Human Journey

Helping the Hazara of Afghanistan and Pakistan





Hazara Children on their way to school in the fabled Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan, famous for the mountain Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban. Photo by Hadi Zaher, creative commons license





By Saleem H. Ali and M. Saleem Javed

The current predicament of ethnic and religious minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan is a cause of grave concern, and it is essential for the international community to be aware of multiple complexities and rivalries in the region. For this article I partnered with an ethnic Hazara human rights activist and Chinese-educated medical doctor, M. Saleem Javed, based in Quetta, Pakistan to provide a brief history of this threatened community and to document the challenges they are currently facing.

Origin and Identity

Central Asia has been the crossroads of ethnicities for millennia as exemplified by the diversity of languages and other cultural expressions in this region. The West has been exposed to these narratives in the past decade unfortunately through the lens of conflict in Afghanistan.  As NATO forces withdraw from the region, the plight of indigenous minorities deserves greater attention and scrutiny. Perhaps the most vulnerable of these minority groups are the Hazara people. Phenotypically, the Hazara have distinct similarities to Mongols and there may have been an ethnic connection as evident from the etymology of many Hazara names. There was likely widespread intermarriage when the Mongols invaded South-central Asia in the twelfth and the preexisting descendants of the Indo-Hephthalite Kushan Buddhist empire as well as subsequent Persian settlers.

A Chinese traveler, Tauchaun, wrote about people similar to Chinese in Hazarajat called ‘Hosalo’ in June 644 A.D. Since the Chinese alphabet does not have an ‘R,’ this reference could have been ‘Hozora’ or Hazara’. The proximate etymology of the word is derived from the Persian word for a ‘thousand’ (Hazar) which may be a reference to a military contingent. During the various conquests of the times perhaps this syncretic identity emerged beyond the battlefields. Now more than 5 million people consider themselves to be Hazara, a vast majority  of whom live in Afghanistan (constituting at least 20% of the country’s population), followed by around a million in Pakistan. In Iran, there is a sizeable population of Hazara but they are intermingled with the Khawari ethnic group and a definitive census is hard to determine. The largest Hazara diaspora abroad is in Australia, which has been welcoming of Afghan immigration due to old ties of Afghan workers during British colonial times (even now one of Australia’s major train lines is called “The Ghan” in respect of this legacy).


Ethnicities of Afghanistan. Map by US Army Combined Arms Center, Leavenworth, Kansas, USA


Marginalization and Conquest

Discrimination towards the Hazara was poignantly portrayed by Afghan-American writer Khaled Hosseini in his epic novel The Kite Runner. The roots of persecution towards the Hazara are largely related to sectarian rifts within Islam – the dominant religion in the region. Though a comprehensive census eludes us, it is fair to say that a vast majority of Hazara are Shia (believing in twelve imams) with small Sunni and Ismaili minorities as well. While a majority of Pashtuns are Sunnis, there are also several Shia groups within Pashtun ranks, particularly among the Orakzai tribes. As documented in Sana Haroon’s book Frontier of Faith, there were several episodes of anti-Shia movements during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most notable among these was the one led by Mullah Mahmud Akhunzada against the Shias of Orakzai which led to a bloody confrontation and expulsion of many Shias in 1929. The British supported the Shia at the time as a persecuted minority, though tribal leaders (particularly the Afridis) were highly suspicious of British intentions and tried to prevent their intervention by mobilizing their own dispute resolution system with the mullahs.

The inhabitants of Hazarajat in the central highlands of Afghanistan, were semi-independent until Amir Abdul Rahman, the King of Afghanistan, invaded their homeland in the late nineteenth century with the help of Sunni clergymen who declared Jihad (religious decree) against the Hazara Shias. According Afghan historian Mir Ghulam Mohammad Ghubar The Amir’s army and tribal militiamen massacred almost 60% of the Hazaras, confiscated much of their fertile land and enslaved many others. Many of them sought refuge in Quetta Pakistan and Iran’s Mashhed at that time leading to current populations in these areas. The remaining population has faced persecution and social discrimination at the hands of Afghan rulers ever since then.

Amir Abdur Rahman Khan (circa 1897). Brutally quashed Hazara rebellion. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Similar dynamics of dissent and conflict with foreign forces in the region appear to be playing out almost a century later. In March 1979 the Hazara launched a major offensive against the communist Afghan government and claimed their homeland (Hazarajat) in just a few months. However, in the 1980 various Hazara factions were engaged in a civil war while trying to establish domination over Hazarajat which ended in 1988 under the platform of the Hizb-e-Wahdat.

