Wednesday May 22, 2024

Timeline of attacks on the Hazara community

By Sabir Shah
January 08, 2021

LAHORE: The Hazara community, residing in and around the Quetta City, has been an easy prey for terrorists since February 9, 2001 at least, when eight passengers traveling in a van en route from Hazara Town to Alamdar road of the provincial Metropolis were shot dead mercilessly by unknown gunmen.

The Hazaras, hailing from the Shia sect, had been living in Afghanistan since 1880s, but almost all had to migrate to Pakistan after they were subjected to persecution and violence between 1883 and 1893 by Afghan King Abdur Rehman.

Over 60 percent of the total Hazara population was killed or displaced during Abdur Rehman's reign, with thousands fleeing to Quetta and its adjoining areas.

The alleged genocide of Hazaras continued during 1990s at the hands of the Afghan Taliban. The ethnic cleansing of the Hazaras, whose ethnicity is easily identifiable due to their physical features, was also carried out unabated by some disbanded terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Chronicles of History reveal that while Hazara women and old men were sold as slaves, many young Hazara girls were kept as concubines by Afghan kings after 1888.

Books like Sayed Askar Mousavi's "The Hazaras of Afghanistan: A historical, cultural, economic and political Study" and the 1893 letters of Major-General Sir James Browne, the British Empire's Agent to the Governor-General in Balochistan, addressed to the Foreign Secretary of the Government of India, shed enough light on how the repression was followed by an uprising of Hazaras, but their plight and agony continues till date with no saviour in sight.

Here follows a brief chronology and timeline of some major attacks on the Hazaras in Pakistan:

June 8, 2003: A dozen Hazara police cadets were killed when two assailants opened fire on their vehicle. The attack that occurred on Saryab Road, Quetta, had left nine others injured.

July 4, 2003: Some 55 people were killed and over 150 were injured in an attack on worshipers during Friday Prayers on Mekongi road of Quetta. March 2, 2004: At least 60 people had perished when a religious procession of the Shia Muslims was attacked with extensive open-firing which followed an explosion by rival Sunni extremists at Liaquat Bazaar in Quetta on Tenth of Muharram. Lashkar-e Jhangvi had claimed the responsibility.

September 3, 2010: At least 73 people were killed and 206 injured when a bomb exploded during a rally in Quetta.

May 6, 2011: Eight people were killed when some armed men had fired rockets at Hazara people playing outside in an open field. Children were among the victims too.

June 16, 2011: Abrar Hussain, an Olympian Pakistani boxer and Chairman Balochistan Sports Board, was assassinated near Ayub National Stadium in Quetta.

August 31, 2011: Some 13 humans perished when a suicide bomber had blown himself up in the morning of Eid near Hazara Eid Gah, Quetta.

September 20, 2011: A bus carrying pilgrims to Taftan was stopped in Mastung near Quetta, and after identifying and sidelining Hazara passengers, miscreants massacred 26 of them. Three more were shot dead when they were on their way to collect the bodies.

September 23, 2011: Five more Shia Hazara were casualties in an attack when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a van.

January 26, 2012: Three more Hazara men were shot dead in Quetta. Two of the victims were public servants and the third one Abid Ali Nazish, was a television artist.

March 29, 2012: A cab carrying passengers from Hazara Town was sprayed with bullets, which killed seven and injured six. This was the third attack on the community in just one week. Two more boys under 16 were shot dead by the police as they tried to disperse angry protesters blocking traffic, raising the death toll to nine.

April 3, 2012: Two Hazara men were shot dead in Mekongi road, Quetta, as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had claimed responsibility for the attack.

April 9, 2012: Six men were killed by unidentified gunmen on Prince road of Quetta.

April 12, 2012: Three businessmen were gunned down in the busiest bazaars of the Quetta city in two separate incidents.

April 14, 2012: Eight Hazara men were killed on their way to work when armed assailants opened fire on a taxi carrying them on Brewery road, Quetta.

April 21, 2012: Two brothers were shot dead on Brewery road adjacent to Hazara Town, Quetta.

May 15, 2012: Two brothers were killed outside Quetta Passport Office.

June 28, 2012: At least 15 people were killed when a suicide attack occurred on a bus in Quetta. The bus carrying 60 pilgrims had just returned from Iran.

November 6, 2012: Three more Hazaras killed on Spinny Road in Quetta.

January 10, 2013: Several bombings took place in Quetta, killing at least 115 people in total and wounding more than 270. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed the responsibility of these attacks.

February 16, 2013: A deadly bomb blast at Kirani Road, near Hazara Town of Quetta, had killed 73 and wounded at least 180 people from Shia community. The deadly bombing chad come after 36 days of Governor's Rule that was imposed in Balochistan following Alamdar Road's multiple bombings on January 10 of the same year in Quetta.

June 30, 2013: At least 33 Hazaras were killed when Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists had exploded an improvised explosive device in a crowded area in Ali Abad, Hazara Town area.