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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hazara students call for broad coalition in Balochistan


From the Newspaper | Mahvish Ahmad |

ISLAMABAD, April 16: The Hazara Student Federation (HSF) in the federal capital has spent the last month participating in seminars and organising protests, calling for a broad coalition between Baloch, Hazara and Pakhtun people in Balochistan.

“It makes no sense to stand divided when we all face the same threats and dangers. We have all been victim of violent kidnappings and killings, and the only way forward is to stand in solidarity,” says Sajjad Hussain Changezi, one of the members and spokespersons of the HSF.

The student federation calls for a political, non-violent resistance against elements that are threatening, kidnapping and killing members of all ethnic communities in Balochistan.

Waleed Umar, a Baloch youth and student, agrees with Changezi.

“We only have each other now. It is crucial that we support each other, said Umar, who participated and spoke at a protest organised by the HSF against a spate of killings of Hazaras in Balochistan on Saturday.

“Umar participated and spoke at the protest, putting his own life at risk. He is brave for having stood up in front of the Islamabad press club, side by side with us,” says Changezi.

“The truth is that the state bears a huge burden of the responsibility for the law and order situation in Balochistan. The Baloch accuse the military and intelligence agencies for extrajudicial kidnappings and killings in Balochistan.

And when it comes to the Hazaras, the continued presence of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi in Quetta indicates that the state has either failed to protect us or is directly complicit in keeping them there.

The Pakhtuns are also in constant danger living in such a situation,” says Changezi.

More than 700 Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan since September 11, 2001.

“We have common enemies, and a common path. The only way we can resist the enormous threats that we stand against, is to stand together,” says Umar.

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