Hazara community members living in Karachi along with other Shia groups organised several protest demonstrations on Tuesday in various parts of the city against the recent brutal killing of 11 community members in Balochistan’s Machh area.
Eleven miners were killed before dawn on Sunday while they were asleep near the remote coal mine in the mountainous area — 60 kilometres southeast of Quetta. The attack was claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group.
A large number of Hazara community members along with civil society activists gathered outside the Karachi Press Club to show their anger over the failure of the government and the law enforcement forces in arresting the terrorists. They said it was as if the assailants “flee with complete impunity” each time after killing their community members.
The Majlis Wahjat-e-Muslimeen also organised sit-ins and protests on Tuesday at Numaish Chowrangi, Abbas Town and Ancholi to show solidarity with the Hazara community members protesting against the Machh tragedy. The MWM also
held a vigil at Numaish Chowrangi to pray for the victims of the recent terror attack in Balochistan.
In a protest organised outside the KPC by residents of Hussain Hazara Goth, a Hazara-populated neighbourhood near Nipa Chowrangi, participants said the killing of innocent people of the community could not force them to give up their faith.
“Sunday’s attack on coal miners in Machh is the latest in a long list of such attacks against the Shia Hazara community,” a protester said.
“Our people have become mentally sick because they have been denied the right of movement and have been forced to live just in a few-kilometre radius in Quetta,” said Zameer Mughal, a Hazaa student, while talking to The News. He said fear and intimidation had forced Hazara youths to migrate to foreign countries.
Iqbal Nasiri, a social activist belonging to the Hazara community, said even Hazaras were not safe in Karachi “where a large number of the community members have been killed in recent years”.
In a recent incident, Khudad, a Shia Hazara youth, was gunned down on December 22 in the Manghopir neighbourhood, according to the MWM.
“Our people happen to be an easier target because of our distinct Mongolian features,” Nasiri said while talking to The News.
Protesters at the KPC demanded strict implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) to bust the proscribed sectarian groups and to stop them from re-emerging with new names.
Meanwhile, MWM Sindh’s Allama Sadiq Jafferi, while speaking to the protestors at Numaish Chowrangi, said the basic reason for the killing of Shia Hazaras by the terrorists was “the lukewarm response of the government and law enforcement agencies” to take action against the proscribed militant groups.
“Despite inclement weather in Balochistan, a large number of Shia Hazaras have been protesting against the brutal killings and demanding the government to take action against the terror outfits,” said Jafferi. Veteran politician Farooq Sattar also showed up at the protest and demanded action against the militant elements.