In Loving Memory Of A Cousin !

“Why the fuck should I be so careless as to park my bike over there” … This sentence was on a loop play for a week in my mind when my little brother was 4 years old. I had parked my Honda 70 cc in a wrong spot and my little brother, seeing the opportunity to have some fun, had mounted the bike. I don’t know about what exactly had caused his fall, but that resulted in him nearly loosing a tooth and partially breaking an other. He had a beautiful set of teeth !

This incident was discussed in our family gathering for quite some time and the person guilty of parking the bike in the wrong spot was criticized every single day!

That was not a small incident but NOW it is.

June 30th, this date is what my family will not forget. That is the unfortunate day when one of our dear members became the victim of a game so shadowy that neither the victims and nor the perpetrators know the rules of! Behrang Yosufi (May He Rest In Peace) might have had plans for his Monday class, but as I said the situation in Quetta knows of no rules. Men, women, children, students, laborers and … no body is excluded. Belonging to a certain faith and a certain tribe, the Hazaras are destined to face all these atrocities.

The young, vibrant and jolly member of our family will certainly be missed and will be discussed in our gatherings. But will we be able to bash and criticize the ones claiming responsibility for our pains? Will the government and LEA’s be human enough to have any sentence stuck in their minds like the one I had ?

Na … They wont !

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You saw the whole episode but you didn’t OBSERVE ! [Part II]

This post is a continuation of a series written on the race for PB 2 Quetta 2 seat in general elections 2013, Pakistan. Incase you have missed the story, here is the link to :

Part 1

The loss of PB 2 seat to the religious extremist group, MWM, seems pretty much indigestible to Hazara community in general and HDP in particular, even almost 2 weeks after the announcement of results! The Hazaras are in a state of, i don’t know what you call it in english, but believe me, it is not a good mental state!

Continuing with the episode …

After the announcement of the results ( I mean the result which was changed or what most of people believe so), the Hazara Democratic Party’s social handles (HDP Official FB and HDP Official Twitter) went mute. This was a surprise blow for HDP. Seeing the public support and all the leads they had achieved from different polling station, losing the seat was the last thing they expected. Therefore, the concerned office holders of HDP are said to have gone out to check about what had caused the results to get  changed suddenly!

Status Update by a Concerned Hazara
Status Update by a Concerned Hazara

There are unconfirmed reports about this sudden change of results. Some people blame Sardar Sadaat for visting Cannt ( that means a deal was brokered with the establishment ) , others blame MWM of using unfair means in the elections. Whatever it may have been, people eye the results with suspicion!

The announcement of MWM’s win was declared official, however it was not uploaded to election commision’s website due to the objections raised by HDP and Sahar Gul.

Picture of the document
Picture of the document

Votes were recounted on May 12 in Kacheri late in the night and when the votes were still being counted, i.e. the counting had not finished yet, the above document was uploaded in a pro-MWM page.

Until that moment HDP was not sure about its loss. This recounting confirmed it !

The same night, 6 rockets were fired on Quetta city and a sucide blast targetted Mushtaq Sukhera, IG Balochistan. He survived the attack !

May 13th , a pro-extrimist and propagandist page (one of the most filthiest of it’s kinds), announced Abdul Khaliq Hazara ill to cause panic among the people!

A wrong, hypocritical and panic inducing news !
A wrong, hypocritical and panic inducing news !

They often use this techniques to casue misconceptions and panic among the already tense people of Quetta.

HDP leadership addressing a press conference !
HDP leadership addressing a press conference !

Meanwhile, Abdul Khaliq Hazara was safe and sound addressing a press conference in which he turned down the forged results of the election. You can access the Press release here!

Mustafa Taimoori, candidate PB 6, congratulating MWM clergy !
Mustafa Taimoori, candidate PB 6, congratulating MWM clergy !

Meanwhile, on May 13th MWM was busy entertaining the guests and elders of different places who had arrived to congratulate them on their win !

