See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Pakistani Activist Khudi Ali Killed in Bombings Targeting Hazaras

On 10 January, 2013 in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta, 82 people lost their lives in back-to-back bombings that hit an area populated primarily by ethnic Hazara Shia Muslims.

Irfan Khudi Ali, a prominent human rights activist who tirelessly highlighted the persecution of Hazara Shia in Pakistan, passed away in the second attack.

Vigil for @khudiali in Islamabad. Picture by @ali_abbas_zaidi

Vigil for @khudiali in Islamabad. Picture by @ali_abbas_zaidi

On Twitter, Ali reported narrowly escaping the first bombing in Quetta: 

@khudiali : #Quetta, was on the way to home nearly escaped from bomb blast 11 ppl dead.

Maria Memon tweeted:

Ali cldnt survive the 2nd blast tonite.RIP @khudiali RT @khudiali #Quetta,was on the way to home nearly escaped 4m bomb blast 11 ppl dead

His killing has sparked a tribute to his struggle and reignited protests on Shia killings in Pakistan. Ali's last tweet was a report from the ground regrading the migration of Hazaras as a result of persecution:

@khudiali #Hazara families of #Machh,Khuzdir finally succumbed to the genocidal pressure&moving out. Sad day for diversity in #Balochistan.

Irfan Ali during a protest against sectarian violence in Islamabad, September 2012. FRom the Facebook page of Pakistan Youth Alliance.

Irfan Ali during a protest against sectarian violence in Islamabad, September 2012. From the Facebook page of Pakistan Youth Alliance.

Since 2001, Hazara Shia Muslims from Quetta — have routinely been targeted by militant groups. Being a minority within a minority, the killing of Hazara Shias is one of the most underreported cases of violence in Pakistan.

Hazara.net archives statistics of killings of Hazara Shiites in Pakistan, including number of attacks and the number of people killed in the attacks thus far. According to the statistics on the site a total of 1100 Hazara Shiites have been killed in Pakistan since 1999.

Media outlets often face the heat for not acknowledging the nature of the attacks and when they do they are criticized for using the term ‘sectarian’ when a particular sect is being targeted. In an effort to create more noise and build pressure on law enforcement agencies and the government, there's been an active debate on social media regarding the targeted killings of Shiites using the #shiakillings and #shiagenocide on Twitter. Hazara activists have, in the past, used social media to get international media's attention in order to get their stories reported.

Well respected journalist Mohammad Hanif writes:

Blogger Omar Biden wrote a brief yet moving tribute to Irfan Khudi Ali on his blog:

Yesterday was one of many blood-soaked days for Balochistan’s capital, Quetta. Already in the morning the residents of city got to hear a blast pow, where explosives were planted in a Frontier Corp vehicle at Bacha Khan Chowk. The explosion resulted in 12 innocent lives being perished. Indeed, it created helter-skelter between the residents to bury the dead bodies.

Yet the more-then-enough rule doesn’t work in Pakistan, at least not in Quetta. After an interval of only few hours Alamdar Road, a majorly Shia Hazara people territory, witnessed another mass massacre, still the same tactic as in the morning -bomb blast. Nevertheless this time planned “Mardanawar”, boldly, a twin-blast to claim an unforgettable catastrophe (…)

he brutal incidents cost an enormous loss to humanity indeed. It also happened to be the death of an admired friend, a human rights activist –Irfan Ali Khudi.

Allegedly, Irfan Ali Khudi, 33, had come to Quetta so that he could “deliver peace training to young activist”.

Although I intended to write my feelings, yet am leaving this post incomplete…

The blood soaked day in Quetta, as Omar puts it, is not the first of its kind and may not be the last one. The indifference has angered many, especially since the banned militant organization, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, that claimed responsibility for the attacks are yet to be apprehended.

The families of the victims have refused to bury their dead and have announced  that they will continue a sit-in unless the army takes action against the killing sprees. This image uploaded on Twitter shows thousands of Hazara sitting in the rain with the dead bodies of those massacred in the Quetta bombings.

Ali spoke at Tedx event in Rawalpindi city just a few weeks ago, watch his powerful speech here.

Ali dedicated most of his life to highlighting the plight of Hazara, for those who knew him and even those who did not, he has become a symbol of the struggle for justice for the Hazara Community in Pakistan. As the sit in continues, amid cold and rain, as families refuse to bury their loved ones, will the authorities finally take action to stop the bloodshed? Till then Ali's story needs to be heard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sardar.Ahud Zameer Sultan

    Finally I got the answer after studying a few books Obaidullah
    was governor of Iraq at the time of Karbala incidence happened and this is the
    same person who was chief operative of the Karbala incidence and now IG FC Major General Obaidullah Khan is
    chief operative of whatever happening in Quetta against Shiites. I don’t think
    it is just a co-incidence what I believe is that history always lays down some
    certain points called coincidence for the historian to understand the conspiracies
    and to correlate as one good historian wrote about Quid-i-Azam that his name Muhammad
    Ali denotes something to Islam as Muhammad and Ali were the person founded
    islam and Muhmad Ali Jinnah founded Pakistan. All the incidences happening in
    Quetta or Baluchistan against Shiites and Hazara are basically being facilitated
    by Obaidullah one good example of this was seen when the busses of Shiites heading
    to and from Iran were burnt, blasted or shot the road always protected by FC so
    the terrorist could operate without interference from general public.

    Today Obaidullah
    exposed fully when he was interviewed by Geo tv and they asked him about the
    scene of security in Quetta he refused offering security to Hazara by saying
    that now a “final dialogue” (MUNAZRA to declare Shiites Kafir) is the only
    solution.

    The Hazra are sitting with their dead bodies in -4 C and no
    body is listening to them all they are asking is just to save them from IG FC Major General Obaidullah Khan
    and from his friends.

  • Noha Tarek

    I offer all my support to persecuted Shiite Hazaras in Pakistan & Afghanistan, even if I’m a Sunni Muslim. Islam itself as a sacred & peaceful religion is being the first victim of such terrorist & barbaric acts, & this is nonetheless a product of a corrupt undemocratic regime that strangles Pakistan, as much as the product of fanatic terrorist groups…

  • Pingback: “We Are All Hazara” Protests Across Pakistan · Global Voices

  • Pingback: PHOTOS: Pakistan’s Countrywide Shia Solidarity Protests End Peacefully · Global Voices

  • Pingback: PICHA: Maandamano ya Pamoja ya Watu wa Shia Nchini kote Pakistan Yamalizika Kwa Amani. · Global Voices in Swahili

  • Pingback: صور: نهاية سلمية لاحتجاجات التضامن مع الشيعة في باكستان · Global Voices الأصوات العالمية

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site