Taliban terror and its aftermath

Following the Russo-Afghan war and the subsequent Afghan civil war, the Taliban toke over Kabul in 1996 which marked the beginning of another wave of persecution  and repression against the Hazara. From 1998 to 2002 thousands of Hazaras were massacred by Taliban in Mazar-e-Sharif (1998) , Rotak Pass (2000), Bamiyan (1998 -1999) , Yakao lang (January 2001) and other places of Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented through archived sources the massacre of thousands of Hazara Shias by Taliban forces during these years.  Mullah Manan Niazi, the Taliban governor of Mazar-e-Sharif, had issued a Fatwa that ‘Hazaras are not Muslim, killing them is not a sin’.  While the Taliban did make some tentative alliances with a few Hazara, it is widely believed that it was an official policy of the Taliban to marginalize the Hazara, confiscate their lands and force them into exile, particularly in Iran.

Termination of the Taliban government was wholeheartedly welcomed by the Hazaras and other ethnic and religious minorities in Afghanistan. The situation greatly improved as compared to Taliban times as the Afghan constitution gave fundamental protection to persecuted minorities, including the Hazara. However, minority communities continued to have grievances even under Hamid Karzai’s democratic government and violence continued. In 2004, 16 Hazaras were pulled from their vehicle by Taliban forces in south-central Afghanistan and executed.  Hundreds of them have been massacred by Kochi nomads—who are presumptively allied with Taliban — in Behsud since 2007.  Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission has produced a report on the dreadful series of incidents in this region.

Quo vadis NATO?

After ten years of the presence of US led NATO forces and at the eve of their withdrawal, there are ominous signs of a return to wider persecution of the Hazara Shias. On December 7, 2011 more than 70 Shias, mostly Hazaras, were killed in simultaneous suicide attacks on the tenth day of Moharram in Kabul and Mazar e Sharif. These attacks were ambiguously claimed and then denied by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi-al-Alami, a Pakistan based Taliban affiliate, with historic ties to Pakistani intelligence services that have operated under the despicable doctrine of “strategic depth” (exerting influence through destabilization of Afghanistan in order to gain leverage with their arch-rival India).

Pakistani Hazara diaspora protesting in Oslo Norway, Photo by Penny Thew, creative commons license

Similar attacks have taken place against the Hazara Shias of Pakistan since 1999 in which more than 700 innocent people have lost their lives along with hundreds injured and maimed. Two of the worst attacks which shocked the world were when 29 Hazara passengers were taken off a bus, made to stand in line and executed one by one in Mastung on 20 September 2011.  Another 13 were executed after being identified as Hazaras Shias in Akhtarabad, Quetta, on Oct 04, 2011. The responsibility of almost all such attacks/targeted killings have been claimed by Lashkar e Jhangvi. A few weeks before the massacre, this banned terrorist outfit had circulated an open letter addressed to Hazaras in Quetta reading: “All Shi’ites are worthy of killing. We will rid Pakistan of unclean people….”

London-based Minority Rights Group (MRG) has identified the Hazara as the ‘most under threat minorty group’ in Afghanistan. The Hazara, both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, have been persecuted because of their religious and/or ethnic heritage and are particularly fearful of the peace talks with Taliban that are being brokered by Qatar. These talks may lead to the release of a particularly ruthless anti-Hazara Taliban commander and former deputy defense minister in their regime, Mullah Muhammad Fazl from Guantanamo Bay, who is known for his pernicious attacks on Shias.

For peace to prevail in Afghanistan and Pakistan, assuring security of the Hazara minority is essential. The United States and all interested states must not compromise on the security of this persecuted minority population in their peace talks. The Hazara constitute a vital indigenous culture that has survived for centuries and is threatened. While all groups must try to promote sectarian harmony internally, the responsibility of protecting the fundamental human rights of the Hazara remains with the Afghan and Pakistani states and their allies who purport to support peaceful pluralism.


