Another round of talks with Hazara community failed

By: News Desk      Published: 12:29 PM, 5 Jan, 2021
Another round of talks with Hazara community failed
Mourners from Hazara community comfort a woman near the coffins of miners who were killed in an attack by gunmen in the mountainous Machh area, during a sit-in protest in Quetta.–AFP

Another round of talks between the Balochistan government and the Hazara mourners staging a protest at Western Bypass in Quetta failed on Tuesday as Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad briefed Prime Minister Imran Khan about the situation arising out of the Mach coalminers massacre at a meeting in Islamabad, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

In the third unfruitful round of talks, the Balochistan government was represented by Home Minister Zia Langov, Finance Minister Zahoor Buledi, Saleem Khosa aur Mobeen Khilji.

The mourners stuck to their demand that they will not bury their dead until Prime Minister Imran Khan visits them.

In Islamabad, Sheikh Rashid called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and updated him about his meeting with the protesting Hazara community in Quetta.

On the directives of the Prime Minister, Sheikh Rashid had visited Quetta and held a meeting with the representatives of Hazara community regarding the incident of killing of miners in Machh area of Balochistan. The political situation in the country also came under discussion during the meeting, the PM Office said.

Men, women and children of Quetta's Hazara community continued protesting the massacre of 11 coalminers for a third consecutive day on Tuesday at Quetta’s Western Bypass along with the dead bodies of the slain colliers. The protesters did not budge from their positions and continued to stage a sit-in despite harsh weather conditions and vowed they will only end the sit-in when Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit the sit-in site.

They burnt coal to keep themselves warm during the chilly nights of Quetta.

It has been reported that members of the Hazara community, as well as bereaved relatives of the colliers, were staging a sit-in to voice their grievances and last night their talks with Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri and other ministers were failed.

Sheikh Rasheed was still in Quetta, the TV channel reported.

The incident occurred when 11 colliers were shot dead by armed men who stormed the Machh coalfield in Balochistan's Bolan district on Sunday morning. In the incident, four others were seriously wounded.

Heavy contingents of police, paramilitary force and officials of the local administration rushed to the site in Machh, about 48 kilometres east of Quetta

Police authorities said the miners were on the way to work when armed militants kidnapped them and took them to the nearby mountains before opening fire at close range.