Karachi traffic at a standstill with 19 sit-ins across city over Machh massacre

Demonstrations in Karachi being held in solidarity with Hazaras protesting in Quetta the execution of coal miners in Balochistan

Afzal Nadeem Dogar

  • Sit-ins in Karachi being held in solidarity with Shia Hazaras after Machh tragedy
  • Traffic has been severely affected due to the protests 
  • This is the second day that traffic flow has been disturbed in Karachi

KARACHI: Traffic flow in Karachi is at a halt as sit-in are being held in 19 different spots in solidarity with the Hazara families protesting the Machh tragedy in Quetta.

According to the traffic police, protests are being held at 19 different locations, including Five Star Chowrangi, Nazimabad, Federal B Area, Shahrah-e-Pakistan and Aisha Manzil.

Protests were also being held at Safoora Chowrangi, Johar Morr, Numaish, Kamran Chowrangi, Power House Chorwangi and Abbas Town. Other areas being occupied by the protesters are Natha Khan, Malir 14, National Highway, Safari Park University Road, Korangi 2.5, Western Bypass, Abul Hasan Isphani Road, Nazimabad 1 Chowrangi and Shah Faisal Colony.

Read more: After Machh tragedy, Karachi's Hazaras fear for their safety as well

Traffic has been severely affected due to the protests and the commuters are being directed to alternative routes.

This is the second day that the traffic flow has been disturbed in Karachi because of the sit-ins in solidarity with the Hazaras, who are refusing to end their sit-in in Islamabad till Prime Minister Imran Khan meets them.

Women and children attend Quetta protest

Hazaras have staged a continuous sit-in in Quetta in freezing temperatures to demand justice for the coal miners gunned down in Machh five days ago.

The bodies of the deceased have been kept where the community is staging its demonstration on the Quetta-Sibi highway (Western Bypass), near the Hazara Town.

Due to the presence of the protesters, the area is completely blocked for traffic.

Read more: Maryam Nawaz urges Hazara community to bury slain coal miners

A large group of women and children are also at the protest, holding photographs of their loved ones killed in the tragic incident.

"We will not end our protest until the arrest of all the assassins," chief of Balochistan Shia Conference Agha Daud had told AFP on Tuesday.

"The latest wave of killings will spread to other cities, including Quetta, if a decisive action is not taken at this stage," he added.

The incident

Ten colliers were killed and four others seriously injured on Sunday after armed men attacked them at a coal field in Balochistan's Bolan district.

The coal miners, according to police, were taken to nearby mountains where they were shot.

The 10 miners were kidnapped before dawn on Sunday as they slept near the remote coal mine in the southwestern mountainous Machh area — 60 kilometres southeast of Quetta city, local government official Abid Saleem said.

Security officials who did not want to be named told AFP the attackers first separated the miners before tying their hands and feet and taking them into the hills to kill them.

Read more: Hazara community launches protests in Quetta over Machh massacre

Two of the miners were Afghans and their bodies have been sent to Afghanistan for burial, a local security official told AFP.

Officials on Monday clarified ten people had died in the attack, revising a previous death toll of 11, AFP reported.

The militant group Daesh has claimed the attack, according to SITE Intelligence, which monitors militant activities worldwide.