Saleem H. Ali is Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware (USA) and a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is also a Senior Fellow at Columbia University's Center on Sustainable Enterprise. Dr. Ali is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer for 2010 and World Economic Forum "Young Global Leader" (2011). His books include "Environmental Diplomacy" (with Lawrence Susskind, Oxford Univ. Press) and "Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future" (Yale University Press). He can be followed on Twitter @saleem_ali.
  • Hazara People

    Thank you for your article.
    Our genetic study tells Hazaras are not Mongolian and they have strong connection with Turkic peoples.
    It was also very good if you could focus on Fully armed Pashtun nomads on Hazaras. Here is a report by AIHRC:
    For more information about the Hazara people, please visit .
    Thank you

  • Walayat Hussain

    It is an appreciable article written by Saleems, in which the salient feature of the contemporary and historical scenario of the Hazaras has been drawn.
    Best of luck Dear Saleems.

  • sajjad hazara

    Well-written piece of journalism !!

    Hazara community is a peaceful and non-violent community and is in dire need of ‘Friends of Humanity’ to protect Hazaras from the one-sided non-reciprocal violence !!

  • Naveed Hazara

    it is apreciable to support and show solidarity with one of the most deprived / oppressed nations of the world. Plz also write / support the partitions of Afghanistan as Hazaras do not want to further live with the terrorist, shauvnist nation side by side, we want independent Hazaraistan

  • Farhad Arman

    Hi Sir
    Thanks that you have written this artical and have shared with other people but i want to mention :
    1.Hazaras are Mongol and Turk.
    2.Taliban and pushtons did more crimes than you have mentioned.
    For more informations:

  • Zahir Yassa

    Good Job!

  • Manoochehr

    Saleem Sir that is a great article. from history till mentioning the main marginal events.
    I wanna mention that AburRahman did lots of tyranny to ethnicity of Hazara or the whole Mangol and Turks.They have to pay For it.

  • Qadir Kabuli

    Great Job, Saleems. Unfortunately, international community’s efforts in Afghanistan have been led by the coalition military and it has spend all the development adn reconstruction funds, out of selfishness, in confilict areas with minimum effect or, in terms of corrutption, it even has backfired. In this process peaceful areas, such as the Hazara people, have been denied reconstruction dollars. On the political side, to appease to Pashtun insurgency, international community’s diplomatic and military efforts have helped Pashtuns to gain greater control in Afghan government which also has backfired by giving these people an incentive to continue keeping Afghanistan unstable so that international funds and support for the Pashtuns keep pouring. Hopefully, international community, finally, realizes their mistakes and brings swift changes to the way they have operated. Had they had the foresight, they should not have made the mistake or, at least, not for this long.

  • […] the Hazara of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Helping the Hazara of Afghanistan and Pakistan Posted by Saleem Ali of University of Vermont (USA) January 16, 2012 Hazara Children on their way […]

  • Carolyn Dominish

    Many Hazaras despise the book “The Kite Runner” and its author. Ask around.

    In addition, the Hazaras have not been welcomed into Australia because they are Afghan, just as the cameleers of the past were. The situation is much more complex than that. Allowing refugees into Australia by boat is a very contentious and divisive issue in Australian politics. It warrants a whole new story in National Geographic.

    As for me, I am proud to have Hazaras as my friends, both here in Australia, in Quetta, the UK and Afghanistan itself. Long may the Hazaras live and prosper. Tasha Koor. Ba aman khuda.

  • Raza

    A must read article about Hazara. Want to see more article about Hazara people and current challenging they are facing.

  • Frederika STEEN

    Sorry to have to correct the perception that Australians have welcomed Hazara asylum seekers.Since the year 2000 it has been a tough obstacle course involving immigration detention in remote places, inadequate interpreter services (Hazaragi, a language?) , denied legal and community support and a xenophobic and racist commentary in public and media discussion which even today, l remains largely uninformed about the terror and persecution in the life of every Hazara asylum seeker.

    Yes, thousands of Australian Hazara are successfully living here today, but many are still recovering from the 5 + years of separation from family dependants whom they had to support while delaying their own establishment and integration. They have a great reputation for hard work and the children are achieving well in education. Settlement services for refugees here are among the best in the world BUT Hazara who were granted only TEMPORARY protection visas for 3 -5 years did not qualify for settlement services. As an ethnic/cultural group they are disadvantaged.
    The Australian Hazara “community” – if you can call them so- is troubled and undermined by disadvantage and there are many individuals and family groups who struggle to survive and provide for their loved ones. The agonisingly slow reunion of families, the exclusion of “extended family ” members like elderly mothers and aunties, undermines peace of mind and the prospect of successful settlement.

