Original Articles

On Ejaz Haider’s ISPR press release on Shia Hazaras of Balochistan – by Farrukhzad Ali

Genocide of the Shia Hazaras

Editor’s Note: We are publishing the following article by Farrukhzad Ali and would also recommend his earlier article, Shia Hazaras of Queta: Entrapped in deep state’s delinquent and obedient proxies – by Farrukhzad Ali

Currently, LUBP is relentlessly castigated for sowing disunity amongst the self-annointed “Tweeple Brigade”- the 30 odd urban elites who feel that liberalism in Pakistan begins and ends with them.  Our stance in completely different as we feel that we can’t have unity with a group that has the likes of Ejaz Haider as one of its main spokespeople.  How do we seek common cause with those whose main purpose on Twitter is to reinforce the views of the Ejaz Haider types? 

This is the same chauvinist who peddles the line of the security establishment and stands thoroughly discredited.  Shaista Aazar deconstructed his false arguements about the Baloch struggle, Farhat Taj tore to shreds his ISPR rubbish that the Taliban are supported by the Pushtuns and now Farrukhzad Ali exposes his attempts to obfuscate the Hazara Shia genocide.  From abusing a Sindhi PPP leader and President of Pakistan and showing a racist disdain in pedding the establishment line on Pushtuns, Hazaras and Balochis, Ejaz Haider stands exposed.

If the Tweeple Brigade can’t handle this reality, then please stop bothering the growing number of individuals, forums and websites that refuse to buy the establishment propaganda.  The latter have decided “No More” while the Tweeple Brigade want to continue milking foreign aid agencies for more money to fund their lavish lifestyles and dubious causes.

As for the embattled Shia Hazaras, they should be under no allusions that this post by Ejaz Haider is not only justifying their continued massacre but is also inciting further massacres by reinforcing the bigotry that Pakistan’s Shias are Iranian fifth-columnists. End Note.

 

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Ejaz Haider recently visited Quetta with the purported agenda of meeting Hazara tribal and religious leaders and Deobandi/Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leaders to inform his readers about the situation in Quetta. But what he has finally produced as a result of his Quetta sojourn is nothing short of an ISPR press release. Athar Abbas has most certainly lost credibility, and needs new faces to deliver his messages.

To be honest, Ejaz Haider didn’t have to visit Quetta to write what he did at the end of the day. He knew what he had to write even before he had left. After having formally consummated his relationship with the ISI, he has proven himself as one of the most treacherous spokespersons of the agency.

In his August 3 article published in Express Tribune, Ejaz Haider tells us that the situation in Quetta is not as simple as it might seem because Hazaras are actually not a persecuted lot, but an Iranian proxy in Quetta who are funded by Iran and operate for Iran’s interests. The miseries of Hazaras are therefore self-inflicted, and they fully deserve the fate they have been subjected to.

The justifications Ejaz proffers to substantiate this buncombe are: the Iranian government invited 170 members from the Hazara community to commemorate Ayatollah Khomeini’s death anniversary this year; the Hazaras celebrated Shab-e-Barat this year by cutting a 40 lbs cake; Allama Domki is accused of being involved in a Deobandi prayer leader’s murder on July 28; Shia clerics indulge in sectarian sermons; and happenings in Quetta are of an action-reaction pattern. These are the reasons which according to Ejaz Haider have resulted in the killings of Hazaras ever since it commenced in the late 1990s.

Let me take each of his claims one by one.

For Ejaz Haider’s information, the Iranian government has been inviting Pakistanis from all backgrounds (including Hazaras) to attend Ayatollah Khomeini’s death anniversary for two decades now, and the list of invitees includes politicians, army officers, journalists, members of several religious parties, as well as ordinary citizens. The list of the invitees also includes names such as Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Munauwar Hasan, and Gen. Hamid Gul. So should we accept Ejaz Haider’s apology that Hazaras are being killed because Iran invited 170 of their members to attend Ayatollah Khomeini’s death anniversary in 2011? By the way, most of the 170 Hazaras who visited Iran this year were actually women and children, for whom the visit entailed no political connotations.

Shab-e-Barat celebrations in Quetta are as old a story as Hazaras themselves, and have never included sectarian sermons. Shab-e-Barat in Quetta, like elsewhere, is celebrated by using firecrackers, holding poetry recital gatherings and cutting of cakes – including one 40 lbs this year, which according to Ejaz Haider, was funded by Iran and resulted in killings of Hazaras. For his information, this wasn’t the first instance of a 40 lbs cake being cut – it is a tradition which has continued for quite a while now. And a 40 lbs cake in Quetta costs something like Rs. 6000, which doesn’t necessarily have to come from Iran. Half a million Shias in Quetta can afford to pool that much money. Ejaz probably mortgaged to Khakis his mind along with his character to become their spokesperson.

