In icy rain and out in the open, hundreds of Hazara Shias are gathered at Alamdar Road, along with the coffins of their relatives, the victims of a twin-blast that claimed at least 82 lives on January 10, 2013. They refuse to bury their dead until Quetta is put under army control.
We Are All Hazara
Since the Quetta sit-in the hash-tag “#WeAreAllHazara” has been going on and off in Pakistan's Twitter trend list. Pakistani netizens have been showing solidarity with the Shia Hazara minority regardless of their creed or background.
Hundreds of Pakistanis have been protesting peacefully in different cities of Pakistan including, Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore to show support to Shia Hazara community in Quetta, Alamdar Road.
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Shia Hazaras’ demand
Braving the chilly sub-zero temperature, the participants of the Quetta sit-in have been refusing to bury the dead bodies of their loved ones unless they received assurance that the state would protect them and their demands are considered. The protesters have ‘vowed', they will not leave until authorities agree to put the security and administration of the city under army control.
A local Shia party official Hashim Mousawi says:
The government machinery has failed, there is no protection for people in Quetta. We will not end our protest until we get an assurance that the Pakistan army will take over security and administrative control in Quetta.
However, a senior administration official Hashim Ghilzai claims that, “We are trying to convince them to end the protest. We cannot offer them something which is not in our control.”
An online survey carried-out by a private news outlet, The Express Tribune, shows that from 1,952 voters 1,702 call for army intervention in the city.
Similarly, Hazara Democratic Party also took out a protest rally in Quetta against terrorist activities in the city, on Jan, 12. The rally took various roads and routes and concluded near the office of Inspector General Balochistan Police. The party chairman, Abdul Khaliq Hazara, has been on a hunger strike since last night that will continue for 3 days.
Negotiations aimed by Balochistan Governer Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi and Federal Minister Syed Khursheed Shah to convince the Hazara Shia protesters to call off their sit-in ended inconclusively on January 12.
Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan has announced that he will be joining the Quetta sit-in on 13, Jan.
Since 2001, Hazara Shia Muslims from Quetta — have routinely been targeted by militant groups.