Image from Huffington Post
The targeting of Minority ‘Others’ in Pakistan
Apart from the Ahmadis, Hazara and Shi’a Muslim ‘Others’ have also been subjected to frightening levels of targeting and discrimination. “Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the killing of Hazaras and other Shi’as” – who, together, comprise about 20% of Pakistan’s population” – by the extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which is allied to the Taliban. The killers, who often strike in the daytime and brazenly leave their faces exposed”, Aubrey Belford reported in December 2012:
carry out their work with little hindrance from the authorities. Some allege they have state support … Hazaras have been the targets of such attacks for more than a decade, but recently these have become much more frequent. More than 100 people have been killed [in 2012]. It is almost unheard of for anyone to be brought to justice for the attacks. The one exception was the jailing of two militants over a 2003 attack; held in a high-security prison after their conviction, the militants managed to ‘escape’ in 2008.
Few Hazaras trust the police, soldiers or the paramilitary Frontier Corps, and few are now brave enough to travel freely around town … The Pakistani military have been accused of, at best, doing little to stop attacks on Hazaras, and at worst, being directly linked to them.
‘Every Hazara is afraid to go to the bazaar. We’re bound in our areas’, [Syed] Ahmed [whose father was murdered] explains. ‘I’m afraid to go to the market, too. I’m afraid of the police and, especially, I’m afraid of the Frontier Corps. They say they’re security, but they’re part of [the killings], too’.ccxli