The recent attack on Hazaras in Machh has triggered fear and panic among the Hazaras living in Karachi as well, according to a protester who had shown up to voice his dissent at the recent attack against members of his community at the Karachi Press Club.
A protest was staged outside the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday by the city’s Hazaras with other groups, condemning the recent massacre of 11 coal miners 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.
A large number of the members of the Hazara community with members of the civil society gathered at the press club to show their anger at the recent tragedy. 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.
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.
One protester said that Sunday’s massacre was yet another tragic incident that was part of a long list of attacks that had taken place against the Hazaras.
“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 Hazara 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”.
“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.
Protesters blamed the frequent occurring of such attacks at “the lukewarm response of the government and law enforcement agencies” and its failure to take action against banned outfits across the country.
Veteran politician Farooq Sattar also showed up at the protest and demanded action against militant elements.