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Hazara protest continues after negotiations fail with government

QUETTA/ISLAMABAD: The families of the Hazara victims who were murdered by the Islamic State, continue to stage a sit-in on the third consecutive day on Tuesday in the western bypass area along with the victim’s bodies. They want the state to act against outlawed militant groups.

Protests continued in Quetta, Lahore, Karachi, Multan and other cities on Tuesday against Macch massacre, while the government continued talks to convince angry protesters to call off demonstrations.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed reached Quetta Monday evening and joined a sit-in organised by the Hazaras and families of the deceased coal miners a day after the Machh massacre.

He told them that the government was ready to accept all their demands except the one seeking the resignation of the provincial government and urged them to call off their protest so that the bodies could be laid to rest.

The interior minister also announced compensation of Rs2.5 million to the heirs of each victim, and assured the families of justice.

The protesting members of Hazara community refused to accept assurances by interior minister. They demanded PM Imran to visit them and give them assurances that hazara genocide will end and killers will be taken to task.

Sheikh Rasheed assured the protesters that he would arrange their meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan within four days.

He reportedly flew to Quetta on the instructions of PM Khan. The minister was accompanied by National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri and Balochistan’s chief secretary.

“On Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special instructions, I arrived in Quetta alongside Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed to share the grief of the families of the martyrs of the Machh tragedy, assure our Hazara community of immediate justice, and to review the security situation,” Suri wrote on Twitter.

At least 11 colliers were shot dead by armed men who stormed the Machh coalfield in Balochistan’s Bolan district on Sunday morning, took the miners to nearby mountains, and opened fire.

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