Hazara Shias – A community of Widows and Orphans:
Hazara community of Quetta is rapidly growing into a community of widows, orphan girls and mothers who have …lost their sons in target killings. The fear has gripped the families so much that mothers and wives are happily sending their sons and husbands to dangerous voyages for refuge in other countries.
Fatima Bibi, a widow, is also one of them. She decided to send her son Muhammad Muntazari abroad to save him from the terrorists, freely roaming the streets of Quetta and hunting down Hazara men like wild beasts. She raised some money by selling her jewelry and taking some loan for this purpose. Muntazari and his childhood friend Abid somehow reached Indonesia and boarded an Australia-bound fishing boat with 300 other passengers mostly from Hazrara community. The boat capsized in Java Ocean and all on board except Muntazari and Abid died. The two friends somehow managed to cling onto a swimming board and were rescued by another boat. They were brought back to Indonesia and are being kept in a camp of illegal immigrants.
Fatima Bibi is happy that her son is at least alive and safe. And she has no more fear about him being hunted by gunmen in any street of Quetta. She is not the only one who has sent her dearest being away from her; there are hundreds of such women.
Safiya, widow of Asif Hussain, who was also gunned down by the terrorists, says that her three children feel highly insecure after the murder of their father and everyday killings of Hazaras. She said, “My elder son, who is 12, asks me, “Mother, would I also be killed when I grow up?” Safiya thinks that she should sell off whatever she has and migrate to some other place.
Awais Raza, a Hazara youth, says that females of Hazara community believe that their men would ultimately go to Hazara graveyard outside Quetta if they continue staying in the city. “Most of them are trying to persuade their men to migrate from Pakistan,” said Awais.
“We have only two places to live in Pakistan: Hazara Town or Hazara Graveyard in Quetta. Now, we have stopped expecting anything from our Pakistani brothers,” says Awais Raza.
The sad part of the story is that not a single killer has so far been convicted. It speaks volumes about the performance of the government and law enforcing agencies.
Australia announced official immigration policy for Hazara people. But, the Government of Pakistan is still waiting for divine help to resolve the issue or probably it is waiting for complete wipe-out of the community by the terrorists.
A very good and thought provoking article.
I just watched TV, reading news. I keep wondering that what is going on in this country? Are these all innocent people being punished because their particular Shia Sect. Where is government, where are law enforcement agencies, are they only for protecting corrupt politicians? Or are these all incidents and government’s lack of interest shows that it’s all happening purposefully. They want to push us against the wall.