Members of the Shia Hazara community in Quetta conducted the burial ceremony of their slain family members on Saturday after six days of sit-in protest. After negotiations with Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, the mourners decided to bury their loved ones late Friday night and conducted the ceremony the next morning. Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Quetta after the mourners gave into his condition of burying the dead before his arrival.

11 coal miners in Machh, Balochistan, were brutally killed by militants from the Islamic State (IS) group, also known as Daesh, on January 6. Their mourners refused to lay their bodies to rest until the prime minister visited them to offer assurance against any future violence against the persecuted group. The prime minister’s refusal to immediately visit the aggrieved, and his response to the tragedy—termed callous and apathetic by opposition, media, and commentators—resulted in protests across majors in Pakistan.

The funeral prayers of the deceased were led by Allama Raja Nasir Abbas, and the burial took place at the Hazara graveyard in Quetta. The burial procession comprised of around 5,000 people, including the family, friends, and larger community of the slain miners. A prayer service was also scheduled to be held in imambargah Wali Asr after the burials.

The funeral ceremony was attended by Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Federal Minister Ali Zaidi, as well as leaders of different political parties.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had told the mourners on Friday not to “blackmail him” into visiting Quetta before the burial, arrived there on as special flight from Nur Abbas base alongside a number of ministers, including Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid.


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