Pakistan

Hazaras of Balochistan

By Adnan Ahmed

In the annals of world’s history, there have been instances when communities have been subjected to the subjugation, wretchedness, racism, violence, and bloodshed specifically because of their lineage, lineament, race, color, caste, religion, sect, and specific territory they live in. Sad is the fact that in Pakistan, the country which was founded under the banner of the peaceful most religion of Islam and whose edifice was stemmed on Islamic injunctions and instructions, there is a ‘suppressed’ community whose lives and security have incessantly been jeopardized by the non-state actors, extremists, and terrorist just because of their sect. The Hazaras of Balochistan have been allegedly targeted all along in Balochsitan and been receiving the blood-drenched bodies of their loved ones incessantly.

However, despite all the brutalities, admiring is the fact that the Hazaras never took anti-state stance in any manner and matter whatsoever. Rather they have been a strong asseverator and votary of enlightenment, pacifism, moderation, Muslim brotherhood, and harmony in the province and in the country in general.

Regarding Hazaras origin, a look at the history of most subjugated community of Pakistan reveals that Hazaras are from the lineage of Ganges Khan, the then conqueror of the world. As in the Book written by Abdul Aali Asghari, an Hazara author, entitles as “Hazara Siyasat or Balochistan”, the origin of Hazaras is also linked with the Mongols. Apart from that, myriad international studies have found that the genetic chain of the Hazaras of Pakistan are linked with the Mongols and Ganges khan.

Hazaras services for the Mother Land are inestimable; Hazaras have been offering their services in Pakistan Army, they have been much active in sports activities, they have been in civil services and have also been prominent in other realms of life. Indeed, they have been playing their indomitable part in every which way that directly or indirectly have jumble of prolific impacts for not only their own community but also for making Pakistan proud in the world. 

Pakistan in general and Balochistan takes pride in producing the much-celebrated Hazara talents across the world. General Musa Khan, who lead Pakistan Army and gave a calamitous defeat to India in the war of 1965; Batool Asadi, the former Assistant Commissioner of Quetta; Pakistani Olympian Abrar Hussain, a renowned Boxer; Sarwat Fatima, who is a child Badminton player; Shazia Batool, a differently abled artist who won various awards and has been honored with the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the government of Pakistan; Saira Batool, (a pilot from Quetta belonging to Hazara community); Jalila Haider (human rights activist and the recipient of the International Woman of Courage Award for the year 2020); Nayab Batool (an emerging singer from Hazara community); Shahida Hazara (who won the gold medalist in the 13th South Asian Games); Kulsum Hazara (an acclaimed karate player and renowned athlete); Qublaye Khan, a 11 years old Rubik Cuber. And the list of the Hazara talent is indeed inexhaustible.

Although, Hazaras have been in the domestic, national, and international limelight because of their unmatchable and quintessential talents, there have also been almost uncountable tragic incidents which are enough to make even the most obdurate heart melt regarding the savageness and severity of the bloodshed which have been meted out with them time and again. Because of such tragic incidents and psychological traumas, the Hazara community have been found immersed in myriad psychological disorders. 

For instance, recently some talented students attached with Bolanians’ Research Forum conducted a very comprehensive study on Hazara community. The research entitles, “Assessment of Psychological Status (PTSD and Depression) Among the Terrorism Affected Hazaras Community in Quetta, Pakistan” was published in the Cambridge Medicine Journal which reports psychological screening of the terrorism affected Hazara Community of Balochistan.

The study concludes that there is a high prevalence of psychiatric disorders within the Hazara Community. The PTSD & Depression were reported among 68.2% & 51.7% of respondents, respectively. In the conclusion, the study also recommended that the health department conduct immediate surveys to assess the psychological status among the community in case of an unfortunate terrorist attack. Special psychiatric campus and depression awareness programs are also recommended to be held in Hazara specific areas along with long term follow up based counseling for the identified victims of terrorism related mental health disorders.   

Contemporarily, to harness Hazaras’ potential, their lineament, lineage, and sect combined with their intellect can be activated and utilized for diplomacy purposes for the state; specially for making more congenial and gregarious relations with the neighbors like Iran and Afghanistan as Hazaras has historic origins in Afghanistan and religious knots with Iran. While the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who have never been in ingratiating terms with the state of Pakistan for being Taliban pro in Afghanistan- as proclaimed by them- can be made camaraderie vis-à-vis Hazara diplomacy; hence making Indian machination against Pakistan by orchestrating propagandas in Afghanistan, void.

Additionally, now the world has overwhelmingly changed; as in the traditional diplomatic milieu, new strategies and techniques are being placed to snag the ties in diplomatic relations which have reached to a stalemate previously.  There have been backchannel diplomacies, for instance sports diplomacy, science diplomacy, religious diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, economic diplomacy, and many others. For the state of Pakistan, there is an opportunity to activate the ‘Hazara Diplomacy’ to create a bonhomie especially with Iran and the Northern Alliance groups of Afghanistan. 

That type of diplomacy is neither awkward nor skewed and rudimentary, as there have been such diplomatic strategies to have considerable amiability with not-so-happy states. For instance, historically China has been using Ping-Pong diplomacy; and even currently use “Panda diplomacy” to insinuate with the states. Much recent example regarding such diplomacy is that of American collaborator or the diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad; may be by making a Muslim-sounding-name persona a collaborator, the aim of psychological impact over the Taliban mindsets with which they can feel congenial to negotiate is achieved.

Finally, there are indeed lessons to learn for the whole nation from the unflagging resolve, relenting determination, unyielding persistence, indomitable optimism, and can-do spirit of Hazaras. Indeed, with their titanic struggles, Spartan courage and herculean exertions, Hazaras not only made us proud but also worthy of emulation. Now for the state and government, if they intended to cash and harness the unmatchable and infinite potential of this community, the sports especially the martial arts, gymnastics, and adventurous sports domains are the best suited fields in which Hazaras if given the facilities and amenities can do wonders for the province and the country.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Tribune Wired and Tribune Wired does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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