    The Government allocates only 7 750 places in its sponsored humanitarian program, and Hazara sponsors complete with fellow refugees in our community from Africa , Iraq, Sri Lanka, Burma, Iran etc. Relatives who are financially dependant on Australian Hazara are still vulnerable in Pakistan and Iran where many reside illegally.

    Who knows how many Hazara are still in our detention system , some after 2 years of isolation and not allowed to work to support their dependants?
    There were over 1000 Hazara lock3ed up in Curtin detention Centre in the desert , and many of the 600 in Scherger Detention Centre in far north Queensland were Hazara a few months ago. Over 100 in Pontville, Tasmania are Hazara .

    The fact is that officials determining refugee status strive to prove that Afghanistan is safe for the return of asylum seekers, even if they were boys when their fathers fled to Pakistan or Iran, to which they cannot be returned. It’s Afghanistan to which they must be “safely” returned.. The onus of proof is on the asylum claimant -to make clear why they cannot go to Kabul where they have never lived, where they have no relatives. Or to the village where their house is occupied by others…
    Articles like this one are valuable, and thank you ! but more hard evidence /statistics of the Hazara victims of land grabs , of political, social, religious gender persecution in Afghanistan ,of drive by shootings, civilian war dead etc by province and town and village could help those whom Australia is driving into mental and physical ill health by indefinite mandatory detention.

  • Stella Gibbs

    We can’t pretend these are just them over there. If we all don’t stand up against injustice we can not move forward and teach the next gereration to see the world as the small fragile planet it is and to know that we are all one race
    Just as honesty is honesty there no degrees of honesty there is also no varing degree of justice. It is justice for all or it is no justice. Without justice we can have no peace on earth….

  • ali javed

    it is very nyc dear Saleem brother
    i wish this should be happen by given title
    but mostly in hazara your helping is the mest because in bamyan or in hole hazarajat facilties for children in school or sop many more is not and it is mest and god bless u

  • Sher Ali

    That is a laudable piece entrapping much of the fact pertaining to Hazaras in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    At current, Hazaras live a vulnerable life and the withdrawal proccess of international troops from Afghanistan further concerns them. At such a juncture, reflecting their voices, as done in this piece, is pivotal.

    @Hazara People
    Your genetic project is really appreciable. But its seems like nothing is confimed yet and therefore, not certified.

  • Zulfiqar Ali

    Thank you friends Saleem H. Ali and M. Saleem Javed, for all your efforts and precision.

  • sakhi jahangir

    i am really much thank full to you dear Dr.Saleem javed the article was much informative. so we are the Innocent sacrifices of the history. in every decade we are sacrificed under varieties of propaganda’s of the agencies no sympathy and no human right has ever hugged us to extinguish the fire of the pain we fill it for the centuries. i hope that this article open the sympathetic eyes of the human rights to have a glance to ward our miseries. once again i am great ful to Dr. Saleem Javed.

  • Sadaqat Baba

    By this article, I learned more about what has happened in Afghanistan’s history.

    Thanks Dr Saleem Javed,
    Many thanks to National Geographic

  • ali

    Due to strong facism poles and mono ethnic holds, Hazara remains victims and their voices has been soffocated or distroted by the authorities. Therefore there is a need for strong advocacy to helpthem have equal right and oppertunity in all aspects; politics, governance, buisness etc.

  • Sahema Saberi

    Very well written by the Saleems,

    I would like to thank the National Geoghraphic for posting this article.

  • Mehdi

    I don’t think that the UN and Human Rights Organization can do anything in favor of Hazaras. Hazaras were already marginalized and today in Afghanistan there is no Hazara minister in the Karzai government although they make about 1/4th of the population of the country. Talking to Taliban who do not recognize any human values is an attempt to marginalize Hazaras further.

  • Heela

    I think the article talks about one side of the story and it is full of assumption.
    The population of Hazaras in Afghanistan is between 8-9% and if you have evidence for 20% please share it.
    The king who most of you say has exterminated only hazaras is wrong because he killed Pashtuns as well so to malign pashtuns the author simply turn an individual act of violence by a monrach into a collective crime. Not fair.
    You say that Hazarjat was semi-independent region is incorrect. The Hazaras as you said came to Afghansiatn as refugees and settled in Bamiyam which was a kuchi land for 5000 years. The kuchis were recently removed by the govt just to appease the hazaras. it is not fair again.
    The Hazaras were killed by Taliban for retaliation. Can you say that Hizb Wahadat under Mazari did not chop off women’s breast.
    Despite Hazaras getting the most of the current chaos in Afghanistan(60 seat in WJ and 5 ministries and one vice presdeint) they are still looking for revenage and articles like this and Khalid Hussain’s book are fuel and doing disservice to the Afghans. I think the other side of the story is completely missing

  • Zulfiqar Ali

    @Heela: How long would you people deceive, lie and disguise? Don’t you think its enough for your hatred, tyranny and injustice?

