Celebration for Independence day on the land of martyrdom “Karbala”.
Far from the city, inside the layers of mountains. Unseen nature of my nation, approximately Baluchistan is covered by mountains and deserts, Like Koh-i-Chiltan, Takatu, CharShakh, Koh-i-Sulaiman and many more, these are the toughest and the tallest by height. So many hikers have been climbed on such of them.
- CharShakh; CharShakh is next to Koh-i-Murdar, basically it have 4 peaks with Latitude:30°10’48.73″ , Longitude: 67°3’43.55″.
- Koh-i-Chiltan; Koh-i-Chiltan is the summit of a steep, rocky mountain called Chiltan or Chehel-Tan (Persian/Balochi: ‘Forty Bodies’). Koh-i-Chiltan is the highest peak of Chiltan range at 3,194 metres (10,479 ft), it is the third highest peak of Quetta after Zarghoon Ghar and Koh-i-Takatu, and fifth highest peak of Balochistan.
- Koh-i-Takatu; Koh-i-Takatuis a peak located in the Sulaiman Mountains range, in the Quetta District of Balochistan Province, in western Pakistan. The highest peak of the range is Loai Saar at 3,472 metres (11,391 ft), it is the second highest peak of Quetta District, and third highest peak of Balochistan.
- Koh-i-Sulaiman; The Sulaiman Mountains are the southern extension of the Hindu Kushmountain system. In Frontier Region Dera Ismail Khan, the highest peak of the Sulaimans is Takht-e-Sulaiman or “Throne of Solomon” metres (11,440 ft). In Balochistan, its highest peak is Zarghun Ghar at 3,578 metres (11,739 ft) near Quetta city; while at 3,487 the second-highest is Khilafat Hill at 3,475 metres (11,401 ft) in Ziarat district.
We all are familiar with the current situation of Quetta, the capital city of Baluchistan. There was a time when we longed to hear about Quetta in the news. But now saddening news about this city is heard every day. Peace is nowhere to be found in the city. The followers of a particular sect are being targeted again and again. It is a strange situation; the terrorists who want to destroy the peace of the whole region apparently are targeting a single ethnic group, who’s filling the graveyards with their loved ones one after another. May be all their hopes are shattered as facing such a circumstance isn’t an easy thing to do. I am truly astounded, after burring their loved ones, after being targeted on such a scale, after bearing such hardships how are these people so peaceful. And what is it that the terrorist want to achieve by targeting such peaceful people? After all who’s interests are committed to their death, who wants to see them helpless and why?
The Shia Hazara community is settled in Quetta from more than a century. Every person of this community loves the city. The beauty and peace of this city had its fame all across the country. Every sect was in peace and harmony here. But then the city was afflicted by an evil eye and the minority Hazara group became the target of terrorism. Its start was from an incident which took place in 2003 at Imambargah e Kalan when during the Friday prayers the terrorists opened fired and took lives of many people. Later a group called Sipah e Sahaba accepted the blame of this heinous crime. And this group was later banned in the country. Next year the Ashura Procession was targeted and again Sipah e Sahaba was there to accept the blame. This group kept committing such crimes and after a few years a new group emerged whose sole purpose was targeted killing and they also started their operations. From then on the banned SIpah e Sahaba’s agents are operating successfully against a particular sect. People where then unable to understand what this group wants, who are they and why are they murdering us. But then Sipah e Sahaba said that we are murdering this ethnic group because they belong to Iran and they have the support of Iran, which is a white lie.
Before all this the traders of Hazara community were trading in all parts of the city including the main markets. But as the situation got worse and their murder day by day pushed them back and altast they were confined to Alamdar road. Besides, FC check posts were established in Alamdar road in the name of security and every item of daily household was then available at Alamdar road. Different trades started to emerge and today we have access to every item of need. But in the meanwhile no one seems to think about how they are confined in the corner and they are cutoff from the rest of the city. Cutting off from the mainstream trade of the city won’t do any good for the Hazara Community. Instead the enemy has stripped them off of their rights.
All these incidents of terrorism have dealt a serious blow to the Shia Hazara Community. They were attacked during and at almost every religious and non religious event whether it’s their Friday prayers, Ashura procession, Yum ul Quds and even they were targeted in the hospitals. Sometimes it’s the students going to their universities and on other occasions they weren’t even allowed to celebrate Eid. Even all as of this was not enough; they were attacked at their homes and streets. The only way of this oppressed community to be heard was media. Different pages in the social media started to highlight their plight, news papers were full of statements. At first their story was all over the electronic media but with time all these stories were accepted as a daily routine and today not even a slide is on aired on their deadly onslaught. At start they were targeted and murdered one by one and every day. A crowd of people gathered in Alamdar road and picked up the corpses with a saddened heart, buried the dead and waited for the next incident. Then was the bomb blast of the 10th January when Alamdar road gave the sight of hell. Almost 90 or 100 people were martyred in the incident. A sit-in was arranged against this cruel and heinous crime whose demands were to forfeit the government of the unworthy and unqualified Chief Minister Aslam Raisani. In response to this protest not only the brave citizens of Pakistan but all over the world people raised their voices in solidarity with oppressed people of Quetta. Also the politicians of every level raised their concern and showed their condolences and participated in the protest. In these protests, people blocked the main roads highways and almost all of the country was in a state of shutdown. At last this protest was successful to bring the federal government on their knees and the Prime Minister visited Quetta and Alamdar road. And he was forced to accept the just demands of the protest. This protest was indeed deemed as the historic sit-in of Pakistan and even today different politicians give its example.
After Sipah e Sahaba was banned, it emerged with a new name as Ahl Sunnat wal Jamat and is openly engaged in different operations in Quetta. It’s on open secret that Sipah e Sahaba is involved in target killing and terrorism but in spite of all this the silence of the government is a question mark on their performance. The terrorists openly accept their crimes and even threaten for further attacks but no action is taken against such oppressors and also the administration doesn’t seem to break its silence. May be it’s an evidence that they themselves don’t want to change the situation which is why these terrorists are given a free hand. The same situation existed in the era of dictatorship and now the same is going on in the era of the so-called democracy. It’s always the government who’s to be blamed but the government agents themselves seem helpless. Different questions rise in the mind. From where do these weapons come in such big numbers? Why is the government quite on the issue? Why is the establishment turning a blind eye to them? Who train them? And the biggest question is what is that they want to achieve?
The worsening situation of Quetta has forced many people to migrate and many of them have migrated and went to different parts of the country and the world where they feel safe. There is a saying “جان ہے تو جہاں ہے”. May be that’s today Hazara community’s members and spread all across the world. Despite being thousands of miles away they always think of Quetta and their hearts beat for their brothers in Quetta. Every one of them hopes for one day peace will prevail and a time will come when their killers will be judged. A day will come when everyone in this city will live in peace and harmony and a time will come when the evil and terror will disappear. Insha…
Writing courtesy: Ejaz Ali Translation: Zeeshan Jaffery