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Not all deaths are mourned the same


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Pakistanis of all political and religious persuasions are equally enraged by the tragic death of their soldiers caused by an indiscriminate air attack by the Nato forces. Pakistani soldiers, stationed at a border post in Mohmand region, were attacked by Nato planes and helicopters killing 24 and injuring several more.

Several politicians and citizens in general are enraged over the violation of their sovereignty. While this outburst of grief is understandable and very much justified, one wonders why other acts of violence against ethnic and sectarian minorities in Pakistan have not stirred the same outpour of grief and anger that we witness today. Could it be true that we are enraged only when others stand accused of violence against us, but when its Muslim-on-Muslim violence, we are much complacent.

The purpose here is not to undermine the ultimate sacrifice offered by Pakistani soldiers, who continue to lay their lives in hundreds while defending Pakistan against the militant fundamentalists. The motive here is to point out the lack of or, at best, muted response to the senseless violence committed against Ahmadis, Balochis, Christians, Shias and other minorities in Pakistan.

It was only in September 2011 when 29 Shias from Quetta’s Hazara community were killed in a premeditated attack. They were travelling to Iran in a bus that was intercepted near Mustang by armed militants who killed 29 while gravely injured several others. Compared to the anger and grief over the death of 24 soldiers, the reaction to Hazara murders has been mute at best. The list of political and community leaders from Punjab and Sindh who visited Quetta to condole with the Hazaras is very short and did not include any mainstream politician. Not even 50 students from a Punjab-based University marched in solidarity with the Shias of Quetta even when Shia academics were being killed by the unknown assailants (Professor Danish Alam was murdered earlier today). However, thousands marched in Lahore today for the slain soldiers while being led by their professors.

The State’s indifference to the plight of Hazaras drove Syed Nasir Ali Shah, a legislator belonging to the ruling Peoples Party, to stage a month-long sit-in in front of the Parliament. It took Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani a month to react to the protest staged by a member of his own party. On the other hand, the Gilani government reacted with a sharp rebuke to Nato within hours of the attack on troops in Mohmand region.

Hundreds of Shia Hazaras have fallen victim to the terrorist violence perpetrated by the extremist elements belonging to hardline sects of Islam. While many have been killed in dark alleys (who jo tareek raahon main maray gaey), the Hazara community is striving to ensure that the victims of sectarian violence are not forgotten. The community has prepared a list of 435 victims who have been killed since 1999 in sectarian violence. The bulk of killings took place in the past few years. More than 90 Shias from Hazara community have been killed since July 2011 alone.

The list of victims deserves a considerate read and reflection. Hazara community’s sacrifices are indeed supreme. The list includes children as young as five, as well as the elderly. The very unfortunate victims include father and son pairs who met violent death on the same day. A mother and daughter pair met the same fate. Hundreds of dead are young students.

The targeted attacks including bomb blasts have caused havoc in the Hazara community. What to say of a city where places of worship are the most hazardous sites. The July 2003 attack at the old Imam Bargah in Quetta killed 51, including 5-year old Ali Akbar. A year later in March, an attack on the 10th of Muharram killed 36 members of the Hazara community. In September 2010, when Shias marched in Quetta in solidarity with the displaced Arabs, they were rewarded with an attack that left 62 Shia Hazaras dead.

The Hazara community is not safe even in the cemeteries. In May 2011, militants attacked visitors at the Bahisht-e-Zahra cemetery in Hazara Town and killed seven Shias. Even hospitals fail to offer refuge to the community. An attack in April 2010 in Quetta’s Civil Hospital left six Shia Hazaras dead. Earlieri n July 2008, when the community sought legal redress, their lawyer, Ghulam Mustafa Qureshi, was assassinated. Several Hazara police officers, including 13 young cadets, have also become victims of targeted sectarian killings.

If Pakistan’s civil and military leaders are serious about addressing the grievances of the Hazara community, they could take the first step by visiting the two cemeteries in Quetta, Bahisht-e-Zahra in Hazara Town and Bahisht-e-Zainab on Alamdar Road, where the Hazaras have buried over 350 victims of sectarian violence. These cemeteries are a testament to the courage and resilience of a community whose right to live in peace has been violated in the presence of a democratically elected government.

Many in Pakistan believe that the Nato’s attack in Mohmand is an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty. If sovereignty implies “having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area” then Pakistan has lost sovereignty in most of Balochistan, including Quetta. Hundreds of Shia victims are proof that the State has lost control of Quetta.

The State restores law and order in Quetta. It has to reestablish its writ neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood, street-by-street. It can start with Saryab Road where more than 50 members of Hazara community have been killed in several attacks over the past few years.

