PM Imran Urges Hazara Mourners to Bury the Bodies of their Loved Ones

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, addressed the families of the victims of the Mach massacre on Wednesday. He pleaded to them to bury the bodies of their loved ones, soon after the federal and Balochistan government reported that they had failed to convince the protestors in the city of Quetta to end their sit-in. This protest has been going on for the past four days, despite the extreme cold weather. 

The premier took to the micro-blogging site, Twitter, to provide reassurance to the families of Hazara. He stated that he is aware of their suffering and their demands. Previously, the leaders had stated that they will not end the protest until the Prime Minister himself visits them and has a meeting with them. They believe that this is the only way to put forth their demands. 

Khan stated that he shares the pain of the mourners. He also added that he has gone to them before in their hour of need and will once again do so soon. The premier promised to visit the area soon to offer prayers and condolences personally to the families of the victims. In his own words, he said that he will not betray the trust of the people of the country. At the end of his series of tweets, Khan urged the families to bury their loved ones so that they can move on and find peace. 

Various members belonging to the community of Hazara have blockaded one of the highways in Quetta. They have laid, on the ground, the bodies of the slain coal miners ever since the morning of Sunday. The protestors have demanded that the Prime Minister should come meet them right away and bring the killers to justice, or else they will continue with their sit-in. 

Though the Prime Minister did not name any one country in particular, he did say that his government is well aware that one neighbor of the country is responsible for ‘instigating this sectarian terrorism’. 

A couple thousand protestors decided to block the key western bypass of Quetta on Sunday. This was because 11 coalminers, all of whom belonged to the Hazara community, were brutally slain in close vicinity of a mine site, located in the Mach area of Bolan. The residential compound where they were executed is only 100km away from the provincial capital. 

As the people of Quetta protest with the dead bodies of the victim in front of them in the freezing cold, sit-ins have been organized in other parts of the country as well. On Wednesday, members belonging to the community of Hazara disrupted traffic in Karachi and blocked at least three key roads. 

On Tuesday, Sheikh Rashid, the Federal Interior Minister, along with Qasim Khan Suri, the National Assembly Deputy Speaker, met with the protestors in Quetta. The people participating in the sit-in stated that they want the Balochistan government to resign and have a face-to-face meeting with the Prime Minister of the country.