Hazara people

Hazara people

] Additionally, some Hazara tribes are named after notable Mongol generals, including the Tulai Khan Hazara named after Tolui, the youngest son of Genghis Khan. The theories of Mongol descent or partial Mongol descent, are further strengthened given that the Il-Khanate Mongol rulers, beginning with Oljeitu, embraced Shia Islam. Today, almost all Hazaras adhere to Shiism, whereas Afghanistan's other ethnic groups are mostly Sunni.

Another theory proposes that Hazaras are descendants of the Kushans [ [http://www.hazara.net/hazara/geography/Buddha/buddha.html A Profile On Bamyan Civilization.] ] , the ancient dwellers of Afghanistan famous for constructing the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Proponents of this view find the location of Hazara homeland and the similarity in the facial features of the Hazaras and those on the frescoes and Buddha's statues in Bamiyan suggestive. However, this belief is vitiated not only by the fact that the Kushans were Indo-European Tocharians, but also by historical records which mention that in a particularly bloody battle around Bamiyan, Genghis Khan's grandson, Mutugen, was killed, and he ordered Bamiyan burnt to the ground in retribution, [Ratchnevsky, Paul (1991) "Genghis Khan: His Life and Legacy" Blackwell, Oxford, UK, page 164, ISBN 0-631-18949-1] renaming it "Ma-Obaliq" ("Uninhabitable Abode") while replacing the local population with his armies and settlers.

The third theory maintains that Hazaras are a much more mixed race. The mixed race theory is not entirely inconsistent with descent from Mongol military forces since many of the Mongol allies were from Turkic tribes. According to one version of the mixed origins theory, Nikudari Mongols settled in eastern Persia and mixed with the native populations that spoke various Iranian languages. Another version suggests that Chaghatai Mongols first came from Central Asia and were followed by other Mongols, Turko-Mongols, Ilkhanates (that were driven out of Persia), and Timurids all of whom settled in Hazarajat and mixed with the local Persian population forming a distinct group.


Genetically, the Hazara are primarily a mixture of eastern EurasianQuintana-Murci, Lluís "et al." (May 2004) "Where West Meets East: The Complex mtDNA Landscape of the Southwest and Central Asian Corridor" "American Journal of Human Genetics" 74(5): pp. 827-845, on pages 834 and 835] Debets, G. F. (1970) "Physical Anthropology of Afghanistan: I-II" (translated from Russian) Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge, Mass., [http://worldcat.org/oclc/90304 OCLC 90304] ] Rubin, Barnett R. (2002) "The Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and Collapse in the international system" Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., page 30, ISBN 0-300-05963-9] and western Eurasian ["The Hazara Tribes in Afghanistan" "In" (1959) "Collection of papers presented: International Symposium on History of Eastern and Western Cultural Contacts (1957 : Tokyo and Kyoto)" Japanese National Commission for Unesco, Tokyo, p. 61 [http://worldcat.org/wcpa/oclc/9240301OCLC 9240301] ] peoples. The genetic research suggests that they are closely related to the Mongols [Genetics: Analysis Of Genes And Genomes By Daniel L. Hartl, Elizabeth W. Jones, pg. 309] and the Uygurs of Western China. [Rosenberg, Noah A. "et al." (December 2002) "Genetic Structure of Human Populations" "Science (New Series)" 298(5602): pp. 2381-2385]


Emergence of the Hazara

In the late 1500s, the first mention of Hazaras are made by the court historians of Shah Abbas of the Safavid dynasty and by Babur (Emperor of the Mughal Empire) in his Baburnama, referring to the people living from west of Kabul to Ghor, and south to Ghazni.

18th century

In their modern history, Hazaras have faced several wars and forced displacements. Since the beginnings of modern Afghanistan in the mid 18th century, Hazaras have faced persecution from the Pashtuns and have been forced to flee from many parts of today's Afghanistan to Hazarajat.

In response to the harsh repression, the Hazaras revolted again by early 1893. This revolt had taken the government forces by surprise and the Hazaras managed to take most of Hazarajat back. However even after months of fighting, they were eventually defeated due to a shortage of food. Small pockets of resistance continued to the end of the year as government troops committed atrocities against civilians and deported entire villages.