Meanwhile Pakistanis have to learn to embrace all victims of violence as equals. While we grieve for our fallen soldiers, we should do the same for the civilian victims of sectarian violence. If our anger and grief is determined not by the innocence of the victims but by their ethnicity and sectarian affiliations, we will continue to drift towards even a more violent future.


Murtaza Haider, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean of research and graduate programs at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto.  He can be reached by email at

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Murtaza Haider is a Toronto-based academic and the director of

He tweets @regionomics

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (91) Closed

Naqvi Nov 30, 2011 04:26pm
Also add the misery of Shia community of Parachinar and Kohat which are continuously targeted by Terrorists.It was so surprising to see that the news of Numaish chowrangi incident was not even in the headlines for few hours..We have to search for it on DAWN main page,infact it was an eye opener for all administration .
sradhanand from Maur Nov 30, 2011 04:29pm
Thank you Murtaza sir for writing about the plight of minorities in Pakistan. In Mauritius about 21% of the population are muslims.Our Deputy Prime minister is a muslim and we have 5 other muslim ministers. Minorities are seen in all sphere of life here.There is no communal discrimination in Mauritius.I think pakistanis must learn from the way minorities are treated in a small country like Mauritius and in western countries.
El Cid Nov 30, 2011 04:44pm
You are comparing oranges and apples...think without the personal/emotional content. Then add the emotion.
Saad Nov 30, 2011 05:05pm
We are already alienating people of Balochistan as well as other parts of the country. I'm not sure why Shias are being targetted in the first seems a venomous act and I feel that if this had been reported as much as the current incident then the Sunni community would be even more repulsed by these acts. If 24 civilians had died in this attack (regardless of ethnicity) instead of soldiers, the response would have been much more muted. The Army in my opinion places more value on the lives of their own than that of others. Therefore, you can also add to this list the scores of innocent women and children who have died in drone attacks which have gone awry. We we should stand by our people (regardless of ethnicity) in their time of need, regardless of whether the threat is from within or without.
ronnie Nov 30, 2011 05:10pm
Well written! We have two different issues here - internal & external. The NATO bomb killing 24 innocent soldiers is deplorable and unpardonable. Think of 24 americans or britishers having been killed "erroneouly" - they would have declared war!! My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Being from India, i was watching on a TV channel recently about the plight of over 100 Hindus who had run away from Pakistan and seeking shelter in Delhi. Their stories were horrific! However, while one can argue about the plight of Muslim Kashmiris in India, the plight of the Hindu Kashmiri's is worse as they have been kicked out of their own land. Each country has their dark malaise and not all can be cured, However, as a thumb rule, the malaise stems from the rotten politicians and that breed needs to be contained, wonder how, though!
Shahzeb Nov 30, 2011 05:30pm
a question that would trouble any sane minded citizen but alas .. majority of our nation lies ignorant of it ... I wholeheartedly support you in this scenario Sir!
G.A. Nov 30, 2011 05:32pm
By apples and oranges do you mean soldiers and civilians? Are they both not humans? I feel the only reason we are protesting is because our pride is hurt. Did the media even bother to cover the names and families of soldiers who were not officers?
ali shah Nov 30, 2011 05:45pm
Thanx Sir Murtaza to raise the issue of Hazara genocide in this forum. Off course the politicians and the government must stop this duplicity. Unless the internal security is not ensured, the external security is not possible.
Syed Haider Ali Hamd Nov 30, 2011 06:02pm
I totally agree with you Murtaza Bhai, you are absolutely right. We keep on hearing atrocities against shias and other minorities and no stand is taken, Islam gives total freedom of worship to all irrespective of religion and sect so it is totally inhumane to ignore people when they are brutally killed and martyred and no body hears their loved ones. May ALLAH guide us all to true islamic values
sajjad hazara Nov 30, 2011 06:06pm
What really irritates me is the 'intellectual hypocrisy' of this nation. While there was 'NO MENTION' of the brutal targeted killing of yet another University Teacher in Quetta yesterday, the whole nation from the TTP leadership to Mr. Gilani seemed to attend the killing of the 24 soldiers seriously. While it is justified and understandable, one is disappointed to see no one even knows about the murder of Prof. Saba and the likes..
bhaskar Nov 30, 2011 06:10pm
The plight of asians is very bad. They are not able to unite themselves and fight for humanity in one voice.
Zain Nov 30, 2011 06:21pm
So much tough a response at a single attack that killed few security forces but no response at drone attacks that kill dozens of innocent civilians on daily basis. Isn't it a discrimination???
shaheen ali hazara Nov 30, 2011 06:26pm
