This discussion was aired on Al-Jazeera English after rumors of Hazara youths picking up arms to defend themselves as the government and security forces had blatantly failed to protect them from the Al-Qaeda linked terrorists outfits.
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Is Pakistan’s government unable to provide security for its own citizens? Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned Pakistani militant group, continues to target the Shia community in Balochistan province. After three deadly bombings this year claimed hundreds of lives, members of Pakistan’s Shia minority are taking up arms to defend themselves. We examine the ongoing violence against the country’s Shia community.
In this episode of The Stream, we speak to:
Mohammad Taqi @mazdaki
Columnist, Daily Times
Major Nadir Ali
Senior leader of Hazara tribe in Pakistan
Sajjad Changezi @sajjad_changezi
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Editor’s Note: This story was originally published as a Cover Story in March issue of Newsline Magazine.
Brain drain from Balochistan: Story of Ali Raza – a Hazara engineer who was hounded out of Pakistan
Ali Raza, like most youth of his community, grew up in Quetta with ambitions of becoming a ‘big man’ and serving his people and country. Despite facing countless hardships, he had finally made it. He was now an engineer – a prestigious profession in Pakistan’s largest but most underdeveloped and poverty-striken province, Balochistan.
Raza, a Shia from Hazara, had no idea that his home province would be overrun by terrorism, militancy, discrimination and hatred. He was probably unaware that the thousands of religious seminaries that were mushrooming across the province were tasked to produce hundreds of non-state actors who could be used in clean-up operations against anybody labelled as ‘impure’ by their external…
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In the PIQUE, February 2013.
The remarkable protests by the Shia community and its sympathisers may have led to a pyrrhic victory that empowers the agents of destruction
It took almost three days for thousands of Shia protesters, mostly those of Hazaras descent and their supporters from other communities, not to mention political parties across the country, to obligate the federal government to spring into action. And meet the very first demand of bereaved families: send the Nawab Raisani-led provincial government packing.
Though the province is facing a dismal security situation since a decade now, the targeting of members of Shia community, including Hazaras, has escalated in the last five years. According to statistics issued by the home department on January 3, 2013, some 2,100 lives have been lost in 3,232 incidents of violence. Out of 3,232 incidents of firing, bombing and rockets attacks, 478 incidents were aimed…
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