Bilawal, Maryam address Hazara protesters after arriving in Quetta

QUETTA, (MANEND NEWS): PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz have addressed members of the Shia Hazara community who have been protesting against the killing of 11 coal miners in Balochistan’s Mach area.

They spoke after arriving in Quetta with other political leaders including Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Bilawal said whenever he visited the Balochistan capital, it was not to celebrate or for political reasons, but to condole with Hazaras who were frequently targeted in terrorist incidents.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Maryam said: “On the direction of Nawaz Sharif I’m going to my sisters and brothers [in Balochistan] with a request to hand over their dead to Allah Almighty. I am sure they will not reject my request. For the last four days the Hazara community has been calling the heartless in Islamabad.”

On Sunday, armed attackers slit the throats of 11 miners in a residential compound near a mine site in Balochistan’s Mach coalfield area, filming the entire incident and later posting it online. The gruesome attack was claimed by the militant Islamic State group.

Since then, thousands of Hazaras have staged a protest along with coffins containing the miners’ bodies in the western bypass area in Quetta, while members of their community have also held protests in Karachi.

Despite extremely harsh weather as the mercury drops to below freezing point, the mourners, including women and children, have refused to leave until Prime Minister Imran Khan meets them and the killers are brought to justice.

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