PC: Sadat Saboori These vignettes bring a question to the fore: what leaves the Hazara community, women specifically, subject to policing, surveillance in an urban setup? In doing so, this short piece aims to understand the reproduction of gendered regimes and the processual effects it produces, making Hazara women more vulnerable. This piece of writing is based on the experiences and the perspective of a Hazara girl, who is also the author of these lines. While I missed the University bus from that point, I came up with an alternative of going through a private cab. I booked the ride to pick me up from my home. Quetta, being home to diverse ethnic and linguistic groups, the driver could belong to any of the groups. On his arrival, and to my booking, the captain was Pashtun (a non-Hazara). We were almost leaving the ‘separated’ vicinity of Hazara Town when two pillion riders rushed to the car I was riding in. One of them, chasing our car, reached to us and asked the other biker, who was a bit in distance from us, “this one?” he pointed. The other confirmed “yes the same”. They stopped the car and inquired where I was leaving and who was the man I was riding with? Having known the situation, I was still annoyed at the way I was chased and interrogated. Somehow, I responded that this is a local cab and the person on the driving seat is the captain. Besides, I asked them who they are asking me all this? Instead of replying to what I have asked them, these guys suggested why not to take an auto, and that too of a person from the Hazara community, then by traveling with a non-Hazara. I politely replied by saying ‘Lala, I have my family, my parents who knows where and with whom am I going and am not answerable to your questions’. Moving further away from the university, the captain asked whether or not I knew them, and why had they stopped me? I was speechless for the moment, but things weren’t that complicated in my mind as I have been subject to the sort of questions as a citizen in a securitized city of Quetta, and that too being confined to ‘separated’ zones for decades. PC: Sadat Saboori Similarly, this rejuvenates a traumatic experience of a time when I was a student in the 5th semester of university. A teacher assigned us a project assignment of working on a video story. Our group was composed of classmates (one Hazara and two non- Hazara males). We decided to interview the survivors of an incident of sectarian attack on zaireen, coming from Iran to Quetta, that left dozens injured. We set on the road for a walking distance near to the house of the victim. While we were on our way, the people of the community passing by were giving a strange look when seeing the non- Hazaras on the road with us. An old aged man, on his scooter rode slowly near us and nodded his head as if we were up to something wrong. Taking some steps further, an auto rickshaw driver of a young age passed by and asked who they were. Are we taking them somewhere? To his question, I replied yes brother, they came with us, they are our classmates and we are being assigned a project assignment, and that we are supposed to accomplish. To which he replied ‘make them sit in a rickshaw. I will drop them to the location you want’, and we were told to come by foot. To avoid any mishap or any misfortune occasion, he dropped them to the location. Though we completed the assignment, the stuffy feelings in the surroundings made me feel that my positive energy was being affected and my thoughts were derailed. What was more of a concern for me was how my fellows would react to the situation, or, may be a changed behavior of people from my community in a particular ‘segregated’ zone. I know that things alike were understood for a non-Hazara as well the same way it is for us. But still it leaves one with a number of questions, justifying and making sense of the things around and accepting the differential nature of this very issue against all others. From past to present: changing forms of persecution Muhammad J Gulzari, a UK based researcher in the History and Politics of Afghanistan and Indian Subcontinent, and an ex-member of Royal Soceity for Asian Affair London, and the author of The Hazara Persecution, traces the history of Hazara migration and early settlements in British India. Gulzari, in an interview to my question replied, that it was in the early nineteenth century when Hazaras were gradually migrating to British India to look for opportunities and pursue their new life. They were up to the construction of roads, railway tracks and also could be recruited to the British military. Gulzari further maintains that the later mass migrations happened in the era of Amir Abdul Rehman, from 1980 to 1901, when feudal tribalism resulted from slavery, wars and other tools of persecution led Hazaras to flee to the neighboring regions. Ironically, the Hazaras fled from one tribal structure and landed to another: settling in the suburbs of Quetta, Balochistan, under the rule of British imperialism. As history moves spirally, many Hazaras volunteered when the first India Pakistan war on Kashmir broke in the year 1948. Hazara community, residing in Quetta for decades, is circumscribed to live in the two small zones segregated as ‘Hazara Town’ and ‘Mariabad’, on western and eastern suburbs of Quetta respectively, with the distance of 25-30 minutes from one another. On their entry to these ‘separated’ spots, non- Hazaras need to prove their identities on FC (Frontier Constabulary) check posts through their CNICs. The security is on high alert whenever there are chances of any incident. Both entry and exits get harsher and people are tortured more intensely. Hence, these check posts were constructed when Hazara genocide was on peak since 2000’s at different times. Quetta, located in the Northern region of Balochistan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, is the ninth largest city of Pakistan. The city lies on the Bolan Pass route and is the only historical gateway from Central Asia to South Asia, having a total area of 2,656 Sq. km. It is a trade and communication center between the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Quetta, being the provincial capital of Balochistan, is home to around 1.001 million people from diverse ethnicities and linguistic groups. People from every corner of Balochistan have shifted to Quetta because of the availability of educational and health facilities. Our distinct face features make us more vulnerable to these targets. In other words, on political, economic, religious and social grounds, the Hazaras are always subjected to a series of perpetual discrimination and assault, based on their uniqueness of face features different to other natives of the province. Hazaras being there at the other side of the religious affiliation as compared to