Abdur Rahman's subjugation of the Hazaras during this period gave birth to strong hatred between the Pashtuns and Hazaras for years to come. Massive forced displacements, especially in Oruzgan and Daychopan, continued as lands were confiscated and populations were expelled or fled. Some 35,000 families fled to northern Afghanistan, Mashhad (Iran), Quetta (Pakistan), and even as far as Central Asia. It is estimated that over half the Hazara population was massacred or displaced during Abdur Rahman's campaign against them. Hazara farmers were often forced to give up their property to Pashtuns and as a result many Hazara families had to leave seasonally to the major cities in Afghanistan, Iran, or Pakistan in order to find jobs and a source of income. Pakistan is now home to one of the largest settlements of Hazara particularly in and around the city of Quetta.

Hazaras in the 20th century

In 1901, Habibullah Khan, Abdur Rahman's successor, granted amnesty to all people who were exiled by his predecessor. However, the division between the Afghan government and the Hazara people was already made too deep under Abdur Rahman and as a result Hazaras continued to face severe social, economic and political discrimination through most of the 20th century.

Mistrust of the central government continued by the Hazaras and local uprisings also continued. In particular, in the 1940s, during Zahir Shah's rule, a revolt took place against new taxes that were exclusively imposed on the Hazaras. The Pashtun nomads meanwhile not only were exempted from taxes, but also received allowances from the Afghan government. The angry rebels began capturing and killing government officials. In response, the central government sent a force to subdue the region and later removed the taxes.

oviet invasion to the Taliban era

During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Hazarajat region did not see as much heavy fighting like other regions of Afghanistan. However, rival Hazara political factions had internal conflicts during this period. The division was across the "Tanzáim-e nasl-e naw-e Hazara", a party based in Quetta of Hazara nationalists and secular intellectuals, and the pro-Khomeini Islamist parties backed by the new "Islamic Republic of Iran". By 1979, the Iran backed Islamist groups liberated Hazarajat from the central Soviet-backed Afghan government and later these Islamist groups took entire control of Hazarajat away from the secularist groups. By 1984, after severe fighting, the secularist groups lost all their power to the Islamist groups. Later as the Soviets withdrew in 1989, the Islamist groups felt the need to broaden their political appeal and turned their focus to Hazara ethnic nationalism. This led to establishment of the Hezb-e Wahdat, an alliance of all the Hazara resistance groups (except the "Harakat-e Islami"). In 1992, with the fall of Kabul, the "Harakat-e Islami" took sides with Burhanuddin Rabbani's government while the Hezb-e Wahdat took sides with the opposition. The Hezb-e Wahdat was eventually forced out of Kabul by 1995 as the Pashtun Taliban movement treacherously captured and killed their leader Abdul Ali Mazari.

With the Taliban's capture of Kabul in 1996, all the Hazara groups united with the new Northern Alliance against the common new enemy. However, it was too late and despite the fierce resistance Hazarajat fell to the Taliban by 1998. The Taliban had Hazarajat totally isolated from the rest of the world going as far as not allowing the United Nations to deliver food to the provinces of Bamiyan, Ghor, Wardak, and Ghazni.]


Rohullah Nikpai The 21-year-old Nikpai won a bronze medal in taekwondo in the Beijing Olympics, beating world champion Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain 4-1 in a play-off final. It was Afghanistan's first-ever Olympics medal.


Further reading


See also

* Demography of Afghanistan
* Hazarajat
* Xionites
* Nikudari

External links

* [http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/2008-02/afghanistan-hazara/phil-zabriskie-text.html The Outsiders: Afghanistan's Hazaras - National Geographic Magazine]
* [http://www.hazaragiradio.net Hazaragiradio.net]
* [http://hazara.org/ Hazara.org]
* [http://www.world-hazaras-net.blogfa.com World of Hazaras] - a blog that focuses on the Hazara people (in Persian)
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=haz Ethnologue.com's entry on Hazaragi]
* [http://groups.google.com.pk/group/azaranica?hl=en Google Groups: Azaranica]

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