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This story has been submitted by Tayyaba Tabassum.
The Hazara community of Quetta in pain needs no introduction after being the constant target of persecution and violence. The Hazaras speak Dari (Persian Dialect) called Hazaragi and follow the Shia sect. They are among the most educated and civilized communities of Pakistan yet they do not get enough recognition.
The recent inhumane incident at the coal mine, where 11 Hazara laborers were brutally slaughtered shocked the world. Despite the cold weather, the families of the deceased sat on the bypass road with the coffins of their loved ones. They sought nothing but justice. This is not the first time they did sit-ins with the coffins.
Back in 2013, after the twin suicide attacks on Quetta’s Alamdar Road, the families of the martyrs refused to bury their dead. They wanted the army to take control of the city. They sat on the road for days along with the coffins without caring about the extreme cold weather.
The list of the acts of brutality against Hazara people in pain in Quetta is long. Whether it’s the twin blasts on Alamdar Road; or an explosion on Kirani Road; the passport office attack; or the recent Mach massacre. Hazaras have always been the target of militants.
The Mach massacre
Despite the injustice, Hazaras remain peaceful. They have never been a part of the tradition of burning tyres, buses, or damaging the city. Instead, they have always taken the way of peaceful protests and sit-ins. Why? Because they educated and peace-loving people they are.
The Islamic State took the responsibility for the Mach incident. After a few hours of the massacre, Prime Minister Of Pakistan Imran Khan said, “I share your pain.”
Later on, President Arif Alvi also released a statement on his official Twitter account.
Regardless of the countless protests and sit-ins, the government has not been able to serve justice. The Hazara community wants to know the reason behind this oppression. They are asking for justice, they want to know how many more coffins they have to carry. Hazaras are questioning the capabilities of the government. The poor people are asking if they will ever get to take a peaceful breath. They are asking for their most basic right that is safety.
The Hazara graveyard in Quetta, Bahisht-e-Zainab, is filled with the graves of martyrs. They do not have enough space to bury their dead anymore. It is heartbreaking the see children and teenagers among the martyrs. There are families who have lost more than two members in the same incident. Sadly, it seems there is no end to the genocide of Hazaras.
The Hazara community of Quetta still stands for their rights with the utmost courage and enthusiasm. They have shown great bravery and resistance at all difficult times. Their patience and spirit is nothing but commendable.
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