21st Mazari Assassination Anniversary in Kabul, Afghanistan (2016)
March 2016 marks the 21st anniversary of assassination of Hazara leader, Abdul Ali Mazari. Millions of Hazaras across the globe are paying tribute to Mazari—the most revered and unifying figure among Hazaras. He is affectionately referred to as “Baba Mazari” or “Father Mazari”— a title signifying him as the father of his people. No one ever among Hazaras has received that title from the people themselves.
Mazari assassination is a watershed moment in the recent Hazara history and considered one of the most painful chapters in the long, bloody history of Hazara persecution in Afghanistan that spans well over a century. The exact date and time of Mazari’s assassination remains unclear but believed to be March 13, 1995.
Our only wish for our people is that being a Hazaras should no longer be a crime – Shaheed Mazari
In March of 1995, a trap was set to hand over Mazari to Taliban under the guise of “Peace Talk.” Several nations and prominent personalities played a pivotal role in handing Mazari to the Taliban terrorists. The extent of their involvement officially remains classified —the committee investigating the assassination of Tajik commander, Ahmad Shah Masood, pointed to Iran playing a central role in Mazari assassination. It is clear that certain guarantees were provided regarding Taliban and that the “Peace Talk” could pave the way for the end to the conflict in Afghanistan. In a show of good faith, the Hazara leader along with six of his close aides —Abuzar Ghaznavi, Ebrahimi Behsudi, Ekhlasi Jaghori, Sayed Ali Alavi, Jan Mohammad Turkmani and Abbas Jaffari— traveled in two cars leaving behind his security contingent. Upon arrival, they found themselves under gunpoint by the Taliban commander Mullah Burjan in the vicinity of Pule Gul-Bagh on the outskirts of southern Kabul. Subsequently, Mazari and his aides were taken captive, severely tortured and murdered, and pictures of Mazari were released in captivity. Later their bodies were thrown out of a helicopter in Ghazni province.
No society can survive without equality, tolerance, social justice, and brotherhood – Shaheed Mazari
The betrayal and news of the gruesome murder of Mazari and his aides shocked the Hazara world. Following Mazari’s assassination, the Hazara defenses fell one after another to the Taliban resulting in mass executions and ethnic cleansing of approximately 15,000-20,000 Hazaras in cities like Bamiyan, Mazar-e Sharif, Yakawlang, Robatak pass and throughout the rest of Hazarajat region in Afghanistan. Yakawlang in Bamiyan was completely destroyed, as were the UNESCO World Heritage Bamiyan Buddhas representing over 2000 years of Hazara history. Pakistan celebrated by selling the pieces of Buddha statues for Rs 10 (10 cents) in the streets of Peshawar; Right-leaning Newspaper in Pakistan printed a special calendar showering praise on Taliban shown blowing Bamiyan Buddhas to pieces. In Mazar-e Sharif, the killing frenzy lasted for a week where Hazaras were daily brought and slaughtered brutally.
When we raise the issue of the rights of nationalities, we raised them as brothers as they are brothers, not as animosity towards others. We are brothers. We have been brothers for hundreds of years and we will be brothers hereafter – Shaheed Mazari
The ‘Afghan Taliban’ —a misnomer for predominantly non-Afghan Pakistanis and Arabs— is a proxy force of Pakistan aided by deep coffers of Middle Eastern Sheikdoms. Prior to 9/11 attacks, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates were the only three nations that officially recognized Taliban regime. In February 2015, Pakistan’s former President and Army Chief, General Pervez Musharraf publicly acknowledged that Pakistan’s military intelligence, the ISI, cultivated the Taliban to counter India. In March 2016, Pakistani Government officially acknowledged sheltering Taliban leadership in Pakistan following US bombing of Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks.
The growing Hazara reverence for Mazari requires a deeper analysis. During 1890’s, the Pashtun-led Afghan Government ran over Hazarajat putting an estimated 62% of Hazaras to sword while selling tens of thousands of Hazaras as slaves to pay for the cost of war. The situation of Hazaras were not unlike Jews under Nazis or African Americans under White Supremacists in the United States. Since 1890, the entire PR machinery of Afghan government was used to make the word Hazara to mean “below human.” Derogatory racial hate slurs were and are still used for Hazaras. Mazari is the first leader that restored the human dignity of Hazaras. He fought for the civil rights and human rights of Hazaras as well as other ethnic groups in Afghanistan. To Hazaras: for standing to their rights, he is Mandela, he is Gandhi, and for fighting for justice, he is the embodiment of Hussain, the grandson of the prophet Mohammad who stood against tyranny in the battle of Karbala 1400 years ago and sacrificed everything to deny legitimacy to the tyrant of the time known as Yazeed.
Mazari Assassination Anniversary Across the Globe
Following is only a very small list of the anniversary events held across the World. We will make an effort to update events held Internationally as it is reported to us. It is not possible to list every event in Afghanistan since it is usually held at a neighborhood level, especially in cities across Hazarajat and bigger cities such as Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif with significant Hazara populations.
Sydney – No pic gallery available yet
Helsinki – No pic gallery available yet
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