The Hazara Shia community of Quetta buried their dead on Wednesday; almost three-and-a-half days after 100 of them were killed in a blast in the provincial capital. The mass burial took place amid continuing protests by some women of the community who wanted the army to take control of the province in the hope that this would end the targeted attacks on Hazara Shias.
The funeral became even more tense following aerial firing. And though the dead have been buried, the protests are continuing as some members of the community do not want to give up the momentum that they have managed to muster for their mobilization against the "genocide''.
Though a targeted operation against sectarian terror outfits began on Tuesday morning and the Hazara community leadership announced the end of their siege in the evening, many of those who had been picketing a thoroughfare of Quetta since Sunday morning with the bodies of those killed refused to budge. They insisted that the Army take control of security of the city in view of repeated attacks on the community.
The deadlock was broken late in the wee hours of Wednesday after lengthy negotiations between the community leadership and family members. Still, some women wrapped themselves around the coffins in the morning in an attempt to continue with the protest as they feared that all assurances from the government would again come to naught.
In particular, the youngsters of the community were incensed; pointing out that similar assurances of action had been made in January also -- when over 80 Hazara Shias were killed in serial blasts - but there was no follow-up. This is the second time in a month-and-a-half that the Hazara Shia community of Quetta has taken to the streets with their dead to protest targeted attacks that have been stepped up since January.