Hazaras continue Quetta's protest on the 6th day and refuse to bury slain miners despite Pakistan Prime Minister's request.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed his sympathy with members of the ethnic Hazara community protesting against the killing of 10 coal miners in a targeted attack last week, but has referred to a demand that he visit them before they bury their dead as "blackmail".
View this post on Instagram
I want to reassure the Hazara families who lost their loved ones in a brutal terrorist attack in Machh that I am cogniscant of their suffering & their demands. We are taking steps to prevent such attacks in the future & know our neighbour is instigating this sectarian terrorism.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 6, 2021
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.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 6, 2021
PM Khan said he sympathized with the community, but would not accede to the demand to visit them until they buried their dead.
First understand this that A Head of the state or government cannot endorse any illegal activity in his state. Keep in mind that Pakistan's hearing is due next month in the terror financing cases in the FATF. That means it's a crucial time and we are under strict observation. Now, Afghan government has also moved. its motion and claimed the bodies of 7 miners that are reportadely Afghan nationals.
If Imran khan goes to visit them before burial. It means that he is endorsing that the slains are his citizens. Which ultimately means he is endorsing illegal activities. However, If he visits after burial, he is visiting to console them and promise them justice.
On the 3rd of January At least 11 coal miners from Pakistan’s Shia Hazara community killed by unidentified gunmen in Balochistan on Sunday. Its latest targeted attack on the minority communities in Pakistan.
According to Police, Miners were on the way to work at Machh coalfield when unidentified gunmen happened to them. Militants opened fire on them after taking them to the nearby hills. 6 miners died on the spot and 5 died on the way to a hospital.
Attackers first identified Shia Hazara community members and left others unharmed. Prime Minister Imran Khan termed the incident a “yet another cowardly and inhumane act of terrorism”.
The condemnable killing of 11 innocent coal miners in Machh Balochistan is yet another cowardly inhumane act of terrorism. Have asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers & bring them to justice. The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the govt— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 3, 2021
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has condemned the incident. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the killing. Banned Sunni extremist organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has targeted minority Hazara community in Balochistan in past.
Their families say the funeral won't be held until the Pakistan govt finds the killers. The killings have become a watershed for the Hazara community. Protesters, who have braved the biting cold of winter for six days, have held several rounds of negotiations with members of Khan’s cabinet, including Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, but to no avail.
Hundreds of them have blocked a key highway on the outskirts of Quetta to demand justice. Through the week, protests spread to several other cities, including Karachi, Lahore, and other towns.