A large number of HDP workers and leadership protesring outside Quetta Press Club
A large number of HDP workers and leadership protesring outside Quetta Press Club

Hazara Democratic Party and its leadership, after issuing a press statement continued to protest against the injustice done to them. They staged a peaceful and civilized protest outside Press club on May 14th.

Later in the night, a boy, reportedly an admin of one of the propagandist pages was attacked by some unkown people. The boys picture was uploaded on the page and its caption read :

Interestingly, the picture doesnot indicate any sign of stabbing on his neck but chest. But if he was stabbed as shown in the picture, I, for instance do not think he would be able to pose for a picture. Anyhow, as I mentioned earlier, an admin of a propagandist page!

The pic which was uploaded under the boastful caption
The pic which was uploaded under the boastful caption

I would otherwise have avoided uploaading the above picture but I wanted you people to have an idea about how these certain pages make mountains out of a haystake !

A flood of men and women took out to streets to condole the HDP leadership and show their support even after losing the seat.
A flood of men and women took out to streets to condole the HDP leadership and show their support even after losing the seat.

May 15th, was the day when a flood of HDP supporters including men, women and children took to the streets to show their support to the HDP leadership and raise their morale. This conveyed the message that HDP still is very popular among people !

These series of events were very confusing to watch. A fine line had been drawn between the factions of the Hazara community and the aftershocks of the elections engraved that pretty deep which is very difficult to fill in near future.

MWM Clergies with supporters
MWM Clergies with supporters

On Friday 17th May 2013, MWM clergies after comming to power, organized a protest against mutilation of grave of a companion of Imam Ali. A like wise protest was held on last friday of Ramazan in 2010 by the same clergies in which more than 75 Hazara youth lost their life.

Quds Rally Organized by MWM clergies in September 2010
Quds Rally Organized by MWM clergies in September 2010

Ballot papers bearing votes of HDP found in trash dumps in Gulistan Town
Ballot papers bearing votes of HDP found in trash dumps in Gulistan Town

On 16th May, HDP miraculously found a solid evidence against the informalities that had occured against them. Authentic ballot papers mostly bearing HDP votes were found from trash cans and areas where trash is dumped.

Abdul Khaliq Hazara protested against it on GEO TV in the eve of 17th May on Capital Talk programme with Pakistan’s senior journalist Hamid Meer. You can listen to him here. Forward the video to 20:00 !

A huge Jalsa after election, organized by HDP
A huge Jalsa after election, organized by HDP

A huge public gathering was called on 18th May by HDP which was attended by 10,000 people according to some sources (not confirmed but you can estimate from the picture)

Women also present in the Jalsa called by HDP on 17th May on Alamdar Road
Women also present in the Jalsa called by HDP on 17th May on Alamdar Road

The number of people present in the gathering even after the election shows the support HDP has gained among Hazara community.

When appeals to the courts and election commision’s regional office in Balochistan could not solve the concerns of HDP, Abdul Khaliq Hazara left for Islamabad to protest against the rigging  on 18th May.

Abdul Khaliq Hazara Showing Authentic Ballot Paprers To Media Infront Of Election Commision Office in Islamabad
Abdul Khaliq Hazara Showing Authentic Ballot Paprers To Media Infront Of Election Commision Office in Islamabad

Likewise, HDP conducted a public gathering in Hazara Town to enlighten people against the game that has been plotted against them. It was attended by thousands of people male and female on 19th May!

A View Of Hazara Town Jalsa After Election
A View Of Hazara Town Jalsa After Election

Things have surfaced pretty quickly and lets hope it turns out in favor of the Hazara community. This is for now! I will try to keep you updated as the story develops !

You saw the whole episode but you didn’t OBSERVE ! [Part I]

NOTE (PG 18+) : This post will be termed as BIASED by most of the people. Therefore children under 18 and those with weak hearts are advised to read it under parental supervision !

If you are not aware of the situation in Quetta, Pakistan, let me tell you that nowadays the hottest topic in the extremly polarised Hazara community, is the loss of [PB-2 Quetta-2] seat for some of the community members while for the others, it is the victory in that particular constituency.