Allama Maqsood Domki’s involvement in Maulana Karim Mengal’s murder seems far from possible for several reasons. First of all, Domki – a Baloch – is not a native of Quetta and is therefore disliked by the somewhat ethnocentric Hazaras. During the past decade in which he tried to find footholds in the Hazara dominated areas of Quetta, not only did he fail, he was driven out of the Hazara localities. Assuming that the assassin was indeed Domki’s accomplice and hailed from Dera Allah Yar, can Ejaz Haider educate us as to where could he perish instantly after the attack keeping in view the fact that due to Hazaras’ distinct features and their abhorrence for Domki, he couldn’t seek refuge in the Hazara dominated areas which are the only Shia populated localities in Quetta? Does Ejaz Haider even know that Jaffaria Alliance is dysfunctional in Balochistan and doesn’t even command a dozen followers?

In fact, why should we not assume that Mengal was actually murdered by ISI spooks in order to put the onus on Shias of Quetta (hold all of them responsible), present the situation as an ‘action-reaction process’, and deprive them of even the niggling sympathy they have recently received. Is it too far-fetched an assumption keeping ISI’s track record in view? Is it not rather plausible considering that Ejaz Haider visited Quetta right after Mengal’s murder and followed it up with a lousy article? Should the fact that the incident happened at only a few hundred yards from the FC headquarters be ignored? It adds to the suspicions that no arrest has so far been made in connection to Mengal’s murder, although Ejaz Haider has hurled wild accusations against Domki. If our sleuths can instruct Ejaz to accuse Domki for the murder, they wouldn’t have hesitated a moment before arresting him in case there were evidences of his involvement.

While Ejaz Haider has mentioned that Allama Domki was attacked by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists in 2009 in which his guard (who happened to be a Hazara policeman) killed one of the attackers, he has carefully eschewed the details that followed the incident. The killed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorist was later presented by the state as an ordinary citizen, and Domki’s guard was charged for manslaughter and obviously so – he had killed an ISI strategic asset.

Ejaz Haider’s claim of indulgence of Shia clerics in sectarian sermons is perhaps the most ludicrous of all. While this may be construed as either their spinelessness or diplomacy, Shia clerics in Quetta do not indulge in sectarian rhetoric. Even while carrying dozens of corpses, instead of sloganeering against any other sect, they conveniently blame either some unknown enemies of Islam, or US and Israel – the easy punch bags. If Ejaz Haider insists he is right in his claim, I throw him a wager to name a single such cleric, or produce a single such sermon (which should most certainly be recorded by the ISI, and will be in easy access to him).

Ejaz Haider’s equation of the death of over 500 Shias of Quetta with the assassination of a Deobandi prayer leader, killed on July 28 is appalling, and characteristic of the cold and inhuman Khaki behavior. Ejaz Haider’s simplistic khaki logic deduces that the situation in Quetta is in fact a two-sided sectarian war, in which both the antagonists are killing each other. He conveniently ignores that Shia killings have been taking place for over a decade now, and during all this period, not a single act of violence can be traced back to them. This is not a sectarian war, but systemic genocide of a single sect. Isn’t it ridiculous to say that Shias in Quetta were killed between 2001 and 2011, because a Deobandi prayer leader was killed on 28th July 2011 by unknown assailants? This is exactly what Ejaz Haider is telling us.

Since Ejaz Haider has heavily relied on Abdul Khaliq Hazara’s views to buttress his hogwash, it is important to introduce the fellow to the readers. On the face of it, Abdul Khaliq Hazara is a secular nationalist Hazara leader, who assumed the chair of Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) after Hussain Ali Yousafi’s assassination.

Ridiculous it might seem, but not so when ISI is involved. I have stated previously that while the duplicitous ‘deep state’ has crushed every genuine secular movement in Pakistan, the secular/nationalist Hazaras of Quetta have had the privilege of receiving maximum state support ever since the Iranian Revolution. During the Soviet War, Hazara nationalists served as ISI’s secure channel to the Hazara factions of Afghanistan, more specifically, the self-professed Maoist groups. They have enjoyed a cozy relationship throughout this period, and what keeps them closer is a magnified Iranian influence in Quetta. The nationalists project it to remain relevant to the deep state, which in turn uses it as an excuse to ruthlessly use Hazaras as bait while pursuing its grand project in Afghanistan. Suffice it to say that Abdul Khaliq Hazara is the incumbent ISI blue-eyed among Hazaras in Quetta.

As previously stated, Ejaz Haider’s purpose of visiting Quetta and penning a concocted version of the happenings there is to allay even the marginal feelings of sympathy for the peripheral Hazaras, in mainland Pakistan. He serves the agenda of his Khaki masters well by telling his readers that Hazaras are not innocent citizens under fire, but Iranian agents who are under strict control of war-mongering Shia clerics involved in murders of Deobandi clerics. By presenting the situation as an action-reaction binary, he tries to deprive Hazaras of the higher moral stead, and reduces them to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s level and holds them equally responsible for violence.

