Balochistan coal miners reluctant to work after Hazara killings
[Dawn] Thousands of miners have stopped work and many have left Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
since armed assailants killed 10 Hazara
...a grouping of Dari-speaking people of Sino-Tibetan descent inhabiting Afghanistan and Pakistain. They are predominantly Shia Moslems and not particularly warlike, which makes them favored targets...
workers at a colliery in the Mach area last month, officials said on Thursday.
Labour organizations and government officials said up to 15,000 workers had downed tools since the murder of the Hazara miners, forcing around 200 mines to close and slashing production.
We had the story here
. The Mach area of Bolan district is about 100 kms southeast of Balochistan's capital Quetta, The throats of the coal miners had been slit after their hands were tied behind their backs and they were blind folded. ISIS claimed the deed.
More than 100 mines were "still non-functional", said Abdullah Shehwani, the provincial head of coal mines.
More than 40,000 workers toil in hundreds of small mines in Balochistan. Militant groups regularly extort protection money from colliery owners or kidnap workers for ransom. Failure to pay often results in deadly violence.
Refugees or economic
migrants colonists from Afghanistan make up a big part of the workforce — especially from the marginalised Hazara community.
Ten Hazara miners were kidnapped by button men from a remote colliery in early January before being taken to nearby hills where most were rubbed out, and some beheaded.
It prompted huge protests among Hazaras, who make up most of the Shia population in Quetta. Their Central Asian features make them easy targets for murderous Moslems, who consider them heretics.
"Local workers ask for high pay and owners have to pay them compensation, in case of any accident," Habib Tahir, provincial chief of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistain, told AFP.
"Afghan refugees ... work in the coal mines for low pay."
But Behroz Reiki, president of a mine owners' association, said the current situation was also causing grave hardship for local communities.
"A closure of a coal mine means no jobs for the security guards and other employees — those who work in other sections, including drivers, helpers and others," he said.
Atif Hussain, an official from the government mines department, insisted security had been beefed up.
"We have provided special security to the Hazara workers," he said, adding: "Now they move in a police escort."
Some mines had re-opened after government forces increased security, said MirDad Khel, the head of a local coal miners' association, but many miners were still scared.
"Fifty per cent of the workers are still reluctant to return ... they are still jobless," he told AFP.
"They don't have money even for their day-to-day expenses — even for one meal."
|Posted by trailing wife 2021-02-05 00:25||
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