Why is it a hot topic? Well, let me give you some background info.

MWM (Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen) was contesting HDP (Hazara Democratic Party) for that particular seat. When I say contesting, I mean I-will-die-for-that-seat type of contesting!

MWM had a ‘Bedouin Tent’ as its election symbol which the MWM clergies attributed to the ‘Tents’ of Imam Hussain in Karbala ( The tents were burnt by Yazid’s force when Imam Hussain lost the battle) for gaining the support of this extraordinary religious community.

On the other hand, HDP, having ‘Moon’ as its election symbol attracted people by promising moonlight in the dark nights of Quetta (Metaphorically) for the Hazara people!

Following the Shia version of Islam (95%) and experiencing the worst decade of persecution in their history in Pakistan, the Hazaras of Quetta were baffeled in their decision of choosing who to vote!

MWM election symbol
MWM election symbol

“Our life is for Hussain and so is our VOTE” was a popular slogan which MWM, an Iranian funded religious cum political organization, chanted at it’s political gatherings to blackmail the people using their religious beliefs inorder to gain their support! The political gatherings are also reported to have mostly been more of a religious sermons with the clergies telling tales from Karbala and asking on how not to let Imam Hussain down by not forgetting the “Tent” of Imam Hussain while casting their vote !

Official HDP logo for elections 2013
Official HDP logo for elections 2013

HDP, the nationalist bunch (as they are termed by the MWM workers),  are said to have spent most of their political addresses prior to election in defaming MWM and asking people not to vote the extremists/secterian organization because of whom the  Hazara community has burried 1000+ souls in a span of 10 years! Further more, HDP’s slogan to gain public support was ” The Vote of the community, FOR the community … The decisions of the community, In the hands of the community”. Through this slogan HDP is thought to have sent the message to the people that MWM is a puppet organization whose decisions come from people other than the candidate running for the election, that is their decisions are dictated by IRAN !

These political rallies and gatherings continued with fervor. Both the parties were busy in mounting party flags and banners on every corner of the Hazara neighborhood. The enthusiasm was so high that during one of such routine flag mounting rallies, the workers of MWM attacked a party leader of HDP and reportedly injured him.

The Hero

The attacker was identified and instead of taking the matters in their own hands, HDP leadership chose to lodge an FIR against the person who committed the crime. However, the boy was later released and was welcomed warmly by the MWM clergies as a Hero.

After that incident things went pretty normal except for a sucide attack which was aimed at Abdul Khaliq Hazara, Chairman HDP and the person contesting for PB 2 seat. Khaliq escaped the attack unhurt!

Just days before the election, the divide between the Hazara community was clearly visible when MWM and HDP organized a gathering on Alamdar road both at the same day! That day, loyalities of the people were confirmed and the parties achieved their goal of breaking the community into TWO.

A huge gathering of HDP supportes
A huge gathering of HDP supportes
A view of MWM supporters on the same day
A view of MWM supporters on the same day

The divide in the community forced alot of the community members to get out of their homes on 11th May, 2013 and cast their votes.

Later, on the night of the pollings when the votes were done counting. Abdul Khaliq Hazara was announced winner with major leads coming from every polling station. The unofficial announcement of Khaliq’s victory, while votes from two polling stations were still due, was celebrated by HDP supporters for quite some while with great zeal. Moods changed once the official results were announced against Khaliq. The 3000 lead in votes was changed against Khaliq and Victory was announced in favor of Syed Raza of MWM. This was when MWM supporters took to the streets and celebrated !

A TV channel announcing Khaliq's Victory
A TV channel announcing Khaliq’s Victory
Khaliqs Lead over Syed Raza
Khaliqs Lead over Syed Raza

Secularism As A Theme For Social Life

Before reading this piece let me tell you that if you liked it, thank Ahmed Khalil Poya (My dear cousin) and Sir Khadim Hussain Zia (Our dearest teacher). The prior for writing this piece and later for making the students of ‘Pentagon Academy’ to write long essays and present it on Mondays … That said, now read and share your views!

