Pak Army involved in ‘genocide’ of Hazara Shias in Balochistan: PoK activist
Referring to the brutal killing of eleven coal miners in Pakistan’s Balochistan, Human right activist Amjad Ayub Mirza said Hazara Shias in Balochistan are facing genocide at the hands of Pakistan Army and that Balochs have objected to the gruesome killing of miners in the region but Pakistan authorities have not paid heed to them.
On Sunday, 11 coal miners, all members of the minority Hazara Shia community, were kidnapped and reportedly killed in Machh town in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
The men were abducted at gunpoint and then taken to a secluded area in the nearby hills where they were attacked, according to various accounts. It is believed they were kidnapped from their hostel located near a mine where they worked.
Mirza, in a video message, urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take note of the killing of miners and requested him to ensure freedom of Balochistan and Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan.
Mirza, who is also an author from Mirpur in PoK said: “An operation is underway in Balochistan by Pakistan Army. They are visiting locals houses in the area and are abducting them. They are killing children and women there and are looting belongings from the locals. It is yet to know how many Baloch people have been killed in the area”.
A video has gone viral of the incident which shows many miners, with their hands tied up, lying in a pool of blood. According to a report, they were either shot or had their throats slit after they were taken to the nearby hills.
“Today in a coal mine, Islamic terrorists attacked and kidnapped the workers. The terrorists took them inside the jungle on the hills and executed many of them. As a result of this, 11 people have been killed today and dozens are critically injured. They are fighting for their lives. The people who have been attacked today are part of the Hazara Shia community,” he said.
“This incident has been objected by the people of the Hazara community in Balochistan. However, nobody paid heed to them. You have seen the video of the heartbreaking incident. You can see they were tied up and then executed. I will request Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he should take note of this. The struggle for freedom in Balochistan is similar to that of East Pakistan. India had helped Bengalis in 1971 then why it is not helping Balochistan. Please ensure the freedom of Balochistan and Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan,” he added.
Last year, the United States had also voiced concern over the targeted killing in Pakistan of Shia Muslims, including ethnic Hazaras, who are largely Shia, and Ahmadi Muslims in attacks believed to be driven by faith.
The US ‘2019 International Religious Freedom Report’ that documents major instances of the violation of religious freedom across the world, released by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department had said human rights activists reported numerous instances of societal violence related to allegations of blasphemy; of efforts by individuals to coerce religious minorities to convert to Islam; and of societal harassment, discrimination, and threats of violence directed at members of religious minority communities.
“There also continued to be reports of attacks on holy places, cemeteries, and religious symbols of Hindu, Christian, and Ahmadiyya minorities,” the report added.