The week-long protests across Pakistan, especially Quetta, in the wake of the killing of Hazara coal miners in Mach have been called off following the successful negotiations between the government and families of the slain miners.
Federal Minister Ali Zaidi and National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri said that the government has agreed to accept the demands of the protesters and the army chief and the prime minister will visit the families of the victims after the last rites.
Geo reported the leader of the Shuhada Action Committee Agha Raza as saying: the protests had been organised for the sake of the heirs of the deceased and were now being called off with their consent. Subsequently, the protesters in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad also started disbanding late in the night.
On Friday, PM Imran Khan had drawn flak for saying the Hazara protesters were “blackmailing” him. According to the PM, the government has accepted all demands of the protesters, but their demand that they will not bury their dead unless the prime minister visits them is akin to blackmail.
Balochistan’s Shia Hazara community had been protesting for the past six days in the freezing temperature of Quetta, refusing to bury their dead, in the wake of the murder of 11 miners in Mach, Bolan. On Sunday, 11 miners were kidnapped from their compound and killed by the armed men.
The attack was claimed by the Islamic State. The protesters had demanded that the PM visit them personally and give them security assurances or they would not end their protest.