Hazara people of South West Asia are a large ethnic community of South and Central Asia , who are living mainly in Afghanistan and Pakistan and in a few number in Iran. Hazara is derived from the Persian word hazār, which means “thousand”. Hazara “ming” was a military unit of the Western Mongol empire which was named later to Hazara community. There is lots of research going on for establishing the true origin of Hazara people but their apparent facial features like large cheekbones and exiguous beards closely simulate them with Mongols. Genetically, the Hazara are considered eastern Eurasian with western Eurasian genetic mixtures. Some historic studies suggest us that the descendants of the Hazara people were migrated to Central Afghanistan from Mongol empire between 1230 and 1440 AD. They have a big population now in the same region and this area is presently known as Hazarajat . This is a mountain zone in the south of Hindu Kush range with the average elevation of 12,000 feet from the sea level. The high mountains and harsh weather conditions have marked deeply in the life and habits of Hazara people. The majority of Hazara people embraced Shia Islam and a large number of Hazaras have opted Ismaili school of thought. Most of the Hazara people speak Hazaragi language, a local form of Persian. The largest tribe of Hazara community is known as daizangi which comprise of 57.2% of the total Hazara population. In Afghanistan the most of the economiic life style of Hazara people is based upon agriculture and cattle farming.
Although Hazara people are considered the third largest minority in Afghanistan but due to Sunni domination they have also gone through massive discrimination. This has also resultd into migration of huge population of Hazara people to neighboring Iran and Pakistan. In Pakistan most of the Hazara families live around Quetta which is the capital of Balochistan. The Hazara people of Pakistan are living in Pakistan for the last 150 years and played a prominent role in the nations economy. They are quite different from the Hazara people of Hazarajat in their livelihood and lingo styles. Like other citizens of Pakistan the Hazara people of Pakistan enjoy many privileges and many of them have reached some distinguished positions like General Musa Khan who served as Commander in Chief of the Pakistani Army. Another prominent figure form Pakistani Hazara community was Hussain Ali Yousafi who was the founder of the Hazara Democratic Party of Pakistan. The Hazara people of Pakistan are also enjoying higher education and many other social developments like inter-marriages with Balochs and other Pakistanis.
The cultural values of Hazara people are now different with each other as now they are scattered in Afghanistan , Pakistan and Iran. But somehow they have managed to retain their genuine traditions and customs in Hazarajat. The traditional costumes and ornaments of Hazara people are really fascinating. Hazara male dress includes knee length, cotton shirts hanging over matching baggy trousers, embroidered skullcaps, and turbans. The Hazara Women usually wear the same clothing but they also use brightly colored shawls to cover their heads.Many of the Pakistani Hazaras are involved in the business of traditional handicrafts which is worldly popular.
Hazara people have suffered from ethnic violence and genocide in Afghanistan from Talibans and Pashtuns. In Pakistan where every citizen is also under the great threat of terrorism, the Pakistani Hazaras have also faced persecution in the name of sectarian violence. But still majority of Hazara people believe in solidarity and unity with Pakistani nation and the government of Pakistan must take serious steps to prevent the maltreatment and oppression against the Hazara community from the conspirators.