In a nation like ours where some groups hold massive power, abuse is common. In Pakistan, abuse has been of varied nature. Those who have arms, ammunition, clout and a large budget have repeatedly abused their power and conquered the country on numerous times. When not in power, they move the strings in the background. The military and their protégés remain in perpetual power. Then we have a judiciary which chooses to become an activist as per their own agenda, leaving the concept of provision of justice aside. The judiciary remains a major abuser of power. Another group of people that abuse power incessantly is our media and their owners. The journalists are a pawn in the game, whose writings and loose talk is used by the media owners to blackmail and abuse power. The journalists are happy to use their pen to further an agenda which remains impractical and destructive at best. The politicians, elected through popular vote, unfortunately under pressure formed by these pillars of abuse make incompetent and senseless decisions or at times no decisions at all. In essence, their indecision at times accentuates the abuse going on. In the last 12 years, a combined source of abuse of power has taken head in our country, Jihadi terrorists, who are targeting ethnicities, sects and all those who do not tow their line. If the world has seen one George W. Bush, Pakistan has thousands of them saying “Either you are with us or against us!”
Having said this, let’s look at the Balochistan issue. According to some, the great game is quite dynamic. At times, Balochistan becomes a battle for resources (natural gas, copper and gold). Other times, there is talk of insurgency in the province led by warlords/tribal chieftains who do not want to accept the writ of the State. Then there is talk of foreign interest in Balochistan like Gwadar Port, foreign companies getting mining contracts, India flaming insurgents etc, but most recently, an ugly situation has risen where the Hazara community, predominantly Shias, have been targeted in Balochistan. Why would they be targeted, one needs to ask.
Hazaras have a higher education level amongst themselves compared to other communities in Balochistan. The largest number of Hazaras can be seen in Quetta followed by Karachi. Belonging to Afghanistan mainly, the Hazaras have had major issues with the Pashtun and Arab led Taliban and Al-Qaeda respectively. They were driven out and killed by the Taliban during their reign of terror in Afghanistan during the 1990’s. ever since the US led fight against terror targeted the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and the Hazaras sided with the US, it seems that the community has been targeted by terrorists. In his report in the The New, “Why Hazaras are being killed”, Amir Mir mentions “that a total of 422 Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan alone since 1999”. Like LUBP, he has also linked the release of terror mongers like Malik Ishaq as a cause of recent surge against the Hazaras.
The reason for writing this piece is that those sitting in power and are known to abuse their powers are now going to use the upsurge in violence against the Hazaras to destabilize the sitting government. Till the Mastung incident, not many cared what was happening in Quetta, but ever since, PPP’s Nasir Ali Shah raised the issue, he has been joined by the inqalabi PML-N and other parties in order to score brownie points. In a few days time, the same inqalabi lot will demand Army’s presence in Quetta as well as having Governor Raaj in the province. The media will shout that the government has failed and the only solution is to send the Raisani government packing. What they will all choose to ignore is that the literal genocide of Hazaras is cause of a collective abuse of power by parties mentioned in the first paragraph. The CJP chooses to speak on all matters related to the country in his loose talks, but he never raises points about his home province. It is his led judiciary that has let monsters like Malik Ishaq out on the pretext of lack of evidence. Similarly, the hand-in-glove relationship of the military with the jihadists can just not be ignored. In today’s Jang, Hamid Mir in his article “General Musa, hum sharminda hayn”, has given vague analogies with the same old deflection strategy of claiming collusion of Afghan Intelligence in the current situation while failing to name the Taliban and the Lashkar Jhangvi as the aggressors.
The Hazaras are professionals and industrious people. They are being targeted because they are Shias. They are being targeted because they are docile. They are being targeted because they do not side with the Jihadists. The best way to get rid of them is to kill them. Make them fear. The Jihadists are able to do that. What is sad is that the media chooses to ignore the realities and tangles the issue with mindless loose talks.