[ 31. Dec 2012 ]

The situation of war in the Kurram Agency, Pakistan and the refugee protest in Austria

'Happy New Year' - Refugees on Hungerstrike in the Votivchurch in Vienna, 31. Dec 2012.

Letter to the Public from one of the Protesters on Hunger strike from 31st of December 2012. "... in Pakistan I have religous problems and in Austria the government does not give me a permission to stay."


The situation of war in the Kurram Agency

I came from Pakistan, i lived in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the Kurram Agency K.A.(Parachinar is the headquarter). There are 7 Agencies in Pakistan, the Pakistan government consider the agencies as backward areas.

The Kurram Agency is inhabited by Shias and Sunnis and I am Shia. The majority population in Kurram Agency are Shias. In 1982 clashes between Shia and Sunni arised, then there was peace for two years. Then came again war. In 1987 my house was destroyed for the first time by the Sunnis and 3 members of my family died, two were injured. And 1996, 2002 again war starts then finish in some days.

But from 2007 till now this war continus betwenn Shias against Taliban, AlQuada and Lashkar-e-Taiba are also involved. These groups want that the Shia give the permission to the U.S., that we go and fight against the Nato.

Because K.A. is situated near Afghan boarder. On the boarder to Afghanistan there is the Nato and our people didn't give the permission to these groups to enter, because if we give the permission to these groups, the Nato will also fight and attack us. In this 5 years we (Shias) lost 4000 people and thousands got injured. These are aged, women, children and men.

In this war I myself lost my house and my small brother and two cousins died by those groups, I lost everything. For two times i have lost my house (1987, 2008).

If we want to go to Peshawar (district-town) from Parachinar (my town), we Shias) cannot go directly by roads, though both cities are in Pakistan. First we have to go to Afghanistan Kabul, then Turkmenistan and then reach Peshawar. This way is also insecure but we go because of our necessities. And it takes 24-27 hours instead of 5 Hours journey.

On this road through Afghanistan we (Shia) lost more then 100 people because Taliban killed or kidnapped them. Sometimes the Pakistani Government makes an convoy of military f rom Parachinar for these Shias to go to Peshawar (District) but in the way Taliban, AlQua'das and these group member attack the convoy and the Shias. In this way we lost more than 1000 people, but apart from the military convoy government does not take any actions against this. Shias are in all Pakistan but they are a minority. Everday Shias are a target to be killed.

Whenever a bus is going in the way in Pakistan, these groups member stop the bus and asked these passengers’ identity. If they find out that they are Shias, they kill these Shias. This matter is continuing since theree, four years and every day Shias are being killed. Also today (30/12/12) 25 people were killed by unknown groups. This i here now in TV news.

In K.A. we have also a lot of problems to get medicine, food, and so many things we need to live. They cannot reach the Kurram Agency, because the Taliban control all the roads in Peshawar and are in majority.

We have done a lot of protests against this in the Pakistan capital and in other cities. But the government did'not take any action.

There are also many problems in other agencies. In the 7 agencies in Pakistan there are bomb blasts, drone attacks and target killing. But in our region, we have a special religous problem.

Escape from Pakistan to Austria

I am educated, I achieved a Master of Business Administration in the Peshawar University. During my studies three times some unknown people tried to kill me and one time they fire on me, but God saved me from the fire. Then I left this city and went to another to continue my studies. But there they also targeted me. And i was compelled to leave Pakistan to go and save my life. I already lost my small brothers and two cousins and also my house. I only have parents and one small sister but they are in a very bad condition.

Because of this condition I left Pakistan and came to Austria to save my life.

Since 14 months I am here in Austria but now Austria give me two times negative and told me to go to another country. But how should I go to another country, if I have fingerprints here? This is not possible for me. In Pakistan I have religous problem and in Austria the government did not give me the permission to stay here.

The refugee protest in Austria

Now we have marched from the Traiskirchen camp on 24. Nov. to Vienna (Wien). There we were in the park for one month. Then on 22. Dec. we make Hunger strike in the church because we want our rights. Here we are more than 40 people in Hunger strike and now ervery day 3,4, people are taken to hospital, today also five persons are in hospital. I have also been taken to hospital once.

In the church we also have a lot of problems because sometimes the police appears outside the camp to pressure us and one day the police came at 4′o clock in the night and removed the camp. We in the chruch were really afraid and woke all up.

In the church it is so cold. The Priest also sometimes closes the toilet doors and suppresse us. He also closed the church’s main gate. He treats us just like prisoners. In the church the caritas members support and help us and there is also a medical team for emergency in the church. I am satisfied with this.

At the end I want to say that we are loveable people. We want peace and humanity and respect. I like Austria so much. There are lovable, respected people, it is such a beautiful country. The caritas gave me residence, they also gave me a Deutschkurs. I love this all, there is also healthcare.

But i don't agree about the Asylum rules and regulations. If the government doesn't give asylum, why did they capture us in the way and why didn’t they remove our fingerprints from the database? The government told me that I had to leave Austria within 14 days. This is not justice.

Now i don't know what I will do: in Pakistan I have religous problems and in Austria the government does not give me a permission to stay.

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