  • adela

    First of all let me thank saleems and hats off to your great piece. It would have been more persuasive if you had given some reference and some proves as the statistics. Hope to hear in future. I feel bad why every Hazara student can’t start writing against what we have always sewed our lips and tolerated every brutality either in Afghanistan or Pakistan. We do have tons of western or eastern history writers who wrote bravely what Abdur-Rehman did particularly to Hazaras. He might have killed some Pushtoons but his act against Hazaras were a deliberate nation cleansing act. For Heela Jan from Holland, I would say as you have claimed for proves about what the articles say then why don’t you provide us some references where you can deny what is written in this article. Under Hizb Wahdat’s ruling, either the members chopped off women’s breast or any other inhuman act, can you give us any prove that a particular Hizb Wahdat member actually did it. What happened in 1990s is very well known to every Afghans. It was Anarchism, no particular ethnic group can be claimed of what happened. Every Afghan suffered due to disunity. And please can you give us any reference for your 9 to 8 percent Hazara total population in Afghanistan. Anti-Shiasm, has always led thousands of Shias to death or any other brutality along the time. Today, Hazaras are happy to be given the chance to participate in Afghanistan’s government, but wouldn’t it be good if the government considers minority in this talk. What this article says isn’t that Hazaras have killed mmany Taliban and now are afraid of their empowerment. If Taliban killed many Hazaras in 1990s for retaliation what is the purpose of daily targeting either one by one or group by group. Are we still paying off for RETALIATION after they massacred majority of Hazaras in 1990s.

    We would be happy to hear the TRUE side of story with solid proves ( if you ever have ). Hazaras are not taking any revenge as they have never started to. They are just looking for justice for what they have been suffering. It is hard to accept just because Khalid Hosaini should just a slide of the bitter facts in Hazaras history.
    However, Hazaras have always been trying to place peace and forget the past. We have never started to ask for REVENGE from the new generation rather we want to forget and move forward along all ethnic groups so that our new generation don’t suffer as we all suffered.

  • Zulaikha Rezaie

    Very well written, an article that provides factual information about the misrable situation of Hazara. Please keep continue..

  • Adnan Ali

    In todays parliament of Afghanistan, Hazara more than 20% seats. so it is fact not an assumption,

  • Sofia Wafa

    I sincerely appreciate This article and Dr. Saleem Javeed who focused on some of the points which were not even identified to the people around, for some of the views or comments above I want to say that, This article is scarcely containing a page or two but it says around half of the things came about and it can be a good twitch. Every uprising needs a start and this can be a good start with referenced articles? I personally liked it.

  • Maryam

    Good job…Saleems

  • Rahmatullah

    It is really nice and valuable. I really thank from Saleem for writting such topic. I am proud of being Hazara and Shia no one can prevent me. As our Imam Hussain has said that مرگ بهتر از زنده گی با ستم کاران است

  • Muhammed Reza Wakil

    Dear HEELA, Hazaras Make 50% of Afghan Population. This Can be Prooved Only By Democracy, Not by Fascism.

  • Ali

    Afghans, especially Hazaras, have been victims of discrimination for many years. What is important to understand now is that the people have to forgive each other for the past and think about peace for now and future. The government and the international community should not disrgard Hazaras in important decision makings anymore and all Afghan individuals, including hazaras, should be granted equal rights.

    Yak kilide khana peshe too, Yak kelide khana peshe man!
    ee watan be man wa too kay watan meshawad!

    stop discriminating and forgive each other.