By trying to prove Iran and Hazaras as the main culprits who have provoked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi for violence, Ejaz Haider has absolved the Pakistani state, especially the ISI, of any culpability. By doing so, he is insidiously arousing the sentiments of the common Pakistanis against the Shias of Quetta, and sedating their consciences with the allegations of treason and violence against the latter.

Example of an Uncle Tom of Hazara community who flatters Ejaz Haider:

haza

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25 Comments

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  • Fully agree with the article and the editor’s note.

    If I were a Hazara, I would hold Ejaz Haider and his apologists responsible for any future attack on the Hazara community, and have their names included in the police report for incitement to murder.

  • i was kind of appalled when i read ejaz haider’s article. from its start the article appeared to be targeting the hazaras themselves. his article has thrown the entire community in bad light. what an utter shame. he should publicly apologize for what he has written there because ejaz haider’s article is an instigation in itself.

  • I deem the LeJ people more honest and forthright than the journo community of Pakistan. For the least, they have audacity to accept the blame for their deeds. The spineless journos and treacherous media groups are the ones who have blood of hundreds of Hazaras on their hands and share the equal proportion of blame by having been deliberately indifferent and biased -the culprits of our bloody history.

  • At the very least, Ijaz Haider has tried to confuse the issue by passing the blame around and away from establishment; and casting doubt over otherwise well reported facts by locals and human rights organisations that go against establishment.

  • Lashkar-e-Jhangvi behind Hazara killings in Quetta

    
    Eleven people, including a woman, were killed on July 30 when gunmen opened fire on a passenger vehicle near Pishin bus stop in Quetta. All the victims were Hazaras. The incident sparked violent protests and Quetta was completely shut down on July 31.

    Over 200 Shia Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan in the last three years; they include businessmen, political leaders, government employees, clerics, police cadets, vegetable vendors, and daily-wage workers
    This is not the first such attack on members of the Shia Persian-speaking Hazara community. On July 10, two Hazara policemen were shot and killed on Qambrani Road. On June 22, two people were killed and 11 others injured in Hazar Ganji area when armed men ambushed a bus carrying pilgrims to Iran.

    Syed Abrar Hussain Shah, a former Olympian, deputy director of Pakistan Sports Board, and recipient of the prestigious presidential Pride of Performance and Sitara-e-Imtiaz medals, was gunned down on June 16 near Nawab Nauroz Khan Stadium in Quetta. Shah, who belonged to the Hazara community, has represented Pakistan in the Olympics thrice and won a gold medal at the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing.

    In another sectarian attack near Mirgahi Khan Chowk on May 18, unidentified men shot dead seven members of the Hazara community, including a baby, and injured five others. Most of the killed were vegetable vendors.

    Seven Hazara men were killed and several injured in a rocket and gun attack in Hazara Town on May 6. There were Frontier Constabulary and Police checkposts nearby, but the attackers fled.

    Over 200 Shia Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan in the last three years, according to elders of Hazara tribe and media sources. They include businessmen, political leaders, government employees, clerics, police cadets, vegetable vendors, and daily-wage workers. Hazaras are identifiable because of their Mongoloid features.

    A large number of Hazaras have also been killed in attacks on religious processions. Last year, over 80 Shias, most of them Hazaras, were killed in a bombing on a Shia procession on September 3.

    “Members of our community have been targeted persistently for the last 10 years by sectarian outfits, especially the banned militant organisations Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP),” said Abdul Khaliq, chairman of Hazara Democratic Party.

    LeJ has accepted responsibility of most of these attacks. A spokesman for the LeJ in Balochistan, who ironically identifies himself as Ali Sher Haidri, said his group would avenge the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by targeting not only government officials and security forces, but also Hazara Shias.

    Handbills distributed in Quetta recently have warned the Hazaras of a “jihad” similar to the one carried out against the Hazaras of Afghanistan by the Taliban.

    Handbills distributed in Quetta recently have warned the Hazaras of a “jihad” similar to the one carried out against the Hazaras of Afghanistan by the Taliban; the Taliban regime had killed 12,000 Hazaras in central Afghanistan
    The 3.5 million Hazaras in Balochistan are said to have migrated to Quetta from Afghanistan a century ago. In the 1990s, the Taliban massacred the community – the third largest in the country – killing thousands in Bamyan, Ghazni and parts of Uruzgan that later became the Daykundi province. They had accused the Hazaras of collaborating with the Afghan Northern Alliance (ANA) fighting the Taliban regime in Kabul. According to an Amnesty International report, about 12,000 Hazaras were killed in central Afghanistan by the Taliban.