thanx sir to highlight about the killing of hazara.
JV Nov 30, 2011 06:26pm
Very well written. My full support to you for highlighting this issue. Pakistan need to change and treat aa the minorities equally.
SArah Nov 30, 2011 06:42pm
how do they know that among those 28 soldiers no bdy was Ahmadi, Hazara Shia, Christian ?? and external threats r always answered with a collective protest.. every nation does tat.. yes the internal conflicts should also be looked on .. but both r different scenarios and require different strategies..
Essa khan Nov 30, 2011 06:49pm
I appreciate you Murtaza Haider for such a comprehensive article. It is hoped the you will continue raising voice for all the deprived and persecuted people. You have in fact done Zainabi job by making the people aware of the innocence of the Hazara Community.
Preet Nov 30, 2011 06:59pm
amazing article..good job dude
Alambek Nov 30, 2011 07:00pm
What about the Pakistan media silence about the young Baloch political activists, who are being picked up by Pakistani security agnecies, turtured and killed with impunity in clear violence of human rights? Are not they human? Are not they human?
Syed Nov 30, 2011 07:06pm
Most certainly the hazara or for that matter any other group of people be they in minority or majority, deserve to live in peace. And the state needs to look for their wellbeing and security. However as a person who is trying to go into the details of this Shia/Sunni rift, I would like to add a few points here, st up is the fact that although the Sunni group is in a majority and a huge one, had they all hated the Shia's the way Shia's hate the sunni for some faults that the Shia feel the forefathers of all the sunni did, the Shia's would have wiped out entirely...the point here is that the Sunni at large dont hate the shia, there are some elements that act is such inhuman way and I Condemn their act, but consider this the programming of dislike and hatred that is being done in the Shia community is in a way responsible for the silence of the larger Sunni sect, the Tabbarra n abuses that are done religiously in closed group, which are not so closed actually, has drifted those of the Sunni brothers who otherwise love the shia's as much as themselves. I think their is a lot of changes which need to be brought in in both the communities in terms of how they think and in terms of the programming that is being done. We need those that remain silent to speak up, and for that their faith in the other needs to be awakened. Please correct me if i am wrong.
rubab Nov 30, 2011 07:07pm
well aritten article....its like an attack on soldiers is an attack on Pakistan's soveriegnity....they do not say anything about drone attacks and innocents being killed, thats not an attack on pakistan's because they are civilian (as evident from their immediate reactions) far as the hazara community is concerned, yes they all are ignoring them to community is being targeted specifically in hazara...
Khalid H Nov 30, 2011 07:15pm
It is not the Government or a military duty, it is the Islamic duty to protect people regardless of race, religion, gender without discrimination. We call ourselves literate? Muslims back in the Caliphate regime were more tolerant and governed countries better than us. Jews, Persians asked the Caliphs to protect them from their own race. Islam teaches us to be just, humble and merciful as we ask our Lord to do the same for us. Islam teaches to protect everyone who ask for protection.
Ahmed Nov 30, 2011 07:29pm
The expression of violence is symptomatic of the many diseases in society. The Muslim world today does not know which way to turn. People find themselves dissatisfied about many things over which they have no control whatsoever. They are dead for exploitation . Unfortunately, many leaders in Muslim countries themselves seek sanction from Islam for their acts of violence and oppression, as happened in the time of the late General Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan. Bloody revolutions are totally alien to the philosophy of Islam and have no place in Islamic countries.
raika45 Nov 30, 2011 07:30pm
How can Pakistan go so wrong in treating its different communities.India also has different religions.Yes there have been some problems like Gujarat, but on the whole things are going well.Look at their film heroes.The top are all muslims,yet the people adore them.Can anybody in Pakistan tell us where, why,and how your nation landed up in this situation.Why is it that your government not intervening in this problem?
Jameel ur Rasheed Nov 30, 2011 07:32pm
I am from Quetta and it's unfortunate that Hazara community is targeted in the city. But I would like to differ with the writer on few places. It might sound a little weird but it's true. There is a difference in types of killing we had when army was attacked and when the Shias are targeted. The former is an attack on sovereignty and later is a sectarian attack which is from within the country. Second the writer says that Hazaras were killed in Quetta during the Yaum-e- Al-Quds rally. The Hazara community violated the prescribed route. The young enraged Hazaras broke the armed fences and marched toward Mezan chowk when they were prohibited on the intel that there is some terror plot there. They approached the chowk and attack took place killing less than 20 persons. The rest of them were killed by the reckless