Quetta: 8 years on Hazara town bombing still haunts Salman Ali

Salman Ali lost 5 family members in the bombing in Hazara town area of Quetta

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Quetta: 8 years on Hazara town bombing still haunts Salman Ali

Manan Khan Mandokhail, Ashraf Tareen

“This is the heaviest day of my life”, Salman Ali who lost a 10-year old son in the deadly bombing narrates the ordeal. 8-years back (Feb 16, 2013), the deadly bombing near a market in Hazara town left over 100 people dead.

The survivors still recall the destruction caused by the bombing in the predominantly Shia Hazara western neighborhood of Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

Salman Ali lost 5 family members

“Look at the irony, my son was crying in the morning to go to Bazar but I turned down his request because of danger”, Salman Ali recalls. “When I came back in the evening the bombing had killed my 5 family members including my son, Musa Ali”, Salman Ali narrates the ordeal with a burst of tears in his eyes.

The Hazara community was yet to recover from the trauma of the January 10, 2013 bombing that leftover 100 people dead when the second tragedy struck. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led federal government removed the former chief minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani led government in the aftermath of the first bombing.

Governor rule imposed and PPP sacked own chief minister Nawab Raisani 

Governor rule imposed in the province to restore the law and order situation in Balochistan. However, the second bombing happened during the Governor’s rule in Hazara town.

“I thought my son was safe at home”, Salman Ali said as his voice cracked.

The survivors still remember the flames of fire and loved ones in the bombing. “We purchased new land as space finished for the burial of our loved ones”, a white-bearded Raza Ali intervenes in the discussion. “We want protection and justice”, Mr. Ali demanded.

Heirs were searching for dead bodies of their loved ones

The heirs of the victims were searching for dead bodies of their loved ones for hours in the Bolan Medical Complex hospital after the tragedy. “For five times I visited the hospital but failed to trace my son’s dead body”, Salman recalled the horrific movement.

“I recognized the zip of coat of my son”, he cries during the discussion.

The Shia Hazara community has been repeatedly targeted in Quetta for the last two decades. The community has been confined to only Marriabad and Hazara town areas of Quetta.

On January 3rd this year, the armed accused brutally murdered 11 coal miners in Balochistan’s Mach area. The enraged community staged 7 days sit-in to mount pressure on the government to apprehend the culprits behind the incident. However, they ended the protest following an assurance by the government for the arrest of the culprits.

Quetta: 8 years on Hazara town bombing still haunts Salman Ali

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