Hazaras - Minority Rights Group
Les Hazaras de l'Afghanistan: Une étude de relations ethniques . The non- Pashtuns in Afghanistan continue to resent (even today) any suggestion that they . Countrywide, Pashtuns make up 42 per cent of the Afghan population, Tajiks 27per cent, and Hazaras and Uzbeks 9 per cent (AP). Hazaras are regarded as progressive in relation to women's rights .. which “sprang virtually out of the desert 10 years ago, and now is home to .. enmity between Afghanistan's Pashtun and Hazara communities has.
In the latter case, the older wife in polygamous marriages succeeds the deceased husband until the eldest sun reaches maturity. Educated Hazara women, in particular, those who returned from exile in Iran are often as active as men in civic and political arenas.
Hazara families are eager to educate their daughters. UN officials in Bamyan, the largest town in Hazarajat as well as the name of the province surrounding ithave reported that since the collapse of Taliban rule in lateaid agencies have scrambled to build schools and have succeeded in attracting qualified female teachers to meet the demand. Historical context Hazaras are believed to have settled in Afghanistan at least as far back as the thirteenth century.Who are Afghanistan's Hazara?
While President Karzai did appoint six Hazaras to his cabinet, there appears to be no reduction in the discrimination facing the majority of the Hazara population of Afghanistan. During the resistance in the mids, Hazaras maintained their own resistance group, some of which had ties with Iran. As an ethnic group, Hazaras have always lived on the edge of economic survival in Afghanistan. The recent persecution of Hazaras was not instigated by the Taliban but had existed for centuries — during which Hazaras were driven out of their lands, sold as slaves and lacked access to the essential services otherwise available to the majority of the population.
As the Pashtun Rahman started to extend his influence from Kabul by force to other parts of the country, the Hazaras were the first ethnic group to revolt against his expansionism. Pashtun tribes were sent to the central highlands to crush the revolt. Thousands of Hazara men were killed, their women and children taken as slaves, and their lands occupied.
Afghanistan: Who are the Hazaras?
Those who survived the initial period of the raids managed to escape to the north while a significant number fled to then British India. Apart from Pashtuns, Uzbeks are also thought to have conducted slave raids on the Hazaras in Bamyan and elsewhere. Hazarajat was occupied by Rahman in and it is estimated that 60 per cent of the Hazara population was wiped out by him. It is suggested that until the s some Sunni religious teachers preached that the killing of Hazaras was a key to paradise.
Economically Hazarajat was kept undeveloped with no roads, schools or clinics.
The Hazaras have typically voiced their dissent to the policies of overt discrimination against them since the s through a unified opposition movement; the main Hazara party, Hizb-e Wahdat Party of Unitywas established in Inafter the Mujahidin took power, fighting between the various groups broke out. Amnesty International subsequently reported the killing of many unarmed civilians and the rape of many Hazara women. In Februaryhundreds of Hazara residents in the Afshar district of West Kabul were massacred by government forces under the direction of Rabbani and Massoud, joined by Ittehad-i-Islami.
The fighting saw the utter devastation of large areas of Kabul, particularly those inhabited by Hazaras. BetweenAbdul Ali Mazari became the first political leader to speak out at the international level for, and on behalf of Hazaras, putting their case to the UN and the international community. Mazari signed an agreement with the Taliban leadership in but was brutally murdered by them in In the years that followed, Hazaras faced particularly severe repression and persecution, including a series of mass killings in northern Afghanistan, where thousands of Hazaras lost their lives or were forced to flee their homes.
Consequently, Hazaras formed part of the Northern Alliance forces that opposed the Taliban and took power after the Taliban fell in A key moment in recent Hazara history is the destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas by the Taliban in The giant Buddha statues had long been central to the identity of the Hazara community. Although not built by the Hazaras themselves, who only came to have an ethnolinguistic identity based in the region some centuries later, they have their own myths associated with the statues, unrelated to Buddhism.
In Hazara folklore, the statues are of a star-crossed couple Salsal and Shahmama, whose doomed love ends tragically in both their deaths. The two remain forever separated, petrified in stone, looking across the Bamyan valley.
However, the statues, long celebrated internationally, achieved less welcome attention in when the Taliban dynamited them, leaving behind little more than empty voids.
Afghanistan: Who are the Hazaras? | Taliban | Al Jazeera
The destruction was, in fact, part of a larger campaign by the Taliban to suppress the rights and identity of Hazaras. International debate continues to rage regarding whether the statues should be reconstructed or not. However, the discussions often disregard the fact that the sculptures are an integral part of Hazara culture and do not always consider the need to involve local communities in any future decisions concerning them.
Parts of central Afghanistan, like Bamiyan, the unofficial Hazara capital, are among the country's poorest, often lacking basic facilities and electricity. In March, Hazaras held a protest in Kabul against the government's decision to move a proposed power line project out of Bamiyan, arguing that the decision was yet another form of ethnic discrimination. Hazara Afghans are among the millions of refugees fleeing to Europe in search of a better future.
While many Hazaras fled to Shia Iran, those who remained risked violence and even death. One of the most brutal events took place in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif inwhen thousands of Hazaras were systematically executed, according to a Human Rights Watch report. Hazaras under threat Although Afghanistan is no longer under Taliban rule, growing insecurity has unsettled many. Last November, a group swearing allegiance to ISIL abducted and killed seven civilians, including women and children, in the southern province of Zabul.
The tragedy brought thousands on to the streets of Kabul to protest against the increasing violence towards Hazaras. In recent weeks, Hazaras travelling in civilian vehicles have been abducted and executed by Taliban fighters. In early June, 25 Hazara men and women travelling in the northern province of Saripul were taken hostage by armed attackers.
While five were set free, the fate of the other 20 remains unknown, according to the UN. For centuries, the stone sentinels stood watch over the Silk Road.