firing of the rally participants and most of them were non-Shias. That is a lesser known fact. Fortunately the Shia community in Pakistan is very literate specially if you compare it with non-shia community of Pakistan. They try to present the picture in as bad manner as they can. This is not the case. The writer of the above editorial never wrote about the operation against Hazaras that took place in 1980s Zia's regime and the reasons behind it. All the Pakistanis, no matter Sunnis or what duly condemn the target killing of Shias and specially Hazaras in Quetta but they too have to understand that they don't need to bring out such massive rallies when they know the bad law and order situation. In current law and order situation the law enforcing agencies including the army is protecting themselves against the terrorists attacks than why do the Shia brethren need such massive rallies each year which are always targeted. These rallies have become more of a size show demonstrations than a religious ritual. Bad piece of writing, I would say, comparing why oranges with apples!
Haroon Khan Nov 30, 2011 07:33pm
Isn't it a global phenomenon. Aren't death of White Westerners and their grief more publicized around the world. Isn't all the west always concerned about the one or two Israelis that die compared to the 100s of palestenians nobody cares about. Hasn't Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan paid by 100s of thousands of lives for the deaths of 3000 odd Americans, who are still mourned amidst much fanfare while the loss of Pakistani, Iraqi and Afghani lives are ignored?
Agha Ata Nov 30, 2011 07:34pm
Murtaza, you have said something that is making even the real crocodiles cry real tears. All this mourning is nothing but a political stunt, not human love. Like charity, mourning should also start from homes for brothers who lived in our homes, killed by the brothers who lived with them.
Avtar Nov 30, 2011 07:36pm
Well done, Murtaza. The tears shed now for Pakistani soldiers would have more meaning when the politicians also do likewise for their minorities. We also to have keep in mind that Pakistani military is still recovering from humiliation of Abbottabad and wants everyone behind it. Time will tell.
shak Nov 30, 2011 07:37pm
this is not an apt comparison, pakistanis wouldn't have mourned the solders any less if they were from a minority.......civilian deaths and sectarian violence has been part of our society for a long time and it is our internal struggle.........think of this is as two brothers fight each other inside their house......if an outsider comes to beat both of them, they will unite against him. as for minorities, please stop complaining about their plight.......I can name a 100 sub groups of people in pakistan that are discriminated against. you can complain about minority rights when everyone in the "majority" (whatever your definition is) are getting much better treatment.
Kashif Nov 30, 2011 07:44pm
Well Said, no question about it. We do speak of all inequalities that exist in our societies but unfortunately our leaders dont realise this. Every second day NATO violates our sovereignity with Drones and kill civilians and no one moan their deaths. Its very unfortunate to see sectarian killings of Hazara Community, disappearance of Balochis, target killings in Karachi and ....May Allah send an angel to govern this country.
AAKASH Nov 30, 2011 07:51pm
first of all sir i want to appreciate you that you wrote a blog which exactly reflects you humanitarian approach, where you focus on the things like to have freedom for every human, no dicrimination, you are absolutely right, govt. must have take the steps for the security of ethnic groups who are just pakistani first, whether shias, sunni, hindus, christians, sikhs etc. then they will be able to face the foreign affairs, therefore they first of all build a strong loyal relationship between the nation of pakistan and the govt and its army. hope sir you will be writing the issue which will ensure that there is no discrimination. thanks GOD BLESS US ALL:)
alfin Nov 30, 2011 08:08pm
Honourable Professor, this is no different in toronto when a policeman is killed, and an eluding youth is mowed down.............. or when toronto police are given the requested pay raise and child care workers denied the same. In every society the military and other controlling elitists easily are cherished and glorified.
Murtuza Babrawala Nov 30, 2011 08:08pm
Pakistani government and the military is very vocal about condemning the death of 24 soldiers by NATO strike. But where it comes to the death of hundreds and thousands of citizens by extremist within the country they make half hearted noise. Pakistan must and should condemn and eliminate all extemist within the country to save the country from turning into a extremist Taliban like state.
sajjad Hazara Nov 30, 2011 08:14pm
