Slain coal miners of Machh laid to rest after week-long Quetta sit-in

QUETTA: The slain coal miners of Machh were laid to rest in Hazara Town graveyard almost a week after their mourning families staged sit-ins across Quetta and different areas of the country.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, some provincial ministers and leaders of different political parties, and a large number of people attended the funeral prayers at Hazara graveyard.

The prayers were led by Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen leader Allama Hashim Mousavi.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan said, “He is thankful to the people for ending their protest as no system can prosper where “oppression” exists. The city and the province belong to the people. It is the government’s responsibility to provide safety and security to the citizens. The provincial government aims at a prosperous Balochistan and his team is striving for it.”

“The recent episode should serve as a learning lesson for the rulers of the country. The demands should have been met without the protest. Every government should meet the requirements of its citizens as it is not necessary to wait for a sit-in,” he added.

He apologised to the protesters, saying that he is sorry for the inconvenience caused to them. He added that he feels no shame in apologising to his people.

Meanwhile, speaking to the protesters on the occasion, Ali said that such incidents of violence must now come to an end. The minister, who had spearheaded talks on behalf of the government, added that a written agreement has been signed with the Shuhda Action Committee. “No such written accord has ever been struck before with any other government in power,” he said.

“The demands put before us were difficult. The decision to remove some officers has also been taken. If governance in the country has not been so poor, poverty like this would not have existed. The people would not have been massacred like this. Some foreign elements wish to create sectarian division in Pakistan,” he added.

Zaidi also announced scholarships on behalf of his ministry for the children of all the victims.

Earlier, the federal government and the protesting Hazara community reached a consensus late Friday and the latter decided to end their sit-in and bury the slain coal miners.

Thousands of Hazara protesters, including women and children, had staged a sit-in at the Western Bypass in extremely cold weather for the last six days against the brutal execution of 10 Hazara coal miners in Machh.

The coal miners, according to the police, were taken to nearby mountains where they were shot. The militant group Daesh had claimed the attack, according to SITE Intelligence, which monitors militant activities worldwide.

 

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