  • Heela

    Dear Dr. Saleem
    To start with I did not expect this from a man of your stature who seeks peace through environment. It was extremely painful to feel your inexperience in the subject as I went through your writing. Some of the point I would like to share with you are:
    1- Amir Abduram Khan did not suppress only Hazaras but Pashtuns as well. He killed Wardak, Shinwari and the Mommand of Kunar when he felt they will rebel against him. So he was a monarch equally brute to all. When you single out Hazaras your engage with selective group and ignore the others and this puts a question mark on your intellect and concerns for others as human being
    2- You talk about 20 % Hazaras. It is very irresponsible to say so. Can you provide census for that. You are just playing the number game which could set the stage for another civil war. You will understand this when you read my next points.
    3- You talk about Kuchi having committed atrocities against the Hazaras!!! Not true!! The Hazaras confiscated Kuchi land and did not allow them to return to the area that they inhabited for thousands of years. Hazaras are new people in the region. They do not want to co-exist with others and they are inclined to remain isolated.
    4- When you talk about the Yakawlang masscare you conveniently forget what the Hazaras did to Taliban. The Hazaras killed 9 Taliban members brutally. They then nailed their heads through to the chin. How could you forget that Ustad mazari who chopped off women’s breasts?
    5- You did not mention that Hazaras still live for revenge despite having 60 seats in parliaments by default and 6 ministers and a vice-president.
    6- You talk about the partition of Afghanistan. How do you qualify to say that?
    I am simply surprised to read hatred reeking off the post of some of the people here. I think Afghans have been extremey generous to you through the history to allow you to settle sown in Afghanistan or they are extremely gullible not to see the threat . I would really like Saleem to respond to my comments

  • Qadir Kabuli


    Heela, you and your legacy mentality is the main and only problem in Afghanistan. You are a great example of intolerance against non-Pashtun ethnic groups in general and against Hazaras in particular. Still advocating the defunct notion that Hazaras are descendants of Genghiz Khan army is testament to your prejudices. There is no way that you could have an Hazara population so huge just out of a small invading army that was mobile, on the move. This notion of Hazaras being the descendants of Genghiz Khan’s army is a fictional creation by fascist governments to portray Hazaras as outsiders, thus, justify all sorts of injustice against them. As far as Hezb Wahdat committing crime, it is true to certain extent. Cutting women’s breast, although no credible source can substantiate it, however, Hezb Wahdat was not the worst. Other groups had initiated and committed crimes against Hazaras on a larger scale and systematically. Hezbe Wahdat’s activities were purely defensive. In the process some crime may have taken place, but they were surrounded, militarily very weak, and were busy defending their homes. You should blame fascism and the culture of racism and intolerance that always sees Hazaras as a target to be killed. Please, stop this unprofessional accusation that is nothing but sensationalism and everything you are saying is to the contrary.

  • Qadir Kabuli


    1-Your denail of Abdurahan Khan killing Hazaras is the same as Turkey denying the killing of Armenians. Just because some Pashtuns were killed due to political reasons does not diminish the fact that 60% of Hazaras were wiped off by his targeted ethnic cleansing campaign. The killing of Hazaras by Abdurahman Khan was religiously motivated.

    2-For the same reason, can disprove the Hazara population or prove Pashtun population? The reason Afghanistan never conducted a credible census is due inflating one ethnic groups population at the cost of understating other groups’ population. This is why Karzai still resists the idea of conuducting population census.

    3- It is very true. Kuchis are a thorn in the eyes of Hazaras. Please, being able to say something false does not mean it is true. This claim of yours is as true as to say Mullah Omar is an Hazara. Yeah, Hazaras are sadist people and they do not want to co–exist when Taliban are the most violent people and Hazaras the most peaceful, helpful and cooperative. Pathetic accusations.

    4- Here you are proving yourself to be incredibly incredible by equating the killings of civilians by the Taliban to the killing of Taliban soldiers on the battlefield. After all, you seem to be a strong Taliban sympathizer. Other accusations already have been answered.

    5- Really? You are just throwing accustions after accusations and mixing things up that makes no sense. You are being very irrational.

    6- You, your metnatlity and your false accusations qualifies any person on earth to separate from such an unreasonable person. Partitioning of Afghanistan into north-south line is no ones idea but a necessary solution. A rational person would see the need written all over the wall.
    Well, this generosity of yours is quite costly to those non-Pashtuns that have lost their fertile lands to Pashtuns by force all over Afghanistan.

  • Muhammad Zia

    Heela From Holland!
    Lots of Laugh LOL!!! is what i can do at the moment for what you have stated, Your Arrogance, your ignorance and your jealousy gives more strength to the voice of truth, Through out history Hazara’s have been marginalized is a fact that every modern historian journalist and members of civil society know. I must tell you that even if you had said such thing 20 years back from today in private your own fellows would have been laughing on you. Today people can declare you as a retard. Do read what you have written and enjoy the very joke you have said. I am sure you will never come out of your dreams, and will keep saying the same thing. Wish you sweeter dreams my Dear Afghan Friend.