the majority of the province adds more to their plight in the long run of sectarian militancy. The sad part of the story is that local settlers of the province, both Baloch and Pashtuns, albeit shares a long history of occupying and living on one and single geography with Hazaras, jumps to the narrative from above and never restrain from fueling to the process of ‘otherization’. This was more visible on one misfortune occasion when a Pashtun young boy was murdered by few individuals and a wholesome terrorization of the community was grounded in the province. In Addition to that, the past two decades are of high consideration when seeing it in the context of sectarian militancy in Pakistan. Although, the issue of sectarian militancy is spread across the country since the seeds were sown during the era of General Zia ul Haq, it took an ugly turn and presents a more painful picture when seen the intensity in Quetta, and that too against the Hazaras, with their definite face features and their ‘segregated’ zones subjecting them more likely to easy targets. The ongoing violence in the name of sectarian militancy adds more to the strained circumstances. Religion is used interchangeably with Hazara identity, and has always been used to malign the structural oppression against Hazara as an ‘ethnic community’, and not a ‘religious community’. ‘Ghettoization’ of everything Consequently, the ghettoization and ‘separated’ zones in the name of security made us suffer today in different other perspectives as well. The interaction and mobility with non-Hazaras is being intentionally avoided. This in result has adversely affected all walks of life. All the economy of the community is restricted to these separated zones. An auto driver or a plumber or a shopkeeper, all have to remain for a small community in their ‘separated’ zones than going outside and dealing with a large number outside the community might incentivize them. But fearing target killing, they try to remain in, and sometimes charge their fairs higher to meet their domestic ends. I remember once when I needed to rectify some of my documents from local board office which was probably on a twenty minutes’ distance from my ‘separated’ zone, a Hazara auto driver told that he will charge 800. On my inquiry about the amount, he told that he won’t be able to find a Hazara sawari back to Hazara town, and that he is unable to drive through the city accept these ‘separated’ zones. High likely, their traveling areas are from and to Hazara town/Mariabad. The two ways are misconceptions where if a non-Hazara enters our area we will be stared at as an alien and vice versa. These weren’t the only experiences that I faced but many alike. When using local transport, going to office, university or to a bazaar for shopping etc. the “POLICING”, both on community level and governmental level, is quite usual. On various other occasions, even mobile phones were used to make videos of us, whenever traveling with a non Hazara, for the purpose to viral it on social media platforms on different community pages, using as a leverage for character assassination. Not surprised to share that I am not the only individual facing this but it also extends to other female friends in my circle who have an abundance of the stories alike. Resultantly, policing is being understood as an obligation for male genders of the society. When facing all these issues the question came into my mind that what if a man travels with a non Hazara, would there be someone to ask them or are they answerable with whom they are traveling? The answer is obviously NO. Hence, the problem of patriarchy and gender authorization is wider across the globe, but being a female belonging to third world society in a city of Balochistan province Quetta, it would be sufficient to say, or at least, accept the conception of being ‘double colonized’. Additionally, if I added an identity of a Hazara woman, it might get a series of colonization which is continually painting the identity of a Hazara woman with multi layers. Whereas, authoritarian behavior increases with the provided situation as double patriarchy. This debate is a bit wider if I discuss why the issue is happening, but it all relates to history, political, geographical and the infrastructural perspectives. The endogenous/internal inability of the unit to deal with shocks is referred to socioeconomic vulnerability. Risk exposure and other socioeconomic factors influence endogenous incapacity. It has the potential to lead to a situation of violent conflict when combined with other contextual factors and it can be one of the impacts of segregation in infrastructure. Lack of opportunity in Balochistan as whole is another topic, but even seeking some opportunities out of segregated areas in the terms of Quetta uplifts/ increases the social and economic vulnerabilities while being confined within the community. While writing these lines, and problematizing Hazara ‘identity’ and the changing shape (and reshape) of society from above, I found myself reminiscent of the situation the famous political philosopher and French West Indian Psychiatrist, Frantz Fanon, has discussed in his monographic account ‘The Wretched of the Earth’. Not to jump into historical jargons, Fanon looks into the processes of construction of a colonial psych and the reshaping of thoughts that produces ambiguities and blurred boundaries for the one at receiving hand. It derails the development of thought and so directly affects communal harmony and mutual consensus, relating to particular issues. It maximizes internal disharmony and leads to more tribal warfare. Thus, what Fanon emphasizes here is that a ‘subject’ needs to direct his anger to a direction that should reflect the materiality of the conflict and ambiguities around, rather than adding more to the internal conflict. Besides, the connectivity of the parts descending from a single whole determines the preparedness of a community in order to lessen the risks of internal insecurity and focuses more on production and counter narrative. In our case, the most significant factor is that each individual from the community if asked to write his/her story, one would find an abundance of stories reflecting and emanating from this very structural and procession effects of a system which are managing each unit with its differences the way it fits to the larger framework of policy making. Parallel to that, Hazara male and women, who are working in any field of life, have gone through the brunt of these tiny differences to others. Each story would account a new understanding of the plight these individuals had experienced one way or the other. Moreover, I would encourage, and would love to read the stories of individuals fighting against the multi-layered and multifaceted plight of Hazaras as a whole.