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Not to be confused with the Hazarewal people of Hazara, Pakistan.
For additional information refer also to Persecution of Hazara people
The Hazāra (Persian: هزاره) are a Persian-speaking people who mainly live in central Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are overwhelmingly Shia Muslims and comprise the third largest ethnic group of Afghanistan, forming about 9% (according to other sources up to 18%) of the total population. Over half a million Hazaras live in neighbouring Pakistan (especially in the city of Quetta) and a similar number in Iran.
The origins of the Hazaras have not been fully reconstructed. At least partial Mongol descent is difficult to rule out, because the Hazaras' physical attributes and parts of their culture and language resemble those of Mongolians. Thus, it is widely accepted that Hazaras have Mongolian ancestry, especially after genetic testing showed Hazaras carried the highest frequency of the Y chromosome attributed to Genghis Khan anywhere. Some Hazara tribes are named after famous Mongol generals, for example the Tulai Khan Hazara who are named after Tolui, the youngest son of Genghis Khan. Theories of Mongol or partially Mongol descent are plausible, given that the Il-Khanate Mongol rulers, beginning with Oljeitu, embraced Shia Islam. Today, the majority of the Hazaras adhere to Shi'ism, whereas Afghanistan's other major ethnic groups are mostly Sunni. However, the Sunni and Ismaili Hazara population, while existent, have not been extensively researched by scholars.
Another theory proposes that Hazaras are descendants of the Kushans, the ancient dwellers of Afghanistan famous for constructing the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Its proponents find the location of the Hazara homeland, and the similarity in facial features of Hazaras with those on frescoes and Buddha's statues in Bamiyan, suggestive. However, this belief is contrary not only to the fact that the Kushans were Indo-European Tocharians, but also to historical records which mention that in a particularly bloody battle around Bamiyan, Genghis Khan's grandson, Mutugen, was killed, and he ordered Bamiyan to be burnt to the ground in retribution.
A third theory, and the one accepted by most scholars, maintains that Hazaras are a mixed group. This is not entirely inconsistent with descent from Mongol military forces. For example, Nikudari Mongols settled in eastern Persia and mixed with native populations who spoke Persian. A second wave of mostly Chagatai Mongols came from Central Asia and were followed by other Turko-Mongols, associated with the Ilkhanate (driven out of Persia) and the Timurids, all of whom settled in Hazarajat and mixed with the local Persian population, forming a distinct group.
Genetically, the Hazara are primarily eastern Eurasian with western Eurasian genetic mixtures. Genetic research suggests that they are related to neighboring peoples, while there also seems to be a patrimonial relation to Mongol peoples of Mongolia. Mongol male ancestry is supported by studies in genetic genealogy as well, which have identified a particular lineage of the Y-chromosome characteristic of people of Mongolian descent ("the Y-chromosome of Genghis Khan"). This chromosome is virtually absent outside the limits of the Mongol Empire except among the Hazara, where it reaches its highest frequency anywhere.
R1b1a1 (2011 name) is defined by the presence of SNP marker M73. It has been found at generally low frequencies throughout central Eurasia, but has been found with relatively high frequency among particular populations there including Hazaras in Pakistan (8/25 = 32%).
 Emergence of the Hazara
Besudi Hazara chieftains, taken by John Burke in 1879–80, possibly at Kabul, Afghanistan.
In the late 16th century, 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. Babur noted that the Hazara (or Qaraunas) spoke Mongolian but not Turkic in his day.
 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 the mid 18th century they were forced out of Helmand and the Arghandab basin of Kandahar. During Dost Mohammad Khan's rule, Hazaras in Bamiyan and the Hazarajat area were heavily taxed. However, for the most part they still managed to keep their regional autonomy in Hazarajat. This would soon change as the new Emir, Abdur Rahman Khan, was brought to power.
 Subjugation by Abdur Rahman Khan
Faiz Mohammad Katib Hazara, a 19th century historian from Afghanistan.
As the new Emir, Abdur Rahman set out a goal to bring Hazarajat under his control. After facing resistance from the Hazaras, he launched several campaigns in Hazarajat with many atrocities and ethnic polarization. The southern part of Hazarajat was spared as they accepted Abdur Rahman's rule, while the other parts of Hazarajat rejected Abdur Rahman and supported his uncle, Sher Ali Khan. Abdur Rahman waged war against Hazaras who rejected his policies and rule.
In 1856 Abdur Rahman arrested Syed Jafar, chief of Sheikh Ali Hazara, and jailed him in Mazar-e-Sharif. The first Hazara uprising took place during 1888–90. When Abdur Rahman's cousin, Mohammad Eshaq, revolted against him, the Sheikh Ali Hazaras joined the revolt. The revolt was short lived and crushed as the Emir extended his control over large parts of Hazarajat. Sheikh Ali Hazaras had allies in two different groups, Shia and Sunni. Abdur Rahman took advantage of the situation, pitting Sunni Hazaras against Shia Hazaras, and made pacts among Hazaras.
