‘Hazara Shia’s refuse to Bury their Dead’. This was a morbid headline, one would have hoped to hear only once in a lifetime. Coming to terms with such horrific tragedies is a near impossible task but having to reconcile with the same grotesque violence within less than a month of is surely a travesty. One witnessed with silent tears and an aching numbness the painfully tragic sight of another hundred Hazara families sitting on Alamdar road for days in February 2013. Earlier on January 10th, 2013 two bomb blasts targeting the Hazara Shia community killed almost 120 people in a busy marketplace in Quetta.
While such violent incidents are not a novelty for Shias in Pakistan, what was novel was the way in which the protest against these incidents was registered. The Hazara Shias of Quetta who have been systematically and ruthlessly killed for almost a decade, refused to bury their dead and sat alongside with 86 bodies on the streets for three days and nights, through torrential rain and cold weather. Such a heart-wrenching protest, which drew an overwhelming nationwide response of sympathy from not just from Shia communities but from mainstream civil society, sought to highlight the injustices faced by the community and the lack of state response which can be judged from the fact that none of the perpetrators have ever been arrested or prosecuted or even punished for the incendiary vitriol spewed by such militant groups.
(Translation: ‘I will strengthen all hearts against the Shias to the extent that no Sunni will ever agree to even shake hands with them. They will die their own death, we will not need to kill them anymore. We will make it difficult for the Shia to even breathe and they will think how can I stay in this city any longer’ Aurangzeb Farooqi, Leader Sipah-Sahaba Pakistan January 13, 2013). Continue reading