In the late 16th century, the first mention of Hazaras are made by the court historians of Shah Abbas of the Safavid dynasty and by Babur (Emperor of the Mughal Empire) in his Baburnama, referring to the people living from west of Kabul to Ghor, and south to Ghazni.
18th century

In their modern history, Hazaras have faced several wars and forced displacements. Since the beginnings of modern Afghanistan in the mid 18th century, Hazaras have faced persecution from the Pashtuns and have been forced to flee from many parts of today's Afghanistan to Hazarajat. In the mid 18th century they were forced out of Helmand and the Arghandab basin of Kandahar. During Dost Mohammad Khan's rule, Hazaras in Bamiyan and the Hazarajat area were heavily taxed. However, for the most part they still managed to keep their regional autonomy in Hazarajat. This would soon change as the new Emir, Abdur Rahman Khan, was brought to power.
 Subjugation by Abdur Rahman Khan
Besudi Hazara chieftains, taken by John Burke in 1879-80, possibly at Kabul, Afghanistan.

As the new Emir, Abdur Rahman set out a goal to bring Hazarajat under his control. After facing resistance from the Hazaras, he launched several campaigns in Hazarajat with many atrocities and ethnic polarization. The southern part of Hazarajat was spared as they accepted Abdur Rahman's rule while the other parts of Hazarajat rejected Abdur Rahman and were supporting his uncle Sher Ali Khan and as a result Abdur Rahman waged war against Hazaras who reject his policies and ruling.

In 1856 Abdur Rahman arrested Syed Jafar who was chief of Sheikh Ali Hazara and jailed him in Mazar-e-Sharif. The first Hazara uprising took place during 1888 - 1890. When Abdur Rahman's cousin, Mohammad Eshaq, revolted against him, the Sheikh Ali Hazaras joined the revolt. The revolt was short lived and crushed as the Emir extended his control over large parts of Hazarajat. Sheikh Ali Hazaras had allies in two different groups, Shia and Sunni. Abdur Rahman took advantage of the situation, pitting Sunni Hazaras against Shia Hazaras, and made pacts among Hazaras.

After all of Sheikh Ali Hazara chiefs were sent to Kabul, opposition within the leadership of Sawar Khan and Syed Jafar Khan continued against government troops, but at last were defeated. Heavy taxes were imposed and Pashtun administrators were sent to occupied places, where they subjugated the people with many abuses. The people were disarmed, villages were looted, local tribal chiefs were imprisoned or executed, and the best lands were confiscated and given to Pashtun nomads (Kuchis).

The Second uprising occurred in 1890s - 1893. The cause of the uprising was the rape of the wife of a Hazara chief by  Afghan soldiers. The soldiers had entered their house under the pretext of searching for weapons and raped the chief's wife in front of him. The families of the Hazara chief and his wife retaliated against the humiliation and killed the soldiers and attacked the local garrison, where they took back their weapons. Several other tribal chiefs who supported Abdur Rahman now turned against him and joined the rebellion which rapidly spread through the entire Hazarajat. In response to the rebellion, the Emir declared a "Jihad" against the Shiites and raised an army of 40,000 soldiers, 10,000 mounted troops, and 100,000 armed civilians (most of which were Pashtun nomads). He also brought in British military advisers to assist his army. The large army defeated the rebellion at its center, in Oruzgan, by 1892 and the local population was severely massacred. According to S. A. Mousavi,

    thousands of Hazara men, women, and children were moved to Mountain area from their land and Kabul and Qandahar, while numerous towers of human heads were made from the defeated rebels as a warning to others who might challenge the rule of the Amir

The third upraising of Hazaras was in response to the harsh repression, the Hazaras revolted again by early 1893s. This revolt had taken the government forces by surprise and the Hazaras managed to take most of Hazarajat back. However even after months of fighting, they were eventually defeated due to a shortage of food. Small pockets of resistance continued to the end of the year as government troops committed atrocities against civilians and deported entire villages.

