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Terror Against Hazara Muslim Minority in Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan

7:31 AM, Mar 19, 2013 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
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The Hazaras fought the Communists and have threatened to form a militia to defend themselves against LeJ in Pakistan. But their chances in organized combat now appear small. Urban Pakistan, where the refugee Hazaras are found typically, is not mountainous Afghanistan. On February 28, Syed Zaman, head of the Hazara Scouts—affiliated, perhaps incongruously, with the worldwide Scouting movement— stated that in Baluchistan, “We have around 200 young men who perform security duties on specific occasions.”

Fiaz Ahmed Sunbal, head of the local police in Quetta, rejected “private policing” but said officers would “were planning to close entrances to Hazara Town, and would recruit 200 young Hazaras to patrol their own areas.” Hazara Scouts president Ghulam Haider condemned the closing of roads, as it would isolate the Hazaras—protecting them, we might say, by interning them. Hazaras are already excluded from certain areas of Quetta.

It is doubtful that even without support for LeJ inside the Pakistani political, military, and intelligence establishment, the ferocious anti-Shia campaign of LeJ and other groups like it can be quelled by Hazara scout patrols.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi means “Jhangvi’s Army” and is named for an infamous radical agitator, Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, who also founded another bloodthirsty anti-Shia terror group, Sipah-e-Sahaba (the so-called “Knights of the Prophet’s Companions”). Both factions are aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and all are inspired by the fundamentalist Deobandi sect of Islam. LeJ was officially designated an international terrorist group by the U.S. government in 2003, and is allegedly prohibited in Pakistan, yet it pursues its lethal agenda in Pakistan and Afghanistan with obvious impunity.

Finally, the Hazaras have no real friends, and can expect no substantial help from anybody. Australia has admitted them liberally as refugees, and some have gone to Mongolia to study. Otherwise, outside their own community, they are mostly unmourned victims of virulent Islamist sectarianism.

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