After all of Sheikh Ali Hazara chiefs were sent to Kabul, opposition within the leadership of Sawar Khan and Syed Jafar Khan continued against government troops, but at last were defeated. Heavy taxes were imposed and Pashtun administrators were sent to occupied places, where they subjugated the people with many abuses. The people were disarmed, villages were looted, local tribal chiefs were imprisoned or executed, and the best lands were confiscated and given to Pashtun nomads (Kuchis).
 Second uprising
The second uprising occurred in 1890–93. The cause of the uprising was the rape of the wife of a Hazara chief by 33 Afghan soldiers. The soldiers had entered their house under the pretext of searching for weapons and raped the chief's wife in front of him. The families of the Hazara chief and his wife retaliated against the humiliation, killed the soldiers and attacked the local garrison, where they took back their weapons. Several other tribal chiefs who supported Abdur Rahman now turned against him and joined the rebellion which rapidly spread through the entire Hazarajat. In response to the rebellion, the Emir declared a "jihad" against the Shiites and raised an army of 40, 000 soldiers, 10, 000 mounted troops, and 100,000 armed civilians (most of which were Pashtun nomads). He also brought in British military advisers to assist his army. The large army defeated the rebellion at its center, in Oruzgan, by 1892 and the local population was severely massacred. According to S. A. Mousavi:
thousands of Hazara men, women, and children were moved to Mountain area from their land and Kabul and Qandahar, while numerous towers of human heads were made from the defeated rebels as a warning to others who might challenge the rule of the Amir.
The third uprising of Hazaras was in response to the harsh repression, the Hazaras revolted again by early 1893. This revolt took the government forces by surprise and the Hazaras managed to take most of Hazarajat back. However, 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 due to fierce rebellion against the Afghan king 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 more than 60% of the Hazara population were 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. Pashtun–Hazara conflicts were and are based solely on Shi'a–Sunni relations, thus the conflict was continued by the Taliban.
 Soviet 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 fought. The division was between 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 took entire control of Hazarajat away from the secularists. By 1984, after severe fighting, the secularist groups lost all their power to the Islamists.
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 in 1995 when the Pashtun Taliban movement 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 Daykundi.
Though Hazaras played a role in the anti-Soviet movement, other Hazaras participated in the new Communist government, which actively courted Afghan minorities. Sultan Ali Kishtmand, a Hazara, served as prime minister of Afghanistan from 1981-1990 (with one brief interruption in 1988). The Ismaili Hazaras of Baghlan Province likewise supported the Communists, and their pir (religious leader) Jaffar Naderi led a pro-Communist militia in the region.
During the years that followed, Hazaras suffered severe oppression and many large ethnic massacres were carried out by the predominately ethnic Pashtun Taliban and are documented by such groups as the Human Rights Watch. These human rights abuses not only occurred in Hazarajat, but across all areas controlled by the Taliban. Particularly after their capture of Mazar-e Sharif in 1998, where after a massive killing of some 8000 civilians, the Taliban openly declared that the Hazaras would be targeted.
 Hazaras in post-Taliban Afghanistan
Karim Khalili, 2nd Vice President of Afghanistan, (with Turban) standing with Hamid Karzai, Mohammed Fahim and George W. Bush.
Following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States, British and American forces invaded Afghanistan. Since then, the situation for Afghans in Afghanistan has changed drastically in Kabul but the country largely remains lawless at the hands of equally brutal afghan police forces. Hazaras have pursued higher education, enrolled in the army, and have top government positions. For example, Mohammad Mohaqiq, a Hazara from the Hezb-e Wahdat party, was able to run in the 2004 presidential election in Afghanistan, and Karim Khalili became the Vice President of Afghanistan. A number of ministers and governors are Hazaras, including Sima Samar, Habiba Sarabi, Ramazan Bashardost, Sarwar Danish, Sayed Hussein Anwari, Abdul Haq Shafaq, Sayed Anwar Rahmati, Qurban Ali Oruzgani and many others. The mayor of Nili in Daykundi Province is Azra Jafari, who became the first female mayor in Afghanistan. The National Assembly of Afghanistan (Parliament) is 25% made up of ethnic Hazaras, which represents 61 members. However, discrimination still lingers, and even accusations of genocide. An indication of discrimination is the policy of allocating international help by the Afghan government. Hazarajat historically has been kept from any improvement by past governments. Since ousting the Taliban, several billion dollars have poured into Afghanistan for reconstruction and numerous mega-scale reconstruction projects took place in Afghanistan. But effectively a very small portion of international aid was allocated in the central regions of Afghanistan, the Hazarajat area.
