Unsilencing Pakistan’s Hazaras: The Persecution Timeline Of A Besieged Community
There are many who take what is happening to the Hazara Shia community very lightly, or in fact downright deny it. Some call it an ‘irrelevant domestic’ issue while others seem to think it only happens in Afghanistan.
Is it persecution? Is it genocide? Think what you like, but the lives being lost is very tragic and a deeply worrying concern and something really needs to be done about it.
The first step, as in the case with everything there is, is to accept there is a problem and to create awareness for it.
I have thus tried my best to compile a timeline of attacks on them (in Pakistan) from 1999. It took me a week to put the list together but I am sure I have still missed many. Some of them have names while others just fall under ‘statistics.’
5th Oct, 1999:
An unidentified person attacked Sardar Nisar Ali, Hazara MPA & Minister for Education near the entrance of his office. He survived but his driver and bodyguard were killed.
9th Feb, 2001:
8 shot and killed, 5 injured in a van going from Hazara Town to Alamdar Road. LeJ claimed responsibility.
15th Aug, 2001:
Senior employee of State Bank, Ali Madad Changezai was killed on Jinnah road, Quetta.
28th Aug, 2001:
While shopping at Saryab road Quetta, Professor Abid Abbas Naqvi was killed by an unidentified person.
13th Sept, 2001:
Attiq Hassan Naqvi, Professor of Sociology at University of Balochistan was injured in an attack at the University’s gate. His son was killed on the spot.
17th March, 2002:
Haji Muhammad Jan, a senior customs officer was shot and killed by unidentified persons in his office at Quetta.
Agha Abbas of famous Agha Juice murdered by a terrorist group who confessed to killing him.
8th June, 2003:
12 Hazara Cadets killed, 9 injured when 2 open fire on their vehicle on Saryab Road.
July 4th, 2003:
55 killed, 150 injured due to bombing during Friday Prayers in a mosque on Mekangi, Quetta.
2nd March, 2004:
60+ killed, 100 injured in a Muharram Procession due to firing and explosions. LeJ claimed responsibility.
10th January, 2007:
25 yr old Agha Ghulam Ali, son of murdered Agha Abbas also killed by the same terrorist organization that killed his father.
15th Jan, 2009:
5 policemen, including 2 DSPs were on their way to the police training college when attackers in a white Suzuki jeep sprayed their car with bullets. 4 killed, 1 injured.
27th Jan, 2009
2 men on a motorbike opened fire on Hazara Democratic Party Chairman Hussain Ali Yousufi when he stepped out of his car in front of a travel agency on Jinnah Road. Lashkar-i-Jhangvi claimed responsibility.
17th Aug, 2009:
Dr. Abid Iqbal, a cardiologist and Professor at Bolan Medical College was killed on his way to his office.
12th Jan, 2010:
Dr. Nadir Khan Hazara and his driver were shot at Quetta.
16th April, 2010:
Ashraf Zaidi, a banker was shot dead during the day and was taken to Quetta Civil Hospital. The attackers knew that other members of the community would visit. A suicide bomber then blew himself up inside the hospital killing 12 people including MNA Syed Nasir Ali Shah, his son, guards, a journalist, 2 police officers, and injuring 47 others.
22nd May, 2010:
Dr. Qambar Hussain was shot and killed by an unknown person. Ali Murtaza who came by to help him was also shot dead.
3rd Sept, 2010:
73 killed, 206 injured after bomb explodes in Meezan Chowk in a Quds Day procession where they were out to express solidarity with Palestinians. 15 kg of explosives were used. LeJ claimed responsibility.
6th May, 2011:
8 killed, 15 injured, including children who had been playing outside in Hazara Town. Rockets were fired at them.
16th June, 2011:
Abrar Hussain, Pakistani Olympian/Chairman Balochistan Sports Board was murdered near Ayub National Stadium, Quetta.
30th July, 2011:
A gunman on a motorbike opened fire on a passenger van that Hazaras routinely took to commute. 11 killed, 3 injured.
31st Aug, 2011:
13 killed (including 4 women and 2 children), 22 injured after a suicide bomber blew himself up on Eid morning near Hazara Eid Gah.
20th Sept, 2011:
A bus was carrying pilgrims to Taftan. They were stopped near Quetta and the Hazara passengers identified. All 26 Hazara passengers were lined up and shot dead. 3 Hazaras who came to collect the bodies, were also shot and killed.
23rd Sept, 2011:
5 Hazaras injured when gunmen opened fire on their van.
4th October, 2011
In Akhtar Abad, a bus carrying Hazaras to the vegetable market was stopped and Hazaras were shot indiscriminately. 13 killed, 6 injured.
26th Jan, 2012:
3 Hazara men shot dead in Quetta. One of whom was a tv artist called Abid Ali Nazish.
29th March, 2012:
7 killed, 6 injured were killed when their taxis coming from Hazara Town were sprayed with bullets. (Includes women and children.)
3rd April, 2012:
2 Hazara men shot and killed on Mekangi road, Quetta. LeJ claimed responsibility.
9th April, 2012:
6 killed, 4 critically injured after being shot on a shoe-making shop on Prince road.
12th April, 2012:
3 businessmen, 1 tea stall owner, and 2 ice cream shop owners were shot dead the same day at Kandahari Bazaar and Liaqat Bazaar.
