Two customers popped in Fire Brigade Shopping Plaza on Meconogey Road, Quetta City, Pakistan around 4pm on 27th of May 2015. One of them walked to Haji Hussain shop, who was sitting on a small stool in his small shop. On seeing the customer, Haji stood up to receive the customer warmly, but he instead received several warm bullets in his chest. The other customer, in the meantime, went to the next shop, pulled his gun out and pumped multiple bullets into Muhammad Esa’s body. Later on, both killer customers moved to Haji Musa’s shop and shot several bullets in his body. The unknown armed men, after that, calmly managed to drive off to an unknown destination. It was not the first time that the unknown killers escaped to an unknown destination. It was the third time in two days, fourth time in fifteen days and 176 times for the past 14 years.
The main City Police Station is situated a few meters away from the killing scene while the Frontier Corps (FC) check post is literally 15 yards away. But it doesn’t make a difference, when it comes to Hazara killings in Pakistan especially Quetta City.
Haji Hussain died on the spot. Haji Musa succumbed to his injuries in the hospital, while Muhammad Esa is getting medical treatment in the hospital.
On 26th of May 2015 around 6pm, an unknown armed man, reportedly clad in a Police uniform, appeared at Saleem Complex, Jinnah Road, Quetta City and sprayed bullets on four Hazaras who were sitting in a private clinic — waiting for the doctor to get medical treatment. The killer shot killed two Hazara men on the scene and injured two Hazara women. The unknown armed man afterwards managed to escape to an unknown destination.
In the West, politicians run the political affairs of the country. They exercise political power and demonstrate governance. They make political decisions. They make political strategic visits. They make foreign and home policies. And they are elected by the people. But when we think of Pakistan, this is not what the people of Pakistan see the politicians doing. There’re some other people behind the doors, who make political decisions, make political strategic visits, and make foreign and home policies. Politicians are elected, sorry, selected by the invisible forces and they are accountable to “them” unfortunately.
I know that the military establishment has repeatedly denied of any involvement in the political affairs of Pakistan, but still there are people who believe that they are the real players who hold the real power and the real governance.
The political temperature in Islamabad seems to be rising every passing day. Federal government’s supporters who had earlier kept their mouths shut but they now have started holding public rallies which will surely heat up the political environment in Pakistan. The more political tension rises in Pakistan the more Imran Khan and Maulana Tahirul Qadari will benefit. Political crisis will prompt tension and tension will trigger violence and violence will invite the “elite force” to come forward to take control of the situation.
The sit-in protests have so far been peaceful in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. But will they remain peaceful in near future? Nobody knows. Will the protesters keep their nerve intact? We can hope so. But what if the federal government doesn’t pay attention to the six demands of Imran Khan comprising Nawaz Sharif’s resignation, re-elections, electoral reforms, formation of an impartial interim government through consensus among political parties, resignations of Election Commission of Pakistan’s member and to invoke article 6 of the constitution against those involved in the ‘rigging’ of May 2013 elections and awarded punishments.
Gone are the days when Muharram was observed by nearly all Muslims belonging to different sects of Islam. Now it is observed strictly under security from law enforcement agencies.
In Quetta, my neighbourhood used to be an example of religious harmony; non-Shiite Baloch, Brahvi and Pashtoon, all honoured the religious sentiments attached to the month of Muharram.
Playing football, flying kites and sharing our lunches with our friends, regardless of what sect they came from, was a part of my everyday life as a child. There was no objection from my elders regarding my routine as they used to socialise with our neighbours on a daily basis as well, which also included events such as weddings, funerals, Eids and Muharram.
No religious hatred ever existed between the people. Life was uncomplicated and harmonious. Continue reading
Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University is the only women’s university in Quetta. It was established in March, 2004 and approximately 3,000 female students are currently studying at this university. Last Saturday, something tragic happened that left these students scarred for life. Now, they worry if they will ever be able to pursue their dreams.
Like any other day, students attended their classes, packed their bags and switched on their cell phones to mark the end of their school day. They were chatting, laughing and bidding their friends farewell as they made their way towards the bus that would take them home. This was an everyday ritual at the university – nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary. Continue reading