Speaking at an event on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed Hazara mourners and told them that it is unsuitable for them to blackmail the premier of a country to meet their demands. He insisted that it is irrational for them to wait to bury their dead until he visits Quetta.
“I promise that if you bury them today, I will visit you in Quetta today,” he said. He emphasised that he has met all other demands of the Hazara community, and will be providing ample compensation to the aggrieved families, so the burial should not be conditional to his visit.
On Sunday, 11 Haraza coal miners in Machh had their throats slit by militants from the Islamic State (IS) group, also known as Daesh, with the video of the gruesome incident posted online. Members of the Shia Hazara community have been camping with the bodies of the slain miners in Quetta for six days, saying that they would bury them only after Prime Minister Imran Khan personally visits to assure them that the targeted killing of the Hazaras would cease.
“If you blackmail a country’s prime minister like this, then everyone will start blackmailing him,” Prime Minister Imran Khan responded.
He compared the mourning community’s demands to the actions of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the opposition alliance that calls for his resignation. “These crooks have been blackmailing me for two-and-a-half years,” he said. He reiterated that matters cannot be resolved in such a manner.
“We want to tell them that this government stands with them in their grief,” the prime minister said. “The Hazara community has been targeted the most in this country after 9/11.”
He then stated that he has been constantly warning about the instigation of sectarian violence in Pakistan by India.
The prime minister said all this at an event in Islamabad marking the launch of Special Technology Zones Authority. He said the step aims to offer incentives to the Information Technology (IT) sector to amplfiy its growth, by providing job opportunities to the youth and boosting Pakistan’s IT-related exports.