The first week of 2021 witnessed a gruesome and cowardly terrorist attack on Pakistani Hazaras when more than 11 Hazara coalmine labourers became the latest victims of terrorism. The unfortunate Hazara coalmine workers were singled out from others, blindfolded and their hands were tied behind them and they were slaughtered from their napes. Later, the so-called terrorist organisation Daesh claimed responsibility in an electronic message.
The state-sponsored terrorist attack was staged and completed at Mach on 3 January, 2021. Mach is a small town which is situated in Bolan District of Balochistan province. Mach is about 70 km (44 miles) southeast of Quetta.
The Pakistani Hazaras, although they have been living in the country centuries before the birth of Pakistan, have faced hundreds of terrorist attacks in the forms of suicide bombings and targeted attacks which resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives. These orchestrated terrorist attacks have continued since, at least 1999 but the state has hardly exercised its constitutional responsibilities to apprehend the perpetrators, their masterminds, the financiers and their accomplices. Such unreserved apathy of the state’s intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies warrants for crimes against humanity and testifies Pakistan’s state-level complicity with the so-called terrorist organisation.
Fast reverse to the terrorist attack of 28th April 2018, when the international protests from Hazara Diaspora living abroad exerted adequate pressure on the incumbent Army Chief of Pakistan to visit and meet the aggrieved minority group and remedy their grievances; the level and gravity of these terrorist attacks were temporarily halted but the latest terrorist attack overshadows the solemn and religious oath of the incumbent Army Chief who guaranteed to safeguard the lives of Hazaras.
Following the terrorist attack of 28th April 2018, the then Chief Justice of Pakistan took suo moto notice and termed it as Genocide of Hazara ethnicity in an instant court hearing. Unfortunately, the subsequent court hearings by his successor Chiefs Justice of Pakistan have been deliberately placed at a snail’s pace.
This is owing to Pakistan’s Judiciary being massively marred with corrupt judges who only tend to sell out bespoke and tailored judicial decisions to the elite class while the cases of gross human rights violations linger for years without any tangible outcomes.
The latest terrorist attack taking place at Mach, Bolan has triggered a wave of uncertainty and alienation of Hazara support for Pakistan because the rote consolatory statements and shallow reassurances from the top military and civil brass of the country has proved to be superficial and untrustworthy.
Following the Mach terrorist attack, the protesters have staged a sit-in protest in below zero temperature by blocking the western bypass road for all inbound and outbound traffic, demanding from state to end decades’ long killings of innocent people at the hands of their strategic assets. The protesters have thronged to the protest scene in large numbers which include women and children.
Till publishing of this report, Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments had not visited the protesters nor had they contacted them for redressal of their grievances.