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Current Affairs

Hazaras community

Date: 13 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Pakistan’s Hazaras finally ended a protest and agreed to bury the bodies of 11 coal miners from the community killed by the Islamic State.

 

Background

The Islamic State terrorists had killed Hazara coal miners in Balochistan province due to their ethnic and Shiite identity. They consider Hazaras as inferior.

 

Details

  • Persecution of the Shiite Hazaras is nothing new in Pakistan or neighbouring Afghanistan. They have been frequently targeted by Taliban and Islamic State militants and other Sunni Muslim militant groups in both countries.

  • Around 1773, the mountainous region of Hazarajat in modern-day central Afghanistan was annexed and made a part of the territories of Afghan Empire under Pashtun ruler Ahmad Shah Durrani.

  • The Sunni Muslim majority under the Pashtun ruler resulted in further marginalisation of the Shiite Hazara community,

  • They were forced to leave fertile lowlands in central Afghanistan and make the dry, arid mountainous landscape their new home.

 

Hazaras

  • Hazaras speak Hazaragi, which is close to Dari Persian, the official language of modern-day Afghanistan.

  • Research indicates that their unique identity, ethnicity, and religion always made the Hazaras stand out among the other communities.

  • The community also shares physical similarities with the Mongols and their speech, specific terms, and phrases, reflect strong Central Asian Turkic influences, setting them apart from their people in Pakistan and other communities within Afghanistan.

 

History of attacks

  • In 2013, three separate bombings killed more than 200 people in Hazara neighbourhoods of Quetta, Pakistan.

  • The Shia community in Pakistan had erupted in anger over the Pakistani government’s lack of protection of the city.

  • They had refused to bury the dead till the government made steps to improve security. The Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed one of the three deadly attacks.