Saturday, October 13, 2012

PAKISTAN: Where do we go from here?

Editor’s remarks: We should not expect foreign countries to come and help fight religious fanatics and political exploiters in Pakistan. It is the task of the politically-conscious citizens of Pakistan to have a broad common front to combat them. In Pakistan, unlike Norway and other European countries, religion and political power have worked closely together. Islam has been used, misused, perverted and exploited to the full by both the religious parties who have used Islam to impose their political agenda on the people and also by the political establishment who have used Islam for slogan-mongering to gain support. The results are before us. The ideological bankruptcy of the two has left Pakistani people in a quagmire of despair and apathy. The only people who can change the situation are the people of Pakistan, no one else. In a culture where power and the powerful are worshipped, there are brave progressive and democratic people who are struggling to safeguard the political and social interests of the ordinary people and bring a political change in the country. Let us support them!

Nasir  Khan, Editor

Report: by Dr Saleem Javed, The Friday Times, October 12, 2012

About 1,000 Hazaras  have been killed in Balochistan in the last decade, and the community is protesting all over the world

On October 4, a Hazara public official Sikander Ali was killed and two other men were injured in an attack on their vehicle on the National Highway near Kuchlak. Days later, two Shia men were killed in Quetta.
Almost 1,000 Shias, mostly Hazaras, have been killed in Quetta in the last 10 years. Although attacks on Shias have increased across Pakistan, the Hazara ethnic community in Balochistan has been especially targeted. One in 500 people of this small community of half a million have been killed in Balochistan since 1999. Around 25,000 Hazaras – about 5 percent of the entire Hazara population in Balochistan – have left the province for Afghanistan, Europe and Australia since 2001.
Most young Hazara people cannot attend universities and colleges in Quetta because of security fears. Data compiled by the Hazara Students Federation shows admissions of Hazara students in Balochistan University have declined by 42 percent since 2008, and enrolment in colleges outside Hazara-dominated areas has decreased by almost 95 percent.
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