Dear Sir Murtaza Haider, after reading your article about Hazara massacre in Balachistan, pakistan and other Shia minorities across the country i have come with the conclusion that thx god that there are people among us whome we can be call as supreme creature. Such people can be called as real human who can understand the pain and miseries of those who are weak or hand less before the cruel or insane people or group, here let me mention Sir Haider Murtaza that you are also one those whom we can call as real human. Never think of it that i am praising you for your article which you have written about Hazaras and raised there voice in this forum. Indeed i strongly condemn the killing and cruelty toward humanity. I am against the demise of Humanity. Let me mention a quotation here that ' If you save one human than be sure that you have saved all the humanity but on the contrary if you destroy on human so it means you have destroyed all humanity'. Hazaras massacre is not a new issue, indeed it is continue since 1999 and till now hundreds of families have been destroyed, several widowed and several are missing there beloved ones who were the sole earner for their family. When ever i think of my community and compare these imbalances so i at once start blaming my self its shame to be human. Perhaps an animal is more kind and merciful than us but sad to we( today's human) what we are doing. May god bless us all. Thx Sir for raising an issue that needs attention.
khan Nov 30, 2011 08:34pm
A Muslim should weep on every life because ALLAH said in quran "one who kills one life he has killed entire humanity and one who saved one life he saved entire humanity" this just shows you how far we have have gotten from the real teaching of Islam.
Wali Pirzada Nov 30, 2011 08:38pm
This has become a norm in Pakistan. When an outsider does something it creates a big buzz but when an insider is involved no one cares. When Mukhataran Mai is gang raped or Dr. Shazia Khalid is raped by an army captain in Balochistan, no religious party utter a word but when Dr. Afia's matter comes, we see protests all around. Are those two women not among us or because they were not oppressed by America that's why we don't care? Time to think..
Haroon Khan Nov 30, 2011 08:39pm
w.r.t my previous post, I didn't mean to belittle your article. Great write up. Murder of innocent people should not be tolerated anywhere regardless of color, creed or religion
Vish Nov 30, 2011 08:55pm
This is true to some extent. However none of the brave Pakistani soldiers who died in Kargil in 1999 were even acknowledged, leave only mourned for. Even the pakistani army refused to accept dead bodies of their own soldiers. they were buried by Indians.
Goga Nalaik Nov 30, 2011 08:59pm
Dear Murtaza Thanks for this excellent article. People like you should write more about secularism. This is what we need. Thanks
Meher Zaidi Nov 30, 2011 09:06pm
JazakAllah brother, finally someone in Pakistan are mentioning the murders these extremists are doing in the name of Islam. We have put forward the motion here in London quite a few times. in return they say don't protest in front of the embassy as it cause embarrassment. Disgraceful, they get embarrass when people protest for the oppressed, but they don't get embarrassed when they support the oppressors!!
Riyasat Ali Nov 30, 2011 09:44pm
i realy apprecaite your article that atleast there is some one who raise issue of Genocide of Hazara community in quetta and analysis the situations of pakistan well.thank you
Syed Rizvi Nov 30, 2011 09:50pm
A very honest and sincere article as we have come to expect from Murtaza. Sad to see some responses that are favoring the killers and trying to blame the poor Hazara community. Another sad thing is to see the government reaction on the killing of soldiers. No Pakistani can favor killing of our brave soldiers. We should do our best to support the families of our shaheeds. But to put the peace process in jeopardy, is like playing in the hands of terrorists. Government has succumbed to the pressures of terrorists represented by various so called religious and political parties. Islam is the religion of peace as the very word Islam means "salamti wala mazheb". Huzoor (S.A.W.W.) is rehmat ul lil aalameen (kindness to all). It doesn't say rehmat ul lil muslimeen. Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.W.) was kindness to everyone irrespective of religion, color or back ground.
Anand Nov 30, 2011 09:53pm
Awesome article. Now that we wish that minorities have to be accorded equal treatment, when do we hear about a secular legal system for Pakistan ?
agha Nov 30, 2011 09:54pm
Thanks Mr. Haider for mentioning the forgotten sons of Pakistan. Agreed that we must mourn our dead by their innocence not sect, rank, or ethnicity. No doubt Shia particularly Hazaras of Quetta have suffered enormously both physically and economically. The provincial government has failed there is no doubt about that. We hope the saner elements in our establishment and civil society would step forwrd and help their countrymen through their words and deeds.
aqabdulaziz Nov 30, 2011 10:13pm
Mr. Haider, excellent article. We need more Pakistanis to think like you do. Pakistan needs good education, health system and upliftment of our population. We have lost our self esteem. We need to introspect now. You are 100% right that Pakistan has lost its credibility as far as sovereignty is concerned. More of our own people are killed on a regular basis in the name of religion and regional differences. A country is judged by the way it treats its people and not by how it demands others to judge it-in that regard, the people of Pakistan have failed themselves. Dear people of Pakistan, please wake up and let us learn to live with others in a cohesive manner. We have no right to use Afghanistan for our strategic depth-Afghanistan is a sovereign country. I pray for the enlightenment of Pakistanis.
