UNA-UK’s R2P Programme Officer addresses Hazara APPG
On 10 September 2013, Alex Buskie, UNA-UK’s Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Programme Officer, spoke at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Hazara (HAPPG) marking Hazara Solidarity Day.
The Hazara, a predominantly Shi’a minority mostly living in Pakistan and Afghanistan, have suffered years of marginalisation for their distinctive Turko-Mongol features as well as their religious beliefs. The conference explored the various challenges faced by the Hazara, ranging from the socio-economic and educational discrimination in Quetta, Pakistan, their flight from South Asia to Europe and Australia, to fears regarding the planned NATO-led withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent elections in 2014.
John Denham MP chaired the meeting, which also welcomed contributions from Dr. Timor Sharan, researcher on Afghanistan and Dr. Saleem Javed, journalist and human rights activist. Alex outlined the concept of R2P and lessons learned from previous uses of the principle in practice to prevent atrocity crimes. The final address was given by Iain Stewart MP, Secretary of HAPPG.
The meeting was well attended by MPs, representatives from the High Commission for Pakistan in the United Kingdom, NGO representatives and members of the Hazara diaspora community. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for MPs and other interested groups to learn about the Hazara, R2P and the protection of minorities.