What happened to the Hazara people?
A new report reveals a growing number of Hazara families are struggling to survive after the country’s largest ethnic group left the country.
The Hazara community has been fleeing their homeland in search of safety since June 2015 when security forces fired on protesters who were demonstrating against a disputed referendum on a separate government.
Since then, more than 70,000 people have left the Hazaras homeland and thousands more have fled to neighbouring Pakistan.
More than 30,000 Hazara have gone to neighbouring India, according to the Human Rights Commission of India, but the majority have sought refuge in Pakistan.
Hazara communities in Pakistan have been under increasing pressure in recent years and the Government has been criticised for failing to ensure the safety of the Hazars.
The Commission’s report said the Hazras had been denied land rights in Pakistan and have not been allowed to access education or other public services.
It also found that despite the Hazra community being under a state of emergency since the coup, they were denied the right to vote in elections and were not allowed to vote on issues affecting their interests.
The report said many Hazarans were “distressed, traumatised and suffering from fear, anxiety and depression”.
It said the Government had failed to ensure safety of Hazarasmans and that many were experiencing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The report highlights the challenges faced by Hazara communities living in Pakistan, particularly those who are forced to flee their homes,” it said.
“Many have sought protection and protection of the state, but are unable to access the resources required to cope.”
The report also found the Hazas suffered from “deep-rooted structural, cultural and economic exclusion” and “the impact of social marginalisation”.
It recommended a number of measures, including the establishment of a joint Hazara-Muslim committee to facilitate access to education and healthcare.
“It is vital that the Hazaran community be empowered to speak out for their rights,” the report said.