“As my turn came, I chose to write a seminar about Secularism … The title of my seminar is ‘Secularism As A Theme For Social Life’. But prior to proceeding with secularism, let me first define life. According to me,

Life is a phenomenon itself,
Life is to explore, to search,
Life is to say inorder to listen,
Life means a new day, a new night and a new ideology,
Yes! Life is pretty,
Life is an everlasting old furnace
If you ignite it, the dance of its flames will be visible from the horizon,
Or else it is silent and silence is a sin!

Coming to secularism, I would say;

To portray a new theme for human life on earth, the word secularism had announced it’s existence in our social life. Secularism was not needed for our contat with GOD, but was needed for our contact with our society.

The term ‘Secularism’ derives from the latin word Saecularis and means pertaining to the real world and time where we live, and is based on realism. Secularism in no way opposes the religious contributions in society but totally supports the isolation of religion from politics.

Religions may emphasize on mortality of the cosmos and observe the eternity only for religion. But secularism has an approach to materialism in which they have an experienced proof for the ‘Law of conservation of energy’ through sience. Thus, secularism while describing various aspects of life, wants us to decorate and celebrate life!

Secularism talks about the role of an individual human being and his wisdom in recognizing the phenomenon and society with full freedom.

From centuries, plenty of intellectuals have had their research about secularism and they have found this ideology very sympathetic towards the independence of thought and statements which is essential for giving talents and abilities a chance to run in the race course unlike religious government which restricts and limits the talents and abilities from exploration which is snatching a right ! Thus we can say that secularism is a product of Humanism.

In other words, secularism is not a governing system but is an idealogy through which we can fashion our behaviour, character, view and logic to deal with social environment and domination !

If you have ever seen the real Islam – not the one which is used for personal/political gains – you might have noticed that Islam itself is a secular religion! Interestingly, you cannot find a single person who can announce this! Although some people tried to introduce that secular version of Isalm in Iran but they were defeated because it would have jeoperdized the monopolized domination and was against the status and positon of ‘Wilayat e Faqih’ !
Likewise, people like Osama Bin Laden*, Mullah Omar, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and their fans and followers want to establish the pure extremist Islamic Emirate which is/can be very opposite to today’s social structure of every community according to me! Despite being a Muslim I think it will be not acceptable to the majorty.

To understand further about the topic and portray a clearer picture, I did a research on the secularist tendency of well known poets like Maulana Balkhi And Ferdowsi whose proper aspects of philosphy and sprituality can be seen in their poems and verses. It must be stated here that other great poets like Hafiz, Khayyam, Sanaei Ghaznawi etc. also had secular tendencies.

The various identifications given to the afore mentioned personalities are obvious through their messages, remarks and poems. These personalities have gained such a position that even centuries after their demise they are celebrated all over the world. You may call them and their ideas as ‘classic’ but I would say how ‘Neo Modern’ because of the level of their knowledge, vast outlook, virtue, liberality, opposing fundamentalism and radicalism, opposing dictatorship and favoring realities.

It is necessary to mention that the views of people about those poets are diverse. Each person according to his ideology. Some people may acknowledge them as only poets, sophists and literate personalities. These type of people might be of the kind who don’t have the tendency to discuss and interfere in social and political issues. Thus, such people will analyze their poems and remarks from spritual point of view . On the other hand, other people will not just limit these poems to spiritual and literary circle. Instead, they will utilise those slogans to raise awareness for our social and cultural gains so that we can claim that our ‘Eastern Culture’ is rich but unfortunately the ideologies of these great personalities have remained unidentified and dead for centuries.

