I wonder about the true value of slogans Pakistani religious seminaries students shout at the end of every Friday prayer, weeks after weeks, months after months. They want to draw attention to the world’ largest open-air prison, ‘Gaza’. No doubt Israel has converted Gaza and the West Bank into ghettos with blocked borders, humiliating check posts, open checks for settlers. But did you see Israeli settlers riding on bikes and spraying volleys of bullets on Palestinians and vanish in the dark? That may not be the case in Gaza or West Bank but that’s exactly what is happening in Pakistan’s backyard, not by Israelis but by the comrades of those seminaries whose students block roads every Friday in support of Gaza.

In Quetta, at either end of this town there are two enclaves, Almdar Road and Hazara Town, housing an ethno-sectarian minority called the Hazaras. These enclaves are not open-air but are closed prisons. Without police protection the Hazaras can’t move around in a city, where they have been living and doing business for decades. Since 2003, thousands of Hazaras, have been killed in cold blood by sectarian terrorists.

These killers are never caught in such a small city, how come these sectarian groups hold public gatherings in Quetta to celebrate the killers and issue open threat to Hazaras. I feel disgusted by the remarks of a Baluchistan government official who said that Hazaras are being targeted as they could be easily identified due to their Central Asian looks. What should they do; go for face surgery or simply leave the country? How we dare to raise flags for the freedom of Gaza and Kashmir, when we cannot control such terrorism of one group inside our free state of Pakistan?


Saudi Arab, November 2.