Mass Exodus: Moving on, or moving out? Same thing?

QUETTA, March 3: MWM’s Domki, when asked about the Hazara migration, vehemently rejects the suggestion that the majority of the people are leaving Quetta. mass“Yes, people do move abroad in search of a better future, but it is an economical issue. You cannot link it with these incidents,” he states. And yet, HRCP’s Hussain tells The Express Tribune that 20,000 people from the community have left for Australia and Europe. “Additionally, around 30,000 people have left Quetta to live in Sindh and Punjab,” he says, adding that around 2,000 others are unaccounted for, their whereabouts unknown. Furthermore, 50,000 to 60,000 Shias who are not Hazara have also migrated from Balochistan. Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani presents his own figures. According to him, about 500 to 1,000 families have migrated from Balochistan, but 90% of the Hazaras do not have enough resources to leave. Ali Ahmed*, who worked as an agent assisting people with migration to Australia until two years ago, estimates that around 100,000 have migrated from Quetta due to the law and order situation. Many Hazaras have hurriedly sold their houses and other properties. He says that even moving is not simple for the Hazaras. In many cases, they first legally travel to Malaysia, then on to Indonesia. Then, they attempt to enter Australia illegally. In most cases, the Australian government detains them, questions them and allows them to apply for asylum. The cost of travel from Malaysia to Jakarta is seven thousand dollars; from Jakarta to Australia an additional three thousand. “Yes, they face hardships,” he says. “Many people lose their lives when boats capsize at sea. In fact, hundreds of hopeful migrants have died en route.” According to Ahmed, the migration from Quetta began in 1998. (*Name changed to protect anonymity)]]>

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