  • Ali


    Obviously, you are a Pashtoon and as Qadir Jaan said, “You are a great example of intolerance against non-Pashtun ethnic groups in general and against Hazaras in particular”. Reading through your comment, one can clearly feel the discrimination that you have against Hazaras.

  • Ali

    wow what a nice article, this is called true history for generation. we must act very unitedly for our right. appreciate the authors and the national geographic team.

  • Arif Hazara

    @ Heela
    Dear Heela when Hazara People were called “Juwali” in Tyrant Abdur Rehman’s reign no one was there to condemn or deter the so called King nor International community neither ur so called Pashtoons whiich u are talking about. After a century of oppression, persecution, harrasment, tyranny and deprivation now when Hazaras are rising again as they were ahead of pashtoons b4 abdur rehman’s regime u are getting envious of them. the writer ddnt miss anything he is totally right but wht is irritating u is our progress which we are gaining after taliban’s fall. How can bullshit that kochis were living in Hazarajat 5000 years ago.. and in afghanistan none of ethnic group has exact population figures every one relys on International Org such as UNO ‘s statistics and according to that about 25% of Afghanistan’s population comprise of Hazara People.
    and yakawlang, mazar and afshar massacre and genocides were nt retaliation they are called ethnic cleansing.

  • Daniel Azad

    If Hazaras had given a chance to have a share in the government and not treated as slave, today Afghanistan would have been a prosperous country. Hazaras honesty and hard work can lead Afghanistan to successful future if given the chance.

  • Abbas Changezi

    “Diaries of Kandahar” – The British diaries gives an insight into the genocide of Hazaras by Abdur Rahman Khan during 1890’s

    Translation of a letter addressed by His Highness the Amir to the Suni Mullas and preachers of Afghanistan. ( quoted from Diaries of Kandahar )

    News. D.No.341 F. No.4800, dated Quetta, the 12th August 1892.
    From-Major-General Sir James Browne, K.C.S.I., C.B.,R.E., Agent to the governor-general in Baluchistan,
    To-The Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign Department.
    News-letter.No. 32.
    By Khan Bahadur Mirza Muhammad Taki Khan, 6th August 1892.
    “I have, therefore with a view to bring this stray flock to the true faith, ordered that they should be preached to and exhorted to give up their false religion. If they do not listen to the advice and preaching of the Sunis, it will be absolutely necessary that they should be put to death.”
    “…But the lands which have already been given to Pashtun refugees will not be returned to Hazaras. In their place, the Hazaras will be given lands which have recently been made arable as a result of new canals having been dug, so that they could live a life of prosperity and progress, God willing. I warn those who have fled to neighboring countries that if they do not return to their native lands by the lunar month of Meezan, the year of snake i.e. 1323 Hijri (September 1905), their lands will not be kept abandoned. I hereby order that such lands be given to the Pashtun refugees.”

    12 Ramazan 1322 Hijri (Sunday 20 November, 1904)
    Royal Stamp of Amir Habibullah Khan

  • Mushahid Hussain Turi

    Salam sir
    Good job I really appreciate this article believe me when I was reading this article I cried because we only shias why they are targeted either in pakistan or in afghanistan. We came to indonesia to go to australia but they passed the expert pannel bill now where should we go. Going back to pakistan is death, living here is racisim and going to australia is Nauru Island. We are helpless I request to Ms Jullia Gillard that please do something for us really our life is danger what should we do now. Please help us we are very helpless

  • Hazara community

    That is very nice article indeed. however, here is some nice information about History of Hazara:

  • Raza

    iam just confuce. i have read many articles about the origion of Hazara’s and i found diffrent teories. i found out that the origion of Hazara’s are obscure. the seem to be amaglam of two types of peoples such as Indo-Iranian, and Mongol-Turkick people? which one should i believe

  • musatafa gulzari

    dear sir i am thankful of you to be proud hazara

  • RB

    Dear Friends, Qawma,
    the website Hazara Community represent a definitely wrong conception of the History and Origins of Hazaras, i appreciate their good efforts in the other fields but the origin presentation is completely and unnecessarily inefficient and wrong
    Please check it and consider the consequences it gives to hazaras

  • […] Read this article about the history of the Hazara people […]

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media