Quetta (Pakistan): the Hazara Refuge
DOI link for Quetta (Pakistan): the Hazara Refuge
Quetta (Pakistan): the Hazara Refuge book
The Hazara community is one of the largest in the urban area of Quetta, capital of Pakistani Baluchistan, successive waves having settled there since Abdur Rahman's conquest of Hazarajat in the late-nineteenth century. In fact, the migration has been virtually uninterrupted since that time. The terrible famine in large parts of Afghanistan in the early 1970s, followed by the Communist coup in 1978 and the Soviet intervention in 1979, greatly increased the number of departures and often gave them a more settled character. But, despite the vicissitudes of war, a seasonal migratory cycle has established itself over several decades, as many men from southern Hazarajat go to work each winter in the coal mines near Quetta and return in early spring to resume their farming activity. In other words, the flow is not one way. For all the variation in intensity, there is a migratory continuum between Hazarajat (especially the southern fringes in Ghazni province) and Quetta. Few Hazaras settled in the refugee camps in Pakistan; most preferred to try their luck in an urban environment and therefore benefited little from the UN (mainly UNHCR) or NGO refugee infrastructures.