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Current Affairs

Hazaras of Afghanistan

Date: 21 August 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Statue of Shiite militia leader Abdul Ali Mazari was blown apart by Talibanis in Bamiyan province of the country.

 

Background

Mazari was considered as the champion of Hazaras, a racial group based in Bamiyan. He was executed in 1995 by Taliban.

 

Details

  • Taliban has claimed that they have reformed their ways and promised to restore peace and security of the country.

  • However, their actions since coming to power have been nothing short of oppressive. They have engaged in atrocities against the minorities, especially Hazaras.

  • Due to their religious belief and ethnicity, Hazaras have faced violent persecution from Islamic state and Taliban.

 

Hazaras

  • The Hazaras are an ethnically distinct race found in central Afghan region of Hazarajat. They follow Shia sect of Islam and have central -Asian features.

  • They are said to have settled in the region post the Mongol invasion of central Asia. They trace their decendency to Genghis Khan.

  • Pashtun ruler Ahmad Shah Durrani annexed Hazarajat region in 1773 after which Hazaras came under native Pashtun rule.

  • The atrocities by Sunni majority were so high that they were pushed to the extent of marginalization by making them move into mountains by leaving fertile lowlands.

  • They are easily recognised and targeted due their facial features and religious ideology. They speak a Persian dialect known as Hazaragi.

  • Hazaras account for about 10-12 percent of Afghanistan’s population, making them one of the largest ethnic minorities.

 

The oppression

  • Pashtun King Amir Abdul Rahman forced more than half the population of Hazaras to either migrate or get killed in 19th century.

  • Thousands of Hazaras were killed in city of Mazar-e-Sharif after Taliban leader said Hazaras were not Muslims and were to be freely killed.

  • Even after restoration of democracy, Hazaras have been targeted. Their schools, mosques and also hospitals were targeted and people killed. Their areas lack basic facilities such as water and basic roads.

 

Restoration of rights

The Hazaras were given equal rights in the 2004 constitution. They were well represented in the administration.