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Army chief assures justice to families of Mach massacre victims

QUETTA: Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has assured families of the Shia Hazaras coal miners killed in a brutal attack in Balochistan’s Mach area that the killers of the killings shall be brought to justice.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), during the day-long visit, the chief of army staff was given a detailed security briefing at the Southern Command headquarters and interacted with a large gathering of the Hazara community.

The army chief was apprised during the briefing about the prevailing security challenges in the province and the measures taken to deal with them, including border management along with the Pak- Afghan and Pak-Iran borders, ISPR said.

The military’s media wing said Gen Bajwa spent time with the bereaved families of the Mach incident’s victims and shared their grief. He “assured them that perpetrators of this heinous incident shall be brought to justice and blood of the martyrs will not go waste.”

Later, while addressing the garrison officers, the COAS lauded their preparedness and efforts for ensuring peace and stability in Balochistan despite difficulties of terrain and distances involved.“Balochistan is in the quick focus of our enemies due to its tactical potential,” Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying.

The Army chief said Balochistan was the future of Pakistan and progress and prosperity of the province were linked to the progress of the country.

“The disruptive efforts by hostile forces won’t be permitted to succeed, the army chief stressed, saying the security, stability and prosperity of Balochistan will be ensured to the hilt.

Earlier, miners belonging to the Shia Hazara community were brutally massacred in the Mach coalfield area On 3 January 11.

Armed assailants had entered their residential compound early in the morning where they were sleeping, and blindfolded and trussed them up before executing them. The militant Islamic State (IS) group, also known by the Arabic acronym Daesh, claimed responsibility for the attack.