10 coal miners from Hazara Shia community were brutally slaughtered on Sunday Night Jan 3, 2020. Victim families are observing sit-in since Sunday along with dead bodies in freezing cold in Quetta where temperature is minus seven degree centigrade. Incident took place in the Muchh area of Balochistan province, some 80 km away from the provincial capital Quetta. Internationally banned terrorist organization IS (Islamic State), also known as Da’ish, later claimed responsibility for the attack, through its Amaq News Agency via its Telegram communications channel. According to the media reports terrorists first separated the miners, tied their hands and feet, took them out into the hills and later killed them. All the coal miners belong to Hazara Shia Community of Quetta. According to local government official Abid Salim, “terrorists in ruthless manner slaughtered them with some sharp instrument. Some of the victims were beheaded”.
After the tragic incident Hazara Shia community started sit-in along with the dead bodies of their loved ones on the Southern bypass, a link road which connects the Balochistan and Punjab province. Demonstrators say, citizen life protection is responsibility of state and provincial government has failed to protect them. They say sit-in will continue unless provincial government will resign, judicial commission will established to probe the incident and Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan will visit them to ensure the fulfillment of their demands. Children and women are among the Protestants.
Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal, Provincial cabinet and Federal interior minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad visited the protesters but dialogue process is not working.
MWM(Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen) the largest Shia Muslim religious and political organization has called for the countrywide sit-in. One the call of MWM, nationwide protest has already been started in the different part of the country including the Lahore, Karachi, DIKhan, Multan and Islamabad.
While speaking to Eat News Allama Raja Nasir Abbas General Secretary MWM said, innocent people were killed brutally, their families are protesting in below zero temperature. They are demanding from PM to visit them and share their grievances. General Secretary MWM said, “It is the responsibility of government to stand with its citizen at the time of crises, I am surprised why our PM is not going to Quetta to meet the victim families. If PM will not go to Quetta we do have right of peaceful protest throughout the country”.
Masooma, the member of victim family claims they are 7 siblings with only one brother who was butchered in this tragic episode; they do not have any male member to share the shoulder for the funeral of their brother. “I am questioning to State why innocent people are being slaughtered, why State is not shielding its citizens”, she added.
On the other hand PM Imran Khan in his tweet said, “I share your pain & have come to you before also to stand with you in your time of suffering. I will come again very soon to offer prayers and condole with all the families personally. I will never betray my people’s trust. Please bury your loved ones so their souls find peace. I want to reassure the Hazara families who lost their loved ones in a brutal terrorist attack in Mach that I am cognizant of their suffering & their demands. We are taking steps to prevent such attacks in the future & know our neighbor is instigating this sectarian terrorism.” PM Imran Khan said, “It is the duty of state and government to protect the minorities”. He vows to address the reservations of HazaraShia community in Baluchistan.
Agha Muhammad Raza former provincial minister, member of Hazara Shia community and one of the organizer of the sit-in said that the demonstration was not organized by anyone, adding, “We are the voice of the people and the sit-in was called at the request of the families of the slain miners.”
Major opposition political party’s leaders Maryam Nawaz (Pakistan Muslim League-N) and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari(Pakistan People’s Party) said in their messages that they are standing with Shia Hazara community and soon they will visit Quetta to meet the protesters.
General Secretary United Nations António Guterresstrongly condemns the terrorist attack and killing of at least 10 coal miners in the Baluchistan Province. He extends his sincere condolences to the families of the miners and the people and Government of Pakistan. He trusts the Pakistani authorities will do everything possible to bring the perpetrators of this terrorist act to justice.
Hazara Shia community in Baluchistan has suffered a lot due to such kind of heartbreaking and catastrophic incidents in the past. Each time government ensures protection and security to this community but still they are facing brutal sectarian killing due to unrest in Balochistanprovince since long span of time.
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