Atta Nov 30, 2011 10:14pm
I don't know why is Pakistan not responding to their actions? We must respond
Qanmber Nov 30, 2011 10:30pm
Mr. Sajjad. We stand by the Hazara community in difficult times. Our prayers are good wishes are with you..
Altamash Nov 30, 2011 10:52pm
Most of them were shias from the Northern areas .......
Hashim Nov 30, 2011 10:55pm
The point is not to whether the death is cherished or honored. any innocent or unjustifiable death should be mourned or acknowledged in the same manner. A policeman in toronto might get an honor if he dies in the line of duty, but CP24 keeps showing and investigate any unjustifiable death of any other citizen. they even protest and investigate death of a pet dog.
Atif Khan Nov 30, 2011 10:57pm
Pakistan needs to take this opportunity and phase-out of this war. It is no longer a "war-on-terror" it is a “war-of-terror”. It needs to get away from a state of “perpetual anger” But, blocking supplies route to/from Afghanistan is NOT the right solution. Pakistan earns revenues from these routes. Japan got a kick-start to its economy after the second world war because of the boost from transit supplies in the Korean war. Pakistan can do the same. The best way to protest is to temporarily block the air corridor over Pakistan and close Shamsi to any foreign country. On the other hand, it MUST attend the Bonn conference and exert it influence and leverage in a constructive manner. Pakistan historically was an active and constructive participant on the global stage. It must continue to do so. What Pakistan must NOT do at this time is isolate itself and work against "world opinion" (which in today’s is more important than justice). Facilitate in ending the war in 2 years and move on with its own economic development. With its natural and human potential, it can be a player on the global stage just within a decade
waqar Nov 30, 2011 11:09pm
Having lived in Quetta for almost five years and befriending the nice and witty Hazaras,I will tend to agree with the author generally,however the people of Quetta including the Pakistan Army have not only felt this pain but also mourned it deeply with the Hazaras.I remember two suicide attacks against the Hazara community last year and how the CMH and military came all out to help the injured.that is why the Hazara community prefers to evacuate their injured to CMH than in civil hospital.Yes the media has not been fair with the community in sharing their anguish and pain,I totally agree with it.For Pakistan army soldiers,they have been laying their lives in Balochistan protecting the vital infrastructure as well as in FATA in war on terror,and now at the hands of NATO.We are all one whether Hazaras or Punjabies or Sindhies or Balochs.Let us unite instead of worrying on who is mourned more and who gets less attention.
Naimat Nov 30, 2011 11:10pm
Thanks alot for underlining the grievances of those minorities who believe and have faith in almighty Allah. People like you must come forward and offer their due responsibilities to support the innocent . Thanks alot once again.
abi Nov 30, 2011 11:32pm
Good article. But comparison, for contrast, of two totally different incidents is not justified.
Tilsim Dec 01, 2011 12:17am
Great article. Thanks for presenting your views. The difference in the way such killings are treated lies with our prejudices. We are an extremely prejudiced and divided lot. We put our brave soldiers on a pedestal but deny the same treatment to the weak members of our nation. We should self reflect at the prejudice within us and correct it.
ahsan Dec 01, 2011 12:23am
Very nice article
Abdul Qadir Dec 01, 2011 12:36am
Thumbs up.All men are equal but some are more equal...This is what every society, culture, religion and history has been witnessed to
scheraze Hyder Dec 01, 2011 01:47am
Dear writer! We are a very unfortunate nation. Prolonged oppression, authoritarian ruthlessness, strangulated dissension, targetted violence and self-determined helplessness has pushed us to a perpetual state of cowardice. Survival and opportunism and are the key words, which have made us learn how to acquiesce against our conscience. We yell in the streets only for what is perceived as a common cause. Mourning the killing of a Hazara does not fit in to our cultural singularism. When a Hazara dies for a common cause, we all will mourn him. An academic may like to consider this as posthumous assimilation of an ‘alien’ in an anti-pluralist society.
MOTIRAM LALWANI Dec 01, 2011 03:19am
Shahid Dec 01, 2011 03:39am
What a twisted logic - if I call you a name, do I deserve to be killed for that?
yasir Dec 01, 2011 04:17am
You’ve to put things in perspective. Life doesn’t have any value in Pakistan -regardless its from army or no army. Thousands of Pakistani soldiers have died & there has been no acknowledgement either. This one is different – this is not Pakistani killing Pakistanis – which unfortunately has become pretty normal. This is foreign intervention.
Jamal Dec 01, 2011 05:54am
Completely agree
Zeshan Dec 01, 2011 06:42am
wrong timing and baseless comparison
Muhammad Farooq Dec 01, 2011 07:03am
Human lives are precious regardless of caste, creed and color. We should be equally concerned about protecting minorities. Thank you Murtaza Haider for this well timed piece of writing. Those who are in power must understand it.
Faisal Dec 01, 2011 07:09am