Abdur Rahman's subjugation of the Hazaras due to fierce rebellion against the Afghan king gave birth to strong hatred between the Pashtuns and Hazaras for years to come. Massive forced displacements, especially in Oruzgan and Daychopan, continued as lands were confiscated and populations were expelled or fled. Some 35,000 families fled to northern Afghanistan, Mashhad (Iran), Quetta (Pakistan), and even as far as Central Asia. It is estimated that more than 60% of the Hazara population were massacred or displaced during Abdur Rahman's campaign against them. Hazara farmers were often forced to give up their property to Pashtuns and as a result many Hazara families had to leave seasonally to the major cities in Afghanistan, Iran, or Pakistan in order to find jobs and a source of income. Pakistan is now home to one of the largest settlements of Hazara particularly in and around the city of Quetta. Pashtun-Hazara conflicts were and are based solely on Shia-Sunni relations and no other factors, as such is conflict carried out by the Taliban.
 Hazaras in the 20th century
Faiz Mohammad Katib Hazara, a historian from Afghanistan.

In 1901, Habibullah Khan, Abdur Rahman's successor, granted amnesty to all people who were exiled by his predecessor. However, the division between the Afghan government and the Hazara people was already made too deep under Abdur Rahman and as a result Hazaras continued to face severe social, economic and political discrimination through most of the 20th century.

Mistrust of the central government continued by the Hazaras and local uprisings also continued. In particular, in the 1940s, during Zahir Shah's rule, a revolt took place against new taxes that were exclusively imposed on the Hazaras. The Pashtun nomads meanwhile not only were exempted from taxes, but also received allowances from the Afghan government. The angry rebels began capturing and killing government officials. In response, the central government sent a force to subdue the region and later removed the taxes.
 Soviet invasion to the Taliban era
Abdul Ali Mazari, Leader and Founder of Hizb-e-Wahdat.
During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Hazarajat region did not see as much heavy fighting like other regions of Afghanistan. However, rival Hazara political factions had internal conflicts during this period. The division was across the Tanzáim-e nasl-e naw-e Hazara, a party based in Quetta of Hazara nationalists and secular intellectuals, and the pro-Khomeini Islamist parties backed by the new Islamic Republic of Iran. By 1979, the Iran backed Islamist groups liberated Hazarajat from the central Soviet-backed Afghan government and later these Islamist groups took entire control of Hazarajat away from the secularist groups. By 1984, after severe fighting, the secularist groups lost all their power to the Islamist groups.

Later as the Soviets withdrew in 1989, the Islamist groups felt the need to broaden their political appeal and turned their focus to Hazara ethnic nationalism.This led to establishment of the Hezb-e Wahdat, an alliance of all the Hazara resistance groups (except the Harakat-e Islami). In 1992, with the fall of Kabul, the Harakat-e Islami took sides with Burhanuddin Rabbani's government while the Hezb-e Wahdat took sides with the opposition. The Hezb-e Wahdat was eventually forced out of Kabul in 1995 when the Pashtun Taliban movement captured and killed their leader Abdul Ali Mazari. With the Taliban's capture of Kabul in 1996, all the Hazara groups united with the new Northern Alliance against the common new enemy. However, it was too late and despite the fierce resistance Hazarajat fell to the Taliban by 1998. The Taliban had Hazarajat totally isolated from the rest of the world going as far as not allowing the United Nations to deliver food to the provinces of Bamiyan, Ghor, Wardak, and Ghazni.

During the years that followed, Hazaras suffered severe oppression and many large ethnic massacres were carried out by the predominately ethnic Pashtun Taliban and are documented by such groups as the Human Rights Watch. These human rights abuses not only occurred in Hazarajat, but across all areas controlled by the Taliban. Particularly after their capture of Mazar-e Sharif in 1998, where after a massive killing of some 8000 civilians, the Taliban openly declared that the Hazaras would be targeted. Mullah Niazi, the commander of the attack and governor of Mazar after the attack, similar to Abdur Rahman Khan over 100 years ago, declared the Shia Hazara as infidels:

    Hazaras are not Muslim, they are Shi’a. They are kafir [infidels]. The Hazaras killed our force here, and now we have to kill Hazaras... If you do not show your loyalty, we will burn your houses, and we will kill you. You either accept to be Muslims or leave Afghanistan... wherever you go we will catch you. If you go up, we will pull you down by your feet; if you hide below, we will pull you up by your hair.

By:Mohammad Nazif