Hazara rights activist Tahir Khan passed away in the Sandeman City Hospital, Quetta, due to a heart attack on Sunday. Khan was a prominent activist and the face of the movement for the rights for the Hazara community in Balochistan.
Activist Jalila Haider confirmed the news of Khan’s death in a tweet, saying that he had been taken to the hospital on Sunday morning after suffering a heart attack. She said due to the inavailibitly of doctors, Tahir Khan could not receive the basic treatment and, therefore, he passed away.
Tahir Khan was the face of the campaign for the rights of the Hazara community, who have suffered enormously due to the cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan and are frequently targeted by the Taliban and other religious extremist organizations. Khan rose to fame in January 2021 when a clip of him confronting Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove and other lawmakers in the wake of the killing of 11 Hazara miners went viral on social media platforms. In the video, the rights activists can be heard berating the Pakistani security forces for the rampant lawlessness and instability in Balochistan as the lawmakers listen and nod their heads.
Tahir Khan was also a fervent supporter of the Baloch cause and frequently visited the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) camp in Quetta and participated in demonstrations for the safe release of the Baloch missing persons. His sudden departure was a shock to everyone who knew him. Activists paid tributes to his life and work and called him a “powerful voice for oppressed people of Balochistan.”
Activist Jalila Haider tweeted: “… [Tahir Khan] was a powerful voice for the oppressed Hazara community and all the other downtrodden nations across Pakistan.”
Baloch journalist Kiyya Baloch paid his tributes to Tahir Khan in a tweet, saying: “With the demise of #TahirKhanHazara, a glorious chapter in #Balochistan’s resistance comes to an end. Tahir was a towering figure of #Hazara rights & battled & devoted his life to other oppressed classes. He is a source of inspiration, and his legacy will live on. RIP Comrade.”
The Baloch National Movement also paid its tributes to the deceased rights activist in a social media post. “Tahir Khan Hazara was an important personality of #Balochistan who always raised his voice in favor of the people of Balochistan. It is sad that he died due to lack of timely treatment. We are shocked by his death. Today, we have lost a strong voice. Baloch nation and Balochistan will remember him as a humanist.”