Was any investigation /probe done on this matter, I am guessing NO, but if they did, would it have mattered NO, why because we all know official probes are meant to give an impression that action is being taken, when in reality, they are intended to cover up the truth.
Ali Dec 01, 2011 07:34am
Read the article again, mate......its not quite oranges and apples, mabye more of red apples and pink ones.
Ghilzai Dec 01, 2011 07:51am
Murtaza: Thank you for the article, Pakistan needs to abolish the discriminatory laws and legislate hate crime laws to protect Shias, Ahmedies and other peaceful minorities in Pakistan.
jalaluddin S. Hussai Dec 01, 2011 09:24am
Really, it is not only the minorities who are suffering in Pakistan but more than 99 per cent of the population also. Perhaps, there is only 1 per cent of the Pakistans, who are really reaping all the benefits. It is 99 per cent against 1 per cent! If we can have Occupy Wall Street Movement in the West, why not Occupy the Insensitive Pakistanis (i per cent) Movement also?
Muhammed Dec 01, 2011 09:36am
Those 24 killed were part of the 34000+ killed in Pakistan in the US war and over a million killed around the world in the US War on Terror and he wants to justify it by pointing to sectarian killings. One even occurs at the international level the other at the intra-national level. Did the US stop and think that since most Americans are killed by other Americans, they should not launch a global war?
Syed Arbab Ahmed (@S Dec 01, 2011 09:42am
Allah will judge 'SECTS' not us!!! Then why Sectarian violence?
Rehan Malick Dec 01, 2011 09:47am
Nice article and poignant but I do not see in this article any mention of atrocities against other minorities ... why is the author fixating on one incident, albeit in detail, against the Shias? What one gathers from this article then is, that atrocities are only being committed against the Shia community whereas the article starts off as being a champion for all minorities. Do I sense the author's bias here?
Sharma Anil ( India Dec 01, 2011 10:01am
Breach of trust is the problem. There cooperation between US and Pakistan was based on trust. That is why NATO killings of Pakistani soldiers whip up so much anger. When it come to the killings of minorities by the militants 'representing' the majority, people do not take it as a surprise.
Adnan Dec 01, 2011 10:41am
Thumbs up Sir. There is no second opinion in it. Even our process of thinking or reaction over incidents-be it inflation or law & order or anyother, is controlled by some powerful mover and shaker. Take recent example, Memo gate scandle gone and we are busy in beating NATO strike drums as if it has happened for the first time. Lets see what comes next to keep this nation engaged.
Maulvi Imran Ahmed Dec 01, 2011 10:42am
Good article. I would have wanted at least a nominal reference to the suffering of a few other minorities. Ahmadis have been shamelessly persecuted, the same applies to Christians and Hindus. Parsis, Sikhs, dark skinned people from Makran, and others. The intolerance being taught to our children is frightening.
Ehsan Leghari Dec 01, 2011 12:34pm
I am surprised no mention is made of the other victims of countless NATO strikes: the victims of drones. That would have been more RELEVANT. And using this incident to talk about sectarian/minority thing is dishonest at the very least and stinks of the author having an agenda. Another interesting thing is that among all the killings going on in Balochistan, the author can only see the Haraza Shia community. He knows 435 Hazarans have been killed. Care to tell us how many thousands non-Hazarans were killed in the same period? I guess "Not all deaths are same" after all ;-)
Mohammad Ali Dec 01, 2011 12:55pm
Nice article. You're becoming the voice of innocent Shia Muslims killed in every part of the Country (Pakistan).. From Quetta to DI Khan to Parachinar.. May God gives you the strength and persistence to go further. Ameen.
Shah Dec 01, 2011 01:46pm
Dear Sir Murtaza, please accept my gratitudes for standing besides the innocents and making the deaf Pakitani Army Generals and politicians realize that common people in Pakistan are also equal human beings and their deaths and sufferings should equally be griefed and their rights protected rather than playing dirty game with their life for their petty and self-immolating policies. Indeed, very less writers in Pakistan stand besides the fact and uphold the human dignity, majority are now dictated by the establishment and they keep misguiding people on the desire of their masters. I really admire your courage and hope to see more such articles in future.
omair Dec 01, 2011 01:54pm
OH MR MURTAZA, why is your principal focus always on the shias,i have always read many articles of your moral of all is always the same.why not other minorities are being discussed here and don't you know the condition of our country here nobody is secure but you just like a foreign tourist open your eyes at the house of shia victims,in no way i am justifying the acts but in no way this should be compared to nato attack killings, we live in a world not in a paradise and to clarify the difference let me give you an example,if a brother slaps a brother daddy will not take it seriously but if a stranger slaps him that is where daddy writ counts ,or lets say in cricket international matches are given more importance than domestics i hope point is clear its all about sovereignty.
Munir Varraich Dec 01, 2011 02:09pm
