Madam Speaker, I respect that. Unfortunately, these are issues that I am not as familiar with, but I was asked to present them. I will do my best to shorten this particular one.
The citizens of Canada draw the attention of the House of Commons to the fact that Abdul Rahman Khan, the emir of Afghanistan, was installed by the British government and received a subsidy from it. They waged a genocidal campaign against the Hazaras from 1891 to 1893. It wiped out the vast majority of this ethnic group.
There were tens of thousands of Hazaras who were forcefully displaced from their lands and many other thousands were forcefully proselytized, raped and enslaved from 1891 to 1893. The petition goes on to talk about the fact that even as late as August 1998, hundreds, if not thousands, of men, women, children and elders were slaughtered in the cities of Mazar-e Sharif and Bamiyan.
The Hazaras still continue to face systemic and targeted persecution in post-2001 Afghanistan. It is clearly a serious issue. Canada has spent $3.6 billion in assisting Afghanistan and we lost 158 brave men and women in uniform in the fight against the Taliban. Afghanistan remains one of the largest recipients of Canada's international financial assistance.
Therefore, the undersigned call upon the Government of Canada to take action. They ask to formally recognize the 1891 to 1893 ethnic cleansing perpetrated against the Hazaras; to designate September 25 as Hazara genocide memorial day; and to support Bill C-287 to ensure that all development assistance sent from Canada to Afghanistan is contributing to the peace and security of the region for all peoples.