Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday recalled that the Hazara community had protested with as many as 100 coffins after attacks during the PPP government’s tenure, after which the party dismissed its government in the province. Bilawal and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz arrived on Thursday at the site in Quetta where members of the Shia Hazara community have been protesting the killing of 11 coal miners in Balochistan’s Mach area. Taking to the stage, Bilawal and Maryam, who are currently part of an 11-party anti-government alliance, addressed the protesters along with other political leaders including Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. “Then too, you had put forward your demands to us. We had even dismissed the [provincial] government,” he told the protesters, regretting that attacks against the community had continued through the terms of subsequent governments. In his speech, Bilawal said whenever he visited the Balochistan capital, it was not to celebrate or for political reasons, but to condole with Hazaras who were frequently targeted in terrorism incidents. “Pakistan is a country where even our martyred and the dead have to protest,” he said, adding that although basic utilities like gas and electricity had become expensive in the country, “but the people’s blood is cheap”. “The blood of our labourers is cheap, and that of political workers, police officers, lawyers, residents and the Hazara community.” The PPP chairperson said nearly 2,000 Hazaras had been killed since 1998, but “not one of them” had gotten justice, while the Hazaras’ demand of “let us live” was resounding throughout the country. While condoling with the grieving protesters, Maryam said she was at a loss for words because while the entire nation shared the pain of the Hazaras, no one could truly feel the tragedy that had befallen the miners’ families. “I am sad that you are calling for an insensitive man and he doesn’t have the time to come here,” she said while referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Today I want to say while putting aside all political differences, please visit, for God’s sake. The state’s job is to protect its people, especially those who are under attack and vulnerable.” The PML-N leader said the protesters accompanied by their loved ones’ coffins were “awaiting” the prime minister. “Is your ego bigger than their pain and these bodies? And then you say politics should not be done on this issue. We never do that, but if you think you can dodge your failure and callousness by crying ‘politics’, we won’t let that happen,” she added.