Hazaras ‘always on the lookout for bombs’

Issue 
A vigil held in Melbourne after a bomb killed Hazaras in Pakistan. Photo: Sue Bolton

The Hazara community in Melbourne have been forced to hold another vigil after yet another bombing targeting the Hazara community in Quetta, Pakistan.

On June 30, a suicide bomber attacked a Hazara neighbourhood and killed more than 30 people, including children.

More than 1300 Hazaras have been killed in Pakistan over the past decade, with more than 4000 maimed, according to the Australian Hazara Students Group. Not a single perpetrator has been punished by the courts for these bombings which have become more frequent over the last three years.

These bombings have severely affected the local Hazara community, with most members of the local community having family members in Quetta. Most Hazaras have come to Australia as refugees from the war in Afghanistan where the Hazara minority is terrorised by the Taliban.

One Hazara man from Dandenong lost his wife and nine-year-old son in the June 30 bombing. His wife had taken their son shopping for clothes to wear on the family's journey to Australia.

The man, who holds a permanent visa, had applied for his family to be reunited in Australia. His five other children are now alone in Quetta without their mother and their grieving father in Australia.

This is the daily violence faced by Hazaras in Afghanistan and Quetta where they have sought safety.

One person at the vigil, Zakia Baig, told Green Left Weekly that she is terrified for her elderly parents in Quetta.

She said: “Hazara people are scared to leave their houses in Quetta. Hazara children can’t lead a carefree life. They are always on the lookout for bombs. The children can’t go to school or to university.

Baig said: “Every attack is devastation to the family. When someone is killed, who is going to look after the remaining family members? Each killing is the killing of humanity.

“Someone in the world has to care about what is happening to the Hazara in Pakistan.”