January 6, 2021
By Shahrazad Agha
The brutal incident at Machh and the lack of the response shown by the government has given the civil society much to be angry about. On Monday, January 4, a protest was held by the Huqooq-e-Khalq Movement and the Progressive Students’ Collective, who chanted slogans against the incident highlight how barbaric it is that such an incident could ever take place. They called upon the government to protect the Hazara citizens.
On the same day, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) also released a press statement expressing its anger on the murder of the 11 mine-workers. The JAC which is a collective for all civil society organizations stated that the act of terrorism indicated nothing but complete failure of security apparatus of the state and its claims for providing security to its citizens especially those who were already target of these terrorist groups. The statement said that the security policy of the present government had also failed to achieve its stated objectives.
“The objective of dialogue with terrorists and dichotomy in its security policy of the ‘good and bad Taliban’ has failed many times and continue to threaten the peace of the country and region while putting the lives of citizens to high risk,” it read. “We consider this gruesome incident against an ethnic community, which is already a victim of terrorism for several years now, extremely disturbing and demand immediate action against those responsible for this barbaric act.”
JAC also demanded that the policy of keeping a soft corner for certain religious extremist groups must be immediately stopped and stringent actions must be taken against such groups involved in religious and faith-based terrorism in the country. They also said that everyone must show complete solidarity with the families of the victims and the Hazara community who has been a victim of the worst kind of religious terrorism.
Meanwhile the Women’s Action Forum Lahore (WAF) also expresses profound grief at the cold-blooded execution style brutal murders.
“WAF is outraged that the Hazara community continues to be targeted by such horrific acts with impunity,” said their statement. “The latest in such acts of terrorism and violence to which the Hazara people have been subjected, is not merely an indictment of the state’s failure to protect its citizens; it shows a criminal indifference towards the state’s basic responsibilities. Indeed the brazenness with which Daesh has claimed this act cannot be countered with the government’s weak condemnation and draws attention not only to the inefficacy of the state’s long-standing policy regarding ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban, including dialogues with terrorists, but also to the lack of any human sensibility of a state that allows such acts to take place.”
By its failure to ensure the safety of its citizens and its inability to contain extremist terrorism the state is fast losing its credibility, reiterated WAF. “This is not the first time the Hazara of Balochistan have mourned their dead in the bitter cold of winter days and nights. The wounds of the 2015 killings are still fresh. WAF joins in the grief of those who have lost their loved ones and shares the anger of the Hazara people who are the target of a brutal and relentless form of religio-ethnic cleansing.”
WAF demanded immediate and meaningful action against the perpetrators of this brutal killing as well as a policy change towards extremist groups whose message of religious intolerance and hatred puts the lives of all Pakistani citizens at risk.
“We remind the government and concerned authorities that the people of Pakistan are no longer fooled by the way extremists use religion to justify violence,” WAF stated. “We demand that the government recognise its own responsibilities and ensure the safety and security of the people regardless of differences of ethnicity, religion and class.”