Youth Voices

The Valley of Martyrs

By Hammal Kashani

‎”I am born to fight for human rights and peace. My religion is respect and love all the religions,” words of Irfan Ali Khudi one of the martyrs of 10th Jan 2013 blasts in quetta. 81 Shia’s have embraced martyrdom till the latest update. – Progressive Shia Activists of Pakistan

The beautiful valley of hazaras, situated between the Alamdar road and the neighbouring Koh-a-Murdar, once known for its peace, love and brotherhood, is now living under the shadow of blood-stained guns and bullets. The hospitable hazaras who had been living in Quetta since the 19th century are in grave danger. Here each day breaks with the fear of losing a loved one and usually ends with losing that person. The target killing of hazaras is a routine practice in this bloody city of Quetta. Every house has a unique, tragic story to share. So far more than 1000 hazaras have been killed in Quetta, including students, doctors, government officials, lawyers, journalists, political and religious leaders, labourers – persons from literally every walk of life. Children are being orphaned, and women are being widowed, but the provincial and federal government are busy in highlighting their victories, with no regard for the human loss, whatsoever.

Source: cityfm89.com

Graveyard in Quetta, Hazara Town: Kohi Marri, Source: cityfm89.com

The foremost responsibility of a government is to protect its citizens, but the government of Balochistan has totally failed to do so. It seems that the government authorities have gone deaf from the screams of hazara community. The community appears to be dead; students have left their schools/universities, and shopkeepers have closed their shops. Many families have migrated from Quetta to other parts of the country, and few are compelled to use the deadly route of sea to enter into Australia. Several people have lost their lives along the way.

Hazaras have lost complete hope from both the federal and provincial government and are now looking towards the international community to protect them from these brutal aliens. I am using the word “alien” as none of the killers have been identified or captured yet. Although the supreme court is hearing the case of Balochistan law and order situation, but many feel hopeless. The human rights activists have attempted to highlight this issue, but instead of giving plain newspaper statements, something more practical needs to be done.

I would like to conclude with these words,

I dream of that day when hazaras are given access to justice and equality, and when we have congregational prayers in Pakistan in which sunnis and shias stand shoulder-to-shoulder.

PHOTO Banaras Khan

PHOTO Banaras Khan