Friday September 30, 2022

Hazaras refuse to bury slain miners

By our correspondents
January 07, 2021

By News desk

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday urged the Hazara families to bury their martyrs, promising them a visit soon to pray and condole with them.

Through tweets, the PM said the government was taking measures to prevent such attacks in the future and knew that the neighbouring country was instigating this sectarian terrorism in the country.

He tweeted: “I share your pain and 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 Machh that I am cognizant of their suffering and their demands. We are taking steps to prevent such attacks in the future and know our neighbour is instigating this sectarian terrorism.” Separately, speaking to a

Turkish television in a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan described the terrorist attack in Mach and assassination of 11 coal miners as an "unfortunate and terrible" event. He admitted that ensuring the safety of religious minorities was government's responsibility and said steps were being taken to prevent such attacks in future.

Prime Minister Khan said that Pakistan remained a victim of sectarian violence and attacks on Hazaras were "a legacy' of the Afghan jihad. "One of the worst outcomes of the jihad was sectarianism in Pakistan. We have been lumbered with this legacy. We had these militant sectarian groups and the Hazara Shia community was targeted by these Sunni extremist groups."

He said unfortunately these extremist groups have morphed with ISIS or Daesh. He said he understood the pain of the Hazara community and had visited them in the past when similar tragedies struck them. "I actually went there and then too they didn't want to bury the dead until there were certain promises given."

He said his government would assure them of complete support and protection.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan presided over a briefing session on ‘No one goes to bed hungry. Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar gave a detailed briefing on the project to the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Central Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif has shared the photo of the Hazara protesters with the bodies of the miners, killed in Machh in a tweet here Wednesday.

In the tweet, she wrote that the brutal murder of minors was a major tragedy for their mothers, sisters and loved ones and the whole nation shares their grief.

Maryam Nawaz further said that she and her father were also very sad. She told them to not wait for the insensitive and hard hearted person (Imran Khan) as he was not answerable to the nation. “I appeal to you to hand over the bodies of your loved ones to Allah, may Allah forgive them, raise their ranks and give you patience,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal on Wednesday visited the protest camp of the Hazara families and urged them to bury the slain coal miners. He appealed to let go of the condition that they will only do so if Prime Minister Imran Khan visits them, reported Geo News.

The visit came after talks between the government and members of the Hazara community to end the latter's sit-in following the brutal killing of coal miners in Machh ended inconclusively on Tuesday night, with the protesters persistent in saying they would not bury the dead till Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives to their camp.

Addressing the sit-in participants, CM Kamal said that he was really saddened after hearing about the incident. He added that he understands the pain of the Hazara community. “If the problem gets resolved by PM Imran’s visit then he will not spare two minutes to come here,” said CM Kamal. He added that it was them and him who will bring peace in Balochistan. He once again urged the protestors to bury the slain coalminers.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said Prime Minister Imran Khan is refusing to go to Machh at a time when the Hazara community is waiting for sympathy from their prime minister, who have been protesting for the last four days in extreme cold weather.

According to sources, PDM leadership will visit Quetta to show solidarity with the Hazara people.

“Imran Khan sent a foreign citizen Zulfi Bukhari as a special representative to Quetta to sympathise with the bereaved families, who said in front of the Hazara people, that what good could the arrival of the prime minister do,” said Deputy Secretary Information PPP Palwasha Khan, while addressing a press conference here Wednesday.

Palwasha Khan said this is not the type of tone that should be used with a community that has suffered so much and is hoping and looking towards the chief executive of the country for support.

She said that an innocent student was shot down by the police force in Islamabad and the bereaved father of the student has said that Imran Khan is turning this country into a massive graveyard.

On the other hand, Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Senator Abdul Rehman Malik has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to fulfil the demand of victim families of Machh tragedy so that they can bury their martyrs.

“The entire nation, particularly the Hazara community, is in deep sorrow and it is the duty of the government to console the families of the martyrs in this hour of sorrow and suffering,” he said in a statement on Wednesday, while urging the prime minister to visit the families of martyred miners of Machh tragedy.

Rehman Malik said not only the prime minister but the whole federal cabinet should go to the families of martyrs of Hazara to express solidarity with them. He said that in such a situation, the federal and provincial governments should look for the efforts of our time in the files and act accordingly.

While, Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “The entire country is questioning the prime minister’s absence in Machh, Balochistan but he is nowhere to be seen.

“Condemning the incident on Twitter is not enough. The prime minister needs to be there on the ground with the Hazara community,” she said, while reacting in response of tweet of the Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Sherry Rehman said for the past three days, thousands of people from the Hazara community were sitting outside in this freezing weather with the dead bodies of their loved ones waiting for justice. “Ministers asking them what benefit will they give to Imran Khan if he comes here?”

Sherry Rehman questioned that wasn’t he the same person who used to criticise the government in 2013 for the attack on Hazaras. “What happened now? Is the opposition responsible for this also,” she asked. She said it is the duty of the PM to be with his people in the time of their grief. “Where is the prime minister of Pakistan when his citizens are waiting for him?”

Senator Sherry Rehman said imagine the severity of what they were going through that they had not buried their loved ones yet and all this incompetent government could do was to offer them monetary relief. She said this is the time to be with them and share their pain. “What is keeping the prime minister and chief minister Balochistan away from visiting the Hazara community? Their absence is only making things worse,” she added.

Sunday's brazen attack on Hazaras in Machh, Balochistan has triggered fear and panic among Hazaras living in Karachi as well, according to protesters who showed up at the Karachi Press Club to condemn the recent attack against members of the community.

A demonstration was held outside the Press Club by the city's Hazaras and members of civil society to highlight the massacre of 11 coal miners in Machh and bring the government's attention to the continued persecution of the community by extremist forces.

The eleven miners were killed before dawn on Sunday after being ambushed while they were asleep near a remote coal mine in a mountainous area nearly 60 kilometres southeast of Quetta.

A large number of members of the Hazara community were joined by members of civil society in gathering at the Press Club to show their anger at the recent tragedy.

Protesters said it was as if the assailants “flee with complete impunity” each time after killing their community members.

Meanwhile, the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen also organised sit-ins and protests at Numaish Chowrangi, Abbas Town and Ancholi to show solidarity with the Hazara community members protesting against the Machh tragedy.

Meanwhile, protest demonstrations were held in Peshawar and other major cities of the country.

Asim Yasin adds: PPP Chairman Bialwal Bhutto Zardari is likely to visit Quetta today (Thursday) to express the condolence with victim families of martyrs of Hazara of Machh tragedy.

According to sources, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah is likely accompanied with the Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Though the no official word from the PPP available but the sources in the PPP confirmed that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is likely to visit Quetta today (Thursday) to condole with the families of martyrs of Machh tragedy.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif had already announced to visit Quetta today (Thursday) to condole with the families of martyrs of Machh tragedy.