Islamabad, Jan 6 (efe-epa).- Thousands of members of Pakistan’s minority Hazara Shia community on Wednesday continued their protests for the fourth consecutive day demanding justice over the killing of 11 members of the community in southwestern parts of the country on Sunday, claimed by the Islamic State terror group.
Around 4,500 protesters have blocked a road in the city of Quetta by placing the corpses on the road, insisting that they would continue until Prime Minister Imran Khan visits them and assures more security for the community and the perpetrators of the massacre are brought to justice.
“Hazara community has been victim (of attacks) for a long time and assurances have been given before but nothing changed, so that’s why we demand the prime minister himself comes up,” Allama Maqsood Domki, spokesperson of the Shia Muslim party Wahadat-e-Muslimeen, told EFE.
The miners, seven of them from neighboring Afghanistan, were killed in the Machh area of the western Balochistan province in a brutal act claimed by the IS.
This is the latest attack against the minority Shia community Hazara, originally hailing from central Asia, which has faced repeated sectarian attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Protests against the persecution of the minority were also held in other Pakistani cities such as the southern Karachi – the financial capital of the country – on Wednesday.
“Stop the killing of Hazara Shias,” proclaimed placards held by the protesters.
After the massacre, Khan had tweeted condolences to the families of the victims, but they have refused to accept them and want the prime minister to meet them in person in Quetta, capital of Balochistan, one of the most restive provinces in the country due to the presence of armed separatist groups, Taliban factions and Islamist terror organizations.
After days of silence, on Wednesday Khan promised to take measures against such acts.
“I want to reassure the Hazara families who lost their loved ones in a brutal terrorist attack in Machh that I am cognizant of their suffering & their demands,” the prime minister tweeted.
He said he would soon travel to Quetta, and alleged in the usual indirect reference to India that Pakistan’s “neighbor” was instigating terrorism on its soil.
“Please bury your loved ones so their souls find peace,” he appealed to the protesters. EFE-EPA