A gathering of Hazaras on the final day of Ramadan in Daykundi Province of Afghanistan.
Habiba Sarabi and Laura Bush meeting Afghan National Police commander in Bamiyan, Afghanistan.
For example, there have been more than 5000 kilometers of road pavement and construction in Afghanistan, of which almost none happened in central Afghanistan Hazarajat. Another indication of such discrimination is that Kochis (Afghan nomads from western Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan) are allowed now to use Hazarajat pastures in summer time. This practice started during the rule of Amir Abdurahman Khan for punishing Hazaras.
Living in mountainous Hazarajat where little farm land exists, Hazara people rely on these pasture lands for their livelihood and survival during long and harsh winters. In 2007 heavily armed Kochis moved into Hazarajat to graze their livestock, and when the local people resisted, it is reported that they clashed and several people died on both sides, Kochis and Hazara. Such a practice happened in 2008, and the government appears to approve this practice. Kochis belong to the Pashtun ethnic group, as do the Taliban.
In 2010, the drive by President Hamid Karzai after the Peace Jirga to strike a deal with Taliban leaders caused deep unease in Afghanistan’s minority communities, who fought the Taliban the longest and suffered the most during their rule. The leaders of the Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara communities, which together make up close to half of the country's population, vowed to resist any return of the Taliban to power, referring to the large-scale massacres of Hazara civilians during the Taliban period.
Main article: Hazara diaspora
Alessandro Monsutti argues, in his recent anthropological book, that migration is the traditional way of life of the Hazara people, referring to the seasonal and historical migrations which have never ceased and do not seem to be dictated only by emergency situations such as war.
Besides the major populations of Hazaras in Quetta (Pakistan)—where many have achieved considerably high positions within the government and police force—and Iran, there are significant communities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and particularly the Northern European countries such as Sweden and Denmark. Many young Hazara are studying in developed countries such as Australia, legally through education or work visas. There are many Afghan Hazara who have migrated to developed countries especially in Australia as refugees. The notable case was the Tampa affair in which a shipload of refugees, mostly Hazaras, was rescued by the Norwegian freighter MV Tampa and subsequently sent to Nauru. New Zealand agreed to take some of the refugees and all but one of those were approved.
 Hazaras in Pakistan
Further information: Persecution of Hazara people
Muhammad Musa, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff from 1958 to 1966
Hazaras had been seasonal menial workers in India, who came here in winter months to work in coal mines, road construction etc. during the British expansion in sindh, Balochistan and North west Frontier. The earliest record of Hazaras in the areas of present day Pakistan are found in the Broad-foot's sappers company in 1835 at Quetta. This sappers company participated in the first Anglo Afghan war also. Besides this Hazaras also worked in the agriculture farms in Sindh and construction of Sukkur barrage. Haider Ali Karmal Jaghori was a prominent political thinker of the Hazara people in Pakistan writing about the Political history of Hazara people. His work Hazaraha wa Hazarajat Bastan Dar Aiyna-e-Tarikh was published in Quetta in 1992, and another work by Aziz Tughyan Hazara Tarikh Milli Hazara was published in 1984 in Quetta.
In Pakistan today, most of the Hazara people (upto half a million) live in the city of Quetta, in Balochistan province. Localities in the city of Quetta with prominent Hazara populations include Hazara Town and Mehr Abad. The Hazara ethnic minority have been facing discrimination in the province for a very long time, nevertheless, bloody violence perpetrated against them has risen very sharply in recent years. 700 people including women and children have been killed so far. No one has been arrested to this date in connection with these killings.
Literacy level among the Hazara community in Pakistan is relatively high and they have integrated well into the social dynamics of the local society. Saira Batool, a Hazara woman was one of the first female pilots in Pakistan Air Force. Other notable Hazara include Qazi Mohammad Esa, General Muhammad Musa, who served as Commander in Chief of the Pakistani Army from 1958 to 1968, Air Marshal(r) Sharbat Ali Changezi, Hussain Ali Yousafi slain chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party, Syed Nasir Ali Shah, MNA from Quetta and Agha Ghulam Ali, owner of Agha Juice, a famouse fruit juice outlet in the country, who was murdered in 2007. The political representation of the community is served by Hazara Democratic Party, a secular liberal democratic party, headed by Abdul Khaliq Hazara..
Hazaras in Iran
Further information: Afghans in Iran
Over the many years as a result of political unrest in Afghanistan many Hazaras have migrated to Iran. They have complained of maltreatments in Iran. In March 2011, Eurasia Daily Monitor reported that representatives of Hazaras community in Iran have asked Mongolia to intervene in supporting their case with Iranian government and prevent Iranian forced repatriation to Afghanistan.