    “Hundreds of Pakistani young men from militant organisations including the SSP, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Jundullah and Harkatul Mujahideen fought with the Taliban against the ANA,” said an expert on militancy who teaches at Balochistan University. “The same men are now killing the Hazaras in Balochistan.” He said the Al Qaeda and Taliban-linked groups accuse the community of colluding with the Americans and causing the downfall of the Taliban. Quetta is reportedly the new hub of the defeated Taliban factions, and has become a major site of expression of the hatred towards the Hazaras.

    The LeJ network in Quetta is being run by Usman Saifullah Kurd, Dawood Badini and Shafiqur Rind, a senior police official said. Kurd, who heads the LeJ in Balochistan, has trained a new group of killers who are carrying out attacks on the Hazaras, he said. Rind was arrested in 2003 from Mastung area of Balochistan while Kurd was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Unit in Karachi on June 22, 2006. Both fled from the Anti-Terrorist Force jail in Quetta on January 18, 2008. Rind was rearrested, but Kurd is still at large.

    A source in the SSP said Kurd had recently met Malik Ishaq, a founding member of the LeJ, in Rahim Yar Khan and invited him to visit Quetta to address the banned SSP’s public meetings.

    Ishaq, accused of having masterminded the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 from behind the bars, was recently released by the Supreme Court after 14 years in prison.

    The Hazara community had expressed concerns over his release. “The courts are releasing top leaders of banned organisations, and that shows these groups are getting stronger once again,” said a Hazara religious scholar.

    According to the Hazara Democratic Party chairman, Kurd’s escape from jail was proof that these groups have inside support. He said the government claims to have arrested the attackers in all the cases, but they are never brought before the court or the public.

    “The government has failed to tackle sectarian violence and protect the Hazara community,” Khailq said, whose predecessor Hussain Ali Yousafi was also killed for being a Hazara in 2009.

    Hazara elders believe intelligence agencies know about the activities of banned outfits and the whereabouts of their leaders, who simply operate under new names. They believe the state is either indifferent or supporting them.

    The writer is a journalist and a researcher who works on militancy and human rights. He can be contacted at zia_red@hotmail.com

    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20110805&page=8

  • Mr Ejaz Haider has crossed all limits, and has fully exposed his hatred for Shias and Iran. One wonders whatever he says and suppose that’s true, how would it justify the killings of an ethnic group. Can he justify the over five years long siege of people of Parachinar in Kurram Agency! Yes he can because they are also Shias and like Iran. Pak Army and ISI is also part of the crime against Shia Muslims. may God destroy the enemies of Islam and hypocrites!

  • Why this guy is even given importance, i actually feel sad at the intellectual level of people who consider him an analyst . Hr is posing an argument on base of celebration of Shab e barat. He is a fool .He doesnt even know that this festival has a long history in Indian subcontinent. All Shia celebrate it as birth day of Imam e Zamana. Sunni also celebare it throughout Pakistan. I cant think of a city or town in which its not celebrated. If he think by celebrating it one becomes Iranian agent , Jesus he must be a retard or some thing this will make like 30 percent of Pakistani population an Iranian agent! If he think all shias are Iranian agent he is again foolish as Many Pakistani Shia actually follow Iraqi Murjas. Irani influence is limited and actually being resisted in shia community all around Pakistan. It has increased but it not a uniform trend.
    Its sad such people write and get away!

  • @Shahreyar, while characters like Ejaz Haider can get away with inciting mass murder, we are called “abusive” and are attacked as “getting personal” when we deconstruct this bigotry. Very saddened to see the support on Twitter by well respected journalists and writers in favour of this Ejaz Haider.

  • Maula Bux i can understand your frustration, its important to be patient. The way in which criticism is made is important.
    idhar muskook he meri sadaqat , udhar bhi budgumani kum nahi he
    bara mushkil he duniya ka sawarna , teri zulfon ka pech o khum nai he

  • Farrukhzad Ali is one of the finest and aspiring addition to the LUBP authors list. His last piece on the same issue was also very well written and has exposed the deep state and its whole construct behind the massacre of minorities and persecution of Ahmedis, Shias and Christians.

    These issues should be seen in that perspective as he had elaborated in his last piece. Its a struggle and resistance of the oppressed and persecuted against the tyranny and atrocities of the state, thy name is synonymous to the word genocide and cleansing of all those national identities, religious communities and school of thoughts who fails to adept with the narratives of the deep state.

  • After writing this piece Ejaz H should visit for Umrah to the holy lands of Saudi Arabia in the holy month of Ramzan, umid hei mazid taqwiat emaan nasib hogi.

  • Hahaha…
    Hamari Pashto Zuban mey eik mahawra bola jata hei, k jo soye hon un ko hila jhula k jagaya ja sakta hei, laikin jo soy honey ka natak karain un ko nahi jagaya ja sakta…

    Waai… Uda Yakhee Ko Waikh Na Yakhee Gee…