When the attack is from without, Pakistanis have always stood united. It is for that reason that the enemy started attacks from within, ethnic and sectarian issues. If the government cannot defend from the enemy from within then the government must go. MAV
hamid nawaz Dec 01, 2011 02:31pm
Although this a nice article. But i notice over here is the same problem i.e., out bias approach, which is resulting in sectarian,ethnic violence against the others. What I mean so say we can not to be neutral. The author over focused over shia minorities. How about the others. Unless we can not go beyond such affiliations, we can not solve our problems, even we can not a balanced article.
Zafar Dec 01, 2011 03:12pm
Thanks for enlighting Murtaza. There are poeple who can cry over their deaths, but it is so ennoying that Hazaras even can't do that. They are even punished for mourning their deaths.
Muhammad asif Dec 01, 2011 03:59pm
Dear Murtaza, very nice and relevant article. i really appreciate your research and efforts. In your article although the main comparison is the innocent shia Hazaras, but there is message and condolence for every one in this country who are targetted because of their faith or language.
Ammar Dec 01, 2011 04:54pm
In my previous post I did not comment on the actual article from Mr. Haider. It is inspiring to see that there are scholars who are not afraid to speak out the truth. I would also like to thank Dawn for covering this important issue. The focus of this article is the atrocities against Hazara community in Baluchistan who are continuously subjected to violence only because they belong to a minority sect. It doesn't mean the author intends to detract importance of incidents against other communities. I request all readers to keep this in mind and join the author in expressing their sympathies for the Hazara families that have been affected and condemn these acts of violence. God bless you all.
Reza Dec 01, 2011 06:09pm
From your example, it looks like some child has quoted, the issue is not just shia minorities, he's written about hazara minority group who's been victims of terrorism more than any sect/religion or a minority group. They have lost their lives for committing no crime and you give examples of cricket matches? grow up man!
Saurabh Prakash Dec 01, 2011 06:31pm
Good to see that there are some good, sane people in Pakistan. We hope and pray that you will find your way out of this mess and be a true nation some day. Unfortunately though, it may yet require many sacrifices.
imran Dec 01, 2011 07:19pm
after having read ur article and the Opinions i am compelled to say....... BHENS KEY AAGAY BEEN BAJANA.... this is the typical way all the pakistanis think and react they are GHULAM IBNAY GHULAM and this is clear from some of the reactions which try to defend by not accepting the COMPARISON between the killings...
Jameel ur Rasheed Dec 01, 2011 10:10pm
Well the prime focus of the Shia brethren is to focus on the atrocities being done to them without giving even slightest hints to the readers that don't even contribute iota towards the law and order situation of the country. No minority in the world enjoys such privileges that entire nation comes to halt for their rallies and every activity is paralyzed from Khyber to Karachi. While on the other hand they keep on increasing the area through which they take their jaloos each year making the rallies more prone towards terror attacks. After these we have a very consistent trend of Ashura rallies being attacked each year and markets being burnt by the angry mob.
khes Dec 01, 2011 11:08pm
excellent article, minority groups have to be spoken about.
nadir Dec 01, 2011 11:20pm
Dear Murtaza Haider, you are correct to point out that we do not mourn the death of every innocent. but you are doing exactly the same by just highlighting the grievances of one community. if we start counting the number of dead according to their ethnicity, we ll sure not be just. lets not divide ourselves. lets strive to forget the differences and speak for all the victims with no regard to which community they belong.
Citizen X Dec 02, 2011 10:29am
Murtaza, The problem isn't people mourning minorities death, the problem is people thinking life all life is not valuable at a all. There are hundred more deaths that happen in Pakistan that have nothing to do with caste, creed or sect. What about mourning them? Crying over a sect or creed is falling for the same bias that those who perpetrated the attack fell for. Issue is not about mourning, issue is about following rule of law, eliminating corruption. X
Aziz Azra Dec 03, 2011 12:06pm
You have highlighted the problems of Hazara very well, Nice article, Keep it up
Naseem Hazara Dec 05, 2011 12:11am
Congratulations Mr. Murtaza Haider, you have pointed out a really serious point.... You know why all deaths are not mourned the same...???? because in some of them some of us are involved who mourn a lot nowadays for our brothers killed in Mohmand by Nato..... Three Hindus get killed and get noticed by President and the worldwide authorities... but more than thousands get killed from a tribe in Quetta or other people around Pakistan but no authority wills even to talk or considers it useless.... God Help Muslims at least to help themselves.....
Naseem Hazara Dec 05, 2011 12:14am
Change the word mourning with protesting... you get the article....or investigating...