13th April, 2012:
A Hazara woman named Fatima was killed, and her son wounded when Al Qaida terrorists shot them at Kasi Road.
14th April, 2012:
8 shot dead on the way to work in a taxi at Brewery Road.
21st April, 2012:
Brothers shot dead near SBKW University. They were coal miners. 3 arrested who admit to killing them due to their religious beliefs.
26th April, 2012:
Failed suicide attempt by LeJ in Kirani Road. Terrorist killed, no casualties.
15th May, 2012:
2 brothers were shot dead while waiting in line outside a passport office on Joint Road, Quetta.
25th May, 2012:
Ameer Ali Hazara was on his way to Kili Chakar Khan when shot dead by gunmen on motorcycles.
30th May, 2012:
1 Hazara killed by motorcyclist on Joint Road.
18th June, 2012:
A Sardar Bahadur Khan University bus was attacked at Jinnah town Quetta. 4 Hazara students killed, 72 injured from which 28 were not Hazara.
28th June, 2012:
15 killed, 45 injured in a suicide attack in a bus in Quetta that had just returned from Iran carrying Hazara pilgrims.
1st Sept, 2012:
Two motorbike riders killed a Hazara vegetable seller and two others at Hazar Ganji, Quetta.
20th Sept, 2012:
Hazara pilgrims were shot in a bus en route to Iran in the Ganj Dori area of Mastung. 3 killed, 12 injured.
4th Oct, 2012:
An employee of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Balochistan was gunned down in a taxi near Kuchlak, Quetta.
16th Oct, 2012:
A Hazara owner of an auto shop on Sirki road, Quetta was attacked. 4 killed.
6th Nov, 2012:
Men on a motorcycle shoot dead 3 Hazaras and injure 2 in a taxi.
10th Jan, 2013:
115 killed, 279 injured in several timed blasts in Quetta. LeJ claimed responsibility. This was the worst attack in Quetta in 14 years.
16th Feb, 2013:
73 killed, 180 injured in a bomb blast at Kirani Road near Hazara Town, Quetta. LeJ claimed responsibility.
30th June 2013:
33 killed (including 9 women and 4 children), 70 Hazaras injured in Al Qaeda suicide/bombing in a crowded area in Ali Abad, Hazara Town. Al Qaeda affiliated NNI claimed responsibility.
2nd Jan, 2014:
A pilgrim bus coming back from Iran to Quetta was attacked. 30 killed, 21 injured.
12th April, 2014:
2 Hazaras killed down on Saryab road, Quetta.
9th June, 2014:
Pilgrims attacked in a hotel in Taftan. 30 from KPK were killed. There were 300 pilgrims in the hotel, most of whom were Hazara.
23rd Oct, 2014:
Unknown persons shoot Hazaras in a bus near Hazar Ganji. 8 killed, 6 injured.
12th Nov, 2014:
5 killed, 2 injured after being fired at in a barber’s shop at Usman Road, Quetta.
25th May, 2015:
4 killed, 9 injured in Saleem Complex, Jinnah road.
7th June, 2015:
Militants kill 5 Hazaras at chowk the main hub of the city, Quetta.
5th July, 2015:
Attack near Passport office, Joint road. 2 killed including a police man.
6th Nov, 2015:
A personal vehicle (AAW512) attacked on Arbab Karam Khan Road, Quetta. 2 killed, 2 injured.
19th Oct, 2015:
11 killed, many injured in an explosion on a bus terminal on Saryab Road, Quetta.
14th Jan, 2016:
15+ killed (including 13 police and a soldier of the Frontier Corps) 25 injured in suicide bomber attack in Satellite Town area. The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Jaishul Islam claimed responsibility.
1st Aug, 2016:
Two Hazaras traveling on a rickshaw attacked and killed on Saryab road.
5th Oct, 2016:
4+ women killed, 1 injured when shot at on a bus on Kirani Road, Pud Gali Chowk in Quetta.
5th Jan, 2017:
5 Hazaras traveling on a yellow cab shot near Killi Mubarak Spini road. No lives lost, all 5 injured.
3rd June, 2017:
A brother and sister Ph.D. scholars killed on Spini road on a motorbike.
23rd June, 2017:
2 Hazaras killed near IG office.
9th July, 2017:
A Hazara family traveling from Quetta to Karachi was attacked in Mastung. 4 killed.
10th Sept, 2017:
Hazara family traveling from Afghanistan to Quetta was attacked in Kuchlak when they stopped at a Petrol Station. 4 killed including 2 brothers and children.
10th Oct, 2017:
5 killed when 2 unidentified on a motorcycle opened fire on a van going to the vegetable market in Quetta.
7th March, 2018:
1 killed, 1 injured in ISIS attack on Hazara Vegetable sellers in Hazarganji.
1st April, 2018:
1 killed, 1 injured when terrorists sprayed car with bullets in Kandahari Bazaar, Quetta.
12th April, 2019:
18 killed, dozens injured when explosives in a potato sack goes off in a vegetable market.
42 blasphemy cases registered from which 75% were against Shias.
3rd Jan, 2021:
11 Hazara Miners kidnapped and killed by IS in Mach, Balochistan.
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
The author is a staunch believer of equal rights and writes for top publications in the country. She can be reached @shamilaghyas