Malala joins chorus, asks PM Imran Khan to visit Hazara mourners

Web Desk
Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai. — AFP

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai on Thursday joined the chorus of an increasing number of people imploring Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Quetta and share in the grief of the Hazara community, which is mourning the deaths of 10 coal miners that were butchered by terrorists five days ago.

The young Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Oxford graduate, in a message on Twitter, said: "I am short of words to express my grief over the brutal killings of Hazara miners. This is not the first time that this has happened. But I hope it is the last."

She said that the whole country is in mourning over the tragedy.

The prime minister, in his message that he tweeted four days after the incident, told the members of the Hazara community that he stands with them in their time of suffering and assured them he would visit "very soon", asking them in the meanwhile to bury their loved ones.

Machh tragedy: PM Imran Khan promises to visit Hazaras 'very soon'

The heirs of the deceased have been protesting for five days straight and have refused to bury the slain coal miners until the premier visits them.

Malala, addressing this, said: "I request that PM @ImranKhanPTI meet with the victims' families as soon as possible."

Bilawal, Maryam visit mourners in protest camp

Earlier in the day, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz visited the protesters to express solidarity with them and to pledge to do whatever their respective parties can to alleviate their sorrow.

"Pakistan is a country where even the bodies of our deceased loved ones have to protest (for their rights). We live in a land where everything is expensive — gas, electricity and food — but the blood of our labourers comes cheap," said the PPP chairman.

Read: We live in a land where food is expensive, but blood comes cheap: Bilawal to Hazara community

Maryam, meanwhile, said: "I ask Imran Khan, these bodies that lie here, is your ego greater than these?"

She asked whether he is not coming out of fear of criticism. "So what? Come here and listen to the criticism a while [...] but it is your duty to come here and share in their grief."

The PML-N Vice President said that the people are not asking for anything extraordinary. She lamented that she heard someone say they will wait for a 100 days if that is what it takes.

She said she also heard how the mercury drops as low as -8 degrees and these people sit in the open and wait for the prime minister to come.

"I lament the callousness of the one in the seat of power. You are calling out to him and he does not have the time to come."

The incident

Ten colliers were killed and four others were 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.

According to AFP, 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. Most were shot, however some were beheaded, said officials who did not want to be named.

Afghanistan asks Pakistan to return bodies of three Afghans executed in Machh tragedy

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

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