“If the government cannot ensure security for the Shia Muslims then it must devise mechanisms to ensure their survival,” stated Mian Saqib Nisar, the Chief Justice of Pakistan on May 2, 2018. The statement came after the submission of a report detailing the death of 399 Hazara Shia in Baluchistan since 2011.
The Hazara ethnic group is mostly Shia Muslim originating from Hazarajat, Afghanistan. Post-1880’s, Hazara Shia fled their land in fear of persecution by King Abdurrahman who during his reign enslaved and killed thousands of Shia Muslims. Many took refuge in Baluchistan. However, contrary to their expectations, the Hazara faced discrimination. They were, and continue to be targets of violence by extremist groups.
In the hearing, the Hazara community was represented by Iftikhar Ali. Ali expressed the lack of safety Shia Hazara face and the hardships which forced their population to flee their homes once again.
Justice Nasir ordered a systematic review of the government entities under his rule to “submit a report detailing the issue,” He continued, “We are responsible for ensuring the safety of life and property of the Hazara community.”
Shia Rights Watch honors Justice Nisar for his recognition of the detriments Shia Hazara face and the initiative he has taken to create stop violence against this community.
In the past, anti-Shiism in Pakistan has gone unnoticed. Victims of violence were robbed of their peace of mind, and they continued life knowing perpetrators of anti-Shiism wonder their neighborhoods. Justice Nisar’s efforts are an initiation to retribution for Shia Muslims in Pakistan.
Shia Rights Watch thanks the Justice and all those who stand by his side for taking long overdue steps towards justice.