An extremely tragic and a heart-wrenching incident of terrorism took place in Mach, nearly 64km from Quetta, in which 11 Hazara coal miners were ruthlessly butchered by sharp knives.
According to the details, some masked man entered a camp of coal miners who were sleeping after being exhausted of the long day physical labor. It is said that 20 to 25 masked men entered a coal-mining camp, identified and separated the Hazara laborers from the rest, tied their hands behind their back and slaughtered them mercilessly. Later the perpetrators escaped the scene without any difficulty. It is confirmed that victims all from the Hazara community and were residents of Hazara town Quetta.
According to the Pakistani media, Daesh (Islamic State) has accepted the responsibility of this horrendous incident. The gruesome incident took place in Gashtari; which is called “Pindal Goath” by the locals and is approximately ten kilometers away from Mach city center. Mach is a small city of Bolan district in the Province of Balochistan. The city is famous for its numerous coal mines. A plethora of the Hazara laborers makes their livings from these mines. They go thousands of feet deep down into the dark and black heart of ruthless mountains to dig out coals without having adequate resources and basic facilities. The life and working conditions of coal miners are extraordinarily difficult. They jeopardize their lives for utterly low wages and hard work to earn a living for their children and families. The massacre of coal miners who work in such extremely harsh working conditions is nothing but a human tragedy; therefore, it shook the whole province.
People from all walks of life, Political Parties and Civil Societies have launched protests to denounce this atrocious and inhuman act of barbarity. In Quetta, a large group of protesters have joined the aggrieved families who have blocked the Western Bypass highway by putting the dead bodies of their loved ones on the road in protest against the failure of the government to protect the laborers massacred by the terrorists in Mach.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has condemned the incident and the representative of the provincial government have condemned and termed it an inhuman act of barbarism.
While on the other hand, immense grief and anger could be noticed among the people of the Quetta city who do not seem to be satisfied with the repeated hallow statement of condemnations issued by federal and provincial governments. They believe that it is the responsibility of the government and the State security agencies to protect the lives and property of all citizens. They believe that both government and State security agencies have failed to fulfil their constitutional responsibilities. People are demanding to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them justice. If the government and its law enforcement agencies fail to bring the perpetrators to justice and they don’t have any right to stay but to resign.
The Genocide of Hazaras in Pakistan, in particular in Balochistan province has been going on for the last twenty-two years. According to the statistics collected by Hazara Organization for Peace and Equality (HOPE), around 3000 Hazaras were killed and around 3000 others were seriously maimed and injured in approximately 214 separate incidents since 1999. Women and children are also included among those who were killed and injured. Unfortunately in the last twenty-two years, none of the government has taken any serious actions to bring an end to Genocide of the Hazaras in Balochistan, nor have they adopted any serious and long term strategic policies to uproot terrorism. On the contrary, there is the widespread belief that the State, to secure its “strategic depth,” has given free hands to the terrorists to play havoc with the lives of the oppressed Hazara community, and the mass killing of the community continues unabatedly.