shi’ites the Hazaras are often related with Iranians and are thought of as flag bearers of Iranian agendas. This is a misconception that aims at sowing the seeds of discontent and hatred among Hazaras and other religious sects in the province. In fact, the relation of Balochistan‘s Shi’ite community with Iran is a spiritual one that is largely being perceived as a political one. They are being misconstrued as traitors for the nation as they do not support the Taliban (the only reason the Hazaras are being denied their right to live).
Numbering up to 600,000 people, the Hazara community is also a susceptible target for terrorists and the attacks carried out with impunity by the Balochistan Liberation Army. The Pakistani Army with its fresh doctrine of ‘sub conventional warfare’ should lend a patient hearing to the woes of Hazara community. Culprits of such heinous and cowardly assaults should be brought to book irrespective of their socio-economic statuses. Military and intelligentsia should underline sectarian mayhem as an area of ‘grave concern’.
More remorseful is the political and moral apathy of Pakistani leadership towards this sectarian carnage. Aslam Raisani, the chief minister of Balochistan assured the Hazaras earlier in 2012 that he would send a truck load of paper tissues for them to wipe out their tears. To this day, Raisani reamins a member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the chairman of Pakistan’s largest political party managed to spare time in order to meet Jamili tribe’s chief. However, he didn’t say a word against the death of Irafan Ali Khudi, a peace activist who lost his life in a bomb blast on January 10, 2013 (the deadliest day for Balochistan). A new slogan chanter for change, Tahir ul Qadri should consider taking out a long march against ‘sectarian violence’, if he is genuinely interested in bringing about a change in Pakistan.
On the other hand, the vibrant and vocal media of Pakistan should take an audacious stance and openly condemn the killing of Irfan Ali Khudi, the way it did for Malala Yousafzai. An agenda for inter-sectarian dialogue and harmony should be established by the media outlets without ado. The aim should be to build a common understanding that ‘muderers, terrorist, killers’ do not belong to any sect or religion. Where as, Islam urges Muslims not to divide as it is mentioned in the Holy Quran:
And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah
and be not divided among yourselves [3:103]
Otherwise, unemployed and frustrated Balochis would synchronise their voice with Irfan who used to say:
“Mere shehr main meri nasal lootne walon, Pata hai beta kis trah jawan hota hai”
Translation: “O you who snatch away my progeny in my city, Do you have any idea how a son reaches maturity?”
- Quetta under threat, CM Balochistan enjoying holidays in Dubai (thenewstribe.com)
- Calls for Governor’s rule in Balochistan grow (nation.com.pk)
- Talks between govt, Hazara Shia protestors end inconclusively (dawn.com)
- Silencing the voice of the voiceless (dawn.com)