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Sunday, May 19, 2024  
10 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Duki coal miners freed after 38 days

The seven miners were welcomed upon reaching home
Photos via author
Photos via author

At least seven coal miners, who were kidnapped from the Duki coal mines area on March 23rd, have finally been released after enduring 38 days in captivity. The miners were abandoned by their captors in the mountainous region of Zaki Suro, Jhalar, and have since returned to Duki, where they were met with a warm welcome.

According to District President of the National Labour Federation Amber Khan Swati, the miners were abducted by armed individuals claiming to be members of the banned organization BLA (Balochistan Liberation Army) from various coal mines on March 23rd. The reason for their eventual release remains unclear.

The freed miners include Johar Khan, Shah Khan, Bacha Khan, Ghafoor, Yamayun, Shakoor, and Qaim Sheikh, hailing from different regions including Qila Saifullah district, Swat, Shangla, and Duki itself.

Upon their arrival in Duki, the miners were greeted by District Chairman Haji Khairullah Nasir, Sher Muhammad Kakar (District President of Pakistan Workers Federation), and hundreds of fellow miners at Yaroo city. A procession was then held to accompany them back to Duki, where they were treated to a tea party hosted by the District Chairman.

Sharing their harrowing experience with the media, the miners recounted being taken on a three-day journey on foot to a remote mountainous area after their abduction. They spent 38 days in captivity, held by a group of 11 individuals. While they were generally treated well, they did face occasional scolding and slaps.

The miners revealed that their captors resided in makeshift huts and relocated them twice during their captivity. They were released on Tuesday and left near Jhalar mountain, from where they embarked on a two-day trek back to Duki. The captors, who communicated in Urdu, received their supplies via donkeys.

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