Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his inability to visit members of the Hazara community who have refused to bury 11 miners killed by Islamic State, even as protests against the killing spread to other parts of Pakistan.
Khan on Wednesday urged the protesting members of Balochistan’s Shia Hazara community to bury the bodies of the miners killed in a brutal attack in Mach coalfield, promising he would visit them “very soon”.
“I want to reassure the Hazara families who lost their loved ones in a brutal terrorist attack in Machh that I am cognisant of their suffering & their demands,” he tweeted, adding that the government was taking steps to prevent such attacks in the future.
He claimed he knew that “our neighbour is instigating this sectarian terrorism
He added: “I share your pain and have come to you before also to stand with you in your time of suffering. I will come again very soon to offer prayers and condole with all the families personally.”
“I will never betray my people’s trust. Please bury your loved ones so their souls find peace.”
But this assurance has not helped in any way, said protestors.
Several roads in Karachi were blocked on Wednesday as protests continued for a second day.
The Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) has insisted that they want Khan to visit Quetta where the dead bodies have been placed as part of the protest and give assurances for the safety of the community.
The MWM also held protests in Karachi and Quetta on Tuesday that were attended by hundreds of men, women and children
A number of Shia organisations have taken part in the protests which are demanding measures to ensure the safety of the Shia Hazara community.
On Wednesday evening, the MWM said that it would extend the protests to other cities in Pakistan.
Sunday’s attack was the first major assault on members of the Hazara community since April last year, when a suicide bombing in a market killed 18, most of whom were Hazaras.
There have been constant attacks on members of the community by militant groups. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Sunday attack. IS, Taliban and other Sunni extremist groups are known to have carried out attacks targeting the community. In 2013, three bombings killed more than 200 people in Hazara neighbourhoods in Quetta.