A human rights activist, belonging to the Hazara ethnic group, has demanded an urgent intervention by the international community to protect the minorities facing persecution in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Speaking exclusively to ANI on the sidelines of the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Derakhshan Qurban Ali, expressed concerns over rising sectarian and terrorist attacks by the Taliban, ISIS and other Sunni extremist groups on Hazara minorities.
Qurban Ali, a member of the Hazara community, who are native to the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan, also condemned Friday’s (March 6) deadly attack on Hazaras in Kabul, wherein 32 people were killed while dozens sustained injured.
The commemoration ceremony attended by top political leaders from Afghanistan was held to remember Abdul Ali Mazari, a Shia leader who was killed by the Taliban in 1995.
"I was speaking at the UN last year about the targeted attacks against the Hazara minorities during the last year's commemoration. The situation is very concerning and I think that a lot more needs to be done before we even consider peace in Afghanistan," she stressed.
The activist, who is currently residing in Toronto, Canada, is also concerned about similar sectarian attacks on the people of the community who lives in Pakistan.
"The reason for this is slightly different but is very related. There is also a Taliban in Pakistan, of course, but in Pakistan, there is a variety of Sunni extremist groups that target Hazaras because they are Shias," she noted.
"The situation has not been improving at all. Hazaras are essentially living in an open jail in Quetta, Pakistan and they don't have security either", she added.
The activist also called for an independent inquiry over the situation in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. "The key message is that there hasn't been any justice for Hazara people. Not a single perpetrator of any crimes against the Hazara has ever been prosecuted. No one has ever been held accountable for the genocide or crimes related to human rights," she said.
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