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This article analyses the link between politics of enslavement, war and collective emancipation with particular reference to the Hazaras, an ethnic-religious minority of Afghanistan. The main objective of this paper is to highlight the ambivalence and concerns that have accompanied the emancipatory process of the Hazaras – marked by war and large-scale violence. Today the political subjugation suffered by the Hazaras is a key element of their ‘political discourse’ and collective identity. However the rhetoric of emancipation can be misleading when used to understand the historical processes that have characterized Hazaras’ enslavement as well as their ‘exiting strategies’.