Karachi [Pakistan], January 7 (ANI): Pakistan's Hazara community, on Thursday, continued to mount pressure on the government through mega sit-in protest in Karachi, demanding action against the killing of 11 coal miners in Machh in Balochistan province.
The protests spilled out into the neighbourhoods of the port city, including Shahrah-e-Faisal, Malir 15 and Teen Talwar, disrupting rail, road traffic and even forcing some airlines to reschedule their flights, Dawn reported.
"The protests have been joined by people from all walks of life and beyond their sectarian or political association. They all are united in these testing times for the Hazara community. We demand the government and Prime Minister Imran Khan play their due role before it's too late," Dawn quoted a spokesperson for the Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) as saying.
"They are peaceful and only seeking their constitutional right," the spokesperson said, adding that the protestors including women and children were there only to express solidarity with the families of the victims.
On Sunday, unidentified gunmen stormed a coal mine near the Machh town near Quetta, pulling out ethnic Hazaras, members of Pakistan's Shia minority community, from their homes and opening fire on them.
The dreaded ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack as Hazaras have long faced persecution for their faith. Following the deadly attack, protests erupted in the region with the kin of the victims refusing to bury their dead until the government meets their demands.
"Until then, law and order cannot be established. This is not the first attack on the Hazara tribe. Leaders of the banned parties openly issue fatwas for killings. Why action is not taken against them according to the Constitution and law of the country?," said Allama Sadiq Jafari, the MWM's Secretary-General in Karachi.
The protests, though largely peaceful, are not dying down in a country already embroiled in a deep political crisis with united opposition demanding the Imran Khan government's ouster.
Men and women, young and old, came out, spread rugs and staged sit-in protests at several places across the city, including Abbas Town (Abul Hasan Ispahani Road), Kamran Chowrangi at Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Powerhouse Chowrangi in North Karachi, Numaish (MA Jinnah Road), Shahrah-e-Faisal and Malir 15.
The protesters are demanding the formation of an independent judicial commission to investigate the continuing attacks against Hazaras. (ANI)