Afghanistan: Who are the Hazaras? | Taliban | Al Jazeera
represents racial conflict between the Pashtuns and Hazaras, two different Racial discrimination is one of the worst social problems that still exists until now. As the Pashtun Rahman started to extend his influence from Kabul by force to other Some of the other parties joined the fighting, intensifying the conflict and at one A key issue for the Hazara community is the general climate of impunity, . The conflict between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras mainly stems from the religious This is an unfortunate problem for their relationship.
Today Hazaras are easily recognised, because they are distinctly Asian in appearance. They are thought to be the descendants of Genghis Khan. They have been targeted by the Pashtun majority in Afghanistan for a long time, certainly since the time of King Abdurrahman inbut they are especially persecuted under the Taliban.
The Taliban, who are all Pashtun, are Sunni Muslim. In Afghanistan, and increasingly in lawless areas of Pakistan, relations between the two Muslim groups bring to mind the oppression of Roman Catholics in late 16th and early 17th century England, or more recently in Northern Ireland.
And so we have the unfortunate spectacle of a religious minority who are hated by the religious majority, who look physically different and, adding a historical resonance, Hazara men are circumcised. Pashtun animosity of the Hazaras increased during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Hazaras had traditionally been excluded from higher education girls were not allowed to be educated at allbut the Soviets thought all people should be entitled to an education. The Hazaras welcomed this and sided with the Soviets. The Americans, in pursuit of their goal of ousting the Soviets, set up a fighting force and armed them. They were the Taliban, drawn from the Pashtun majority.
The Taliban thus have historical, political and religious reasons for hating the Hazaras, and they have been peculiarly brutal in their assault. On 8 August the Taliban occupied Mazar-e Sharif. They conducted a murderous spree which lasted three days and killed at least Hazaras. In the years since, there have been many reported instances of attacks by Taliban on Hazarasboth in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, especially Quetta.
It is part of the territory the Hazarajat which was traditionally occupied by Hazaras before English cartographers created Afghanistan and, later, Pakistan. It is natural therefore that many Hazaras move from Afghanistan to Quetta. One part of Quetta is largely a Hazara ghetto.
But the Taliban are increasingly uncontrolled in Pakistan, and Hazaras who live in Quetta face the daily risk of being killed by a suicide bomber or shot by a Taliban sniper. Three Hazara friends of mine who came here as boat people but are now Australian citizens recently went to Quetta to visit family members. They returned to Australia shocked by what they had seen: They saw taxi drivers refuse to pick up Hazaras, for fear of being caught in an ambush.
Recent news reports tell a consistent story.
In Juneat least nine Hazara men were killed in an ambush in a remote area of central Afghanistan that is largely controlled by the Taliban. The Taliban subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to Afghan security officials, the attack occurred in a mountainous part of south-eastern Uruzguan Province that is not under government control, and it was reportedly motivated by the perception that Hazaras act as spies and informants to the international military forces in the area.
Just this year, on 10 Januarythere were murderous attacks on Hazaras in Quetta. Recently the Taliban have declared it their duty to kill Hazaras.
Hazara Pashtun Conflict by Alex Zhang on Prezi
The Taliban are engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Hazara people. As a result, many Hazaras have left Afghanistan; north to Iran, east into Pakistan, or using people smugglers to Europe, America or Australia. It has been estimated that the Hazara population in Afghanistan has reduced from 20 per cent to less than 10 per cent over the past 15 years.
Allied forces have announced that they will withdraw from Afghanistan in It is a certainty that Taliban attacks on Hazaras will increase uncontrollably when that happens. It is equally tragic to see our national character being damaged by a Labor Government which does not have the political spine to tell it as it is: Australia receives very few refugees: As it happens, the last time we got as many as 20, boat people in a year was in the late s, when the Fraser Government received between 20, and 25, Indo-Chinese boat people each year for a few years.
Of course, these numbers need to be assessed against the vast size of our continent; against our permanent migration figures ofplus per year; and against our great wealth. In the late nineteenth century he invaded the Hazarajat, the lands of Hazaras, and killed almost 60 per cent of the Hazaras. And the rest of them: According to Grant Farr, professor emeritus of sociology at Portland State University, by the end of the Hazara wars the Hazaras were leaderless, the upper class having either been killed or fled to Pakistan.
There were many killed. He took out the kind of the whole upper class of Hazaras: Up to recently it had been fairly well integrated into Pakistani society and it left the Hazaras that were left, the Hazaras that were left in the Hazarajat in the high mountains, leaderless. And they became more of a pariah group, looked down upon by the rest of the Afghans. And that was really the pivotal kind of time.
But that movement has continued: But their upper class during that time, or their ruling class, was either killed or they were forced into Pakistan, where they still live in the Quetta area. So how successful was the emir?
Was he able to bring the Hazarajat under the control of Kabul? Well, it worked to a limited degree. I say to a limited degree because although a lot of Hazaras were killed in the process, a lot managed to survive.
A lot were scattered to other parts of Afghanistan. So many Hazara labourers made their way to cities where they found their way into the lower stratum of society, doing the menial tasks that no one else wanted to do.
