The Hazara protesters demanded that the planned route for the 500 kV transmission line linking Turkmenistan with Kabul be changed to pass through two provinces with large Hazara populations, an option the government says would cost millions of dollars and delay the badly needed project by years.

It says the current plan ensures that the two provinces of Bamyan and Wardak will get ample electricity even if the main transmission line does not pass through them directly.

It has now been postponed while a government review is held.

The Hazaras are an ethnic minority in Afghanistan who have long complained of discrimination. The protests are also shining a light on the Hazaras long-running grievances.

So, are the Hazaras really discriminated against in Afghanistan? Or are they being manipulated by outside influences?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Habib Wardak - Good governance and anti-corruption activist.

Rohullah Yakobi - Associate Fellow at the Human Security Centre; a Hazara who fled Afghanistan at the age of 12.

Thomas Ruttig - Co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

Source: Al Jazeera