Maulana states in his Masnavi :

هرکسی از ظن خود شد یار من // از درون من نجست اسرار من

سر من از نالهٔ من دور نیست // لیک چشم و گوش را آن نور نیست

What I picked from it was that here Maulana is talking about the term secularism asnd usage of wisdom in Identification. Something like this can also be extracted from Ferdowsi’s poems. It is :

خرد گر سخن برگزیند همی // همان را گزیند که بیند همی

Human is smart. He is powerful. Human has had revolutions in his history. And Human wants to drive towards the beautiful destiny for exploring the his identification, luck and happiness and he strives to complete his mission. But the obstacles of life changes his wishes and hopes to ashes! This is then when human with the help of his wisdom will put his efforts together and will try till the lilt of music ends, inorder to cope well with the consequences in life. And this is wisdom which helps human to be successful. So, secularism is basically a return towrds wisdom through which we analyze various issues in our society. Including that, Secularism talks about isolation of religion from politics. Not from the state where people live. Better to say that secularism is not against the personal religious beliefs of people! The belief is that ; this is how the wisdom can be more functional in an open atmosphere where religious obstacles will not dominate.

The common idea is that Islam is incompatible with secularism, but as far as I am concerned, I think its quite the contrary.

According to the common belief, Islam was completed by Muhammed and every alteration or updating in it is counted as a sin. That because they think Islam of Muhammed is  a complete code of life and that human had reached the highest values back then and that it is the last stage of human’s improvent.

But I think things are inverse to what is percieved.

According to my knowledge, Islam or you could say religion can never be stated as a final code of life because human has not reached at complete civilization and religion. This is because religion is simultaneous with our life and our civilization. The doctrine of  Muslims that Islam is a complete code of life is a very old one. This saying is from the times of Prophet Muhammed. We are obviously ahead of that time now. Decades and centuries ahead. And a religion that old might not be able to answer today’s ambiguties and inventions and problems related to it unless it is improved in the frame of time.

The discussion: Isolation of religion and government is a lawful discussion.

An Islamic government says that the right of domination is personalized only to those who are spritual leaders or clergy men, or in other words belong to ‘Vilayat Faqih’ . But it is opposite to justice and realities ! That because spiritual leaders can not perform as good in finance, defence and interior ministries as a political leader would and these jobs are not our devotional affairs to be put at the hands of mere spritual leaders. Such jobs need professionals, not clergy man !

That included, in a country, domination of only one religion is possible. So, the dominating religion will be fierce and unwelcoming to other minorities which will possibly give birth to conflicts and clashes and in this process will deprive the citizens of their right to live peacefully !

Concluding my seminar, I would like to state that Let’s not make a dictator government by paralleling the government with religion and let democracy to be imposed through the frame of moderate secularism and liberality.

Thanks for your attention !

All This Madness

Being a Human, I should keep silent and tend to shrouding my dead clan members. I should remain silent and let my countrymen shout against the injustices of cruelest form being done to me and my people. But then again, being a Pakistani Hazara, I should remember that I am a lesser Pakistani, I am a minority, I am one of the ‘Les Misérables’ and that my countrymen are dead! They are the walking talking dead who are  alive and hyperactive only when it is 14th February – Not to celebrate Love, no sir, but to condemn and renounce it. Being a Pakistani Hazara I have to keep it in mind that my countrymen are no longer my well wishers! Someone has put it beautifully:

“Remaining Quiet After A Tragedy, By God, Is No Less Than The Tragedy Itself”

A countrymen speaks up and stands up for his fellow, he does not inflict another tragedy to his already grieving fellow.

I want to write lots of things but the successive shocks and psychological pain conquers me and I reach a dead end every time I realize how fragile and vulnerable has the Pakistani Hazaras become.

I was reading Nehru today. He has written beautiful lines about DEATH which is inflicted on innocent people for no reason. In a paragraph I thought he was a man from future and was writing about the current situation of Quetta. He writes:

“But here death had no purpose, no logic, no necessity; it was the result of man’s incompetence and callousness, man-made, a slow creeping thing of horror with nothing to redeem it, life merging and fading into death, with death looking out of the shrunken eyes and withered frame while life still lingered for a while. And so it was not considered right or proper to mention it; it was not good form to talk or write of unsavory topics. To do so was to ‘dramatize’ an unfortunate situation.”

Peace !