And this is one reason why one finds Hazaras in many of the towns and cities of Afghanistan as well as in the Hazarajat. For most of the early part of the twentieth century, the Hazaras either eked out an existence in the Hazarajat or worked in low paying jobs in the cities and towns of Afghanistan.
President Carter has again condemned the Soviet Union over its involvement in Afghanistan, saying his opinion of the Russians has changed drastically in the past week. He said Mr Brezhnev had claimed that the Afghan government had invited the Soviet Union to protect it from a third nation, but Mr Carter said this was obviously false. The resistance groups that we know about that fought the Soviet Union were largely Pashtun groups.
But the Hazaras came out, some of the groups tried to form resistance groups, but what they found when they came out to Peshawar or Quetta, or the other kinds of places in Pakistan from which the war was fought against the Soviet Union, that they got very little support.
So many of them turned to Iran.
Hazaras - Minority Rights Group
The Hazaras were always treated almost as second-class citizens by the Pashtuns: And they were mistreated. The Hazara resistance leadership was not based in Pakistan where the others were, but it was based in Iran, because Iran of course was a coreligionist, Iran being also a Shia country.
But the Hazaras then emerged as a very strong and more self-confident force, and once the war ended and the Soviets left inthey began to demand their rights. A general has crossed the Afghan border towards home in the final act of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to the latest edition of the weekly Literary Gazette, almost 15, Soviet soldiers and officers died and nearly 37, were crippled.
But it was a proud Lieutenant-General Boris Gromov who crossed into the Soviet border town of Termez at five minutes to midday.
The year-old general crossed behind the last column of about 50 tanks and men and said he would never look back. Well, for a while they seemed to fare well, particularly under the leadership of a man called Abdul Ali Mazari, who had been involved with an earlier party called the Organisation of Victory.
And he was leader of a significant militia which occupied part of Kabul between and But in early he was killed by the Taliban. For ordinary Hazaras, of course, this was not a great blessing. Because although Mazari and his forces controlled part of Kabul, there were other parts of Kabul where Hazaras were located which were very vulnerable. And in early there was a ghastly massacre called the Afshar Massacre in which hundreds of Hazaras were killed, predominantly by members of a militia led by a man called Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, who remains politically very prominent in Afghanistan to this day.
In Afghanistan, Taliban forces have taken control of the capital, Kabul. The takeover came as a surprise, not because the Taliban managed to do it, but because it came with a minimum of bloodshed. For the people of Jalalabad they were seen as avenging angels who had come to bring to justice those mujahedeen who had fallen on evil ways. That in many ways explains the success of the Taliban, that and a heady mix of religion and politics.
We then saw the rise of the Taliban, who hated the Shias, hated the Hazaras, massacred them in large numbers, conquered their territory, subjugated their women, and we see immense hatred between the Hazaras and the Pashtuns. And ever since then, I mean now with the whole threat of the Americans withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Hazaras are very fearful that if the Taliban come back in any way there will be a new ethnic and religious program against them. They arrived at four in the morning, Taliban in SUVs, and began burning down houses and executing civilians.
They lined up people by twos and shoot them. Further away down there, they took civilians and they cut off their heads. More than a million people faced starvation. It was not a good time for Hazaras in many parts of the country. The worst single massacre in the history of modern Afghanistan occurred in Mazar-i-Sharif in Augustwhen about Hazaras were massacred in three days when the Taliban took over the city.
And one of the people who led that particular massacre was a man called Abdul Manan Niazi, who was a fanatical Sunni chauvinist from the Shindand area in western Afghanistan. And that makes the Hazaras very vulnerable indeed. The official repression of the Hazaras by the Taliban ended with the arrival of the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan in Linda Mottram, AM archival: This morning the people of Kabul awake to their first full day of life free of the extreme Islamic strictures of the Taliban.
Forces of Taliban and al-Qaida have several choices. They can flee and reorganise in the south, they can flee and melt into the countryside, or they can defect. With the US-led invasion into Afghanistan and the ousting of the Taliban, did that lead to a significant change in life for the Hazaras in Afghanistan?
Again we need to distinguish between people at elite level and ordinary people. But having said that, the influence that these people exercise within the state in Kabul is virtually meaningless for ordinary Hazaras living in areas where the power of the state is very limited. And the capacity of the state to offer realistic protection for Hazaras against predatory groups such as the Taliban is negligible in most of the country. Hazaras differ from other groups in Afghanistan because of their progressive attitudes to education and women.
The Hazaras, they have been very much in love with education. They are very progressive people who have a history. The members of this community, they have been treating their wives somewhat equally in different respects of life. Like, even today if you go to the suburbs of Bamyan city you will find the women working together with the men in the fields.
Now today, for example, the only female governor in Afghanistan is a Hazara. And also there are many Hazara women who take interest in sports, who take interest in singing, in music, even in the armed forces. So either in Afghanistan or in Pakistan they have always given an equal chance to their female counterparts to improve.
One of the main issues that the Taliban had with the Hazaras was this: Why do you allow your women to come out of their homes?