Following to killing of 11 coal miners in Balochistan’s Machh area, the protest of the Hazara community on Friday has entered a sixth consecutive day as the relatives of slain coalminers refused to bury the victims till the visit of Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday has said that he will only visit the Hazara community in Quetta if they bury the victims of the Mach massacre.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the Special Technology Zones Authority in Islamabad, the PM said that he stands with the Hazara community. While urging the protesters to bury the victims, he adding that they should not blackmail the PM and set a condition like this.
“We have accepted all of their demands. [But] one of their demands is that the dead will be buried when the premier visits. I have sent them a message that when all of your demands have been accepted […] you don’t blackmail the prime minister of any country like this.
“Anyone will blackmail the prime minister then,” he said, adding that this included a “band of crooks” in an apparent reference to the Pakistan Democratic Movement. “This blackmail has also been ongoing for two-and-a-half years.”
“This should be clear. All of your demands have been met but you can’t impose a condition which has [no logic]. So first, bury the dead. If you do it today then I guarantee you that I will come to Quetta today.”
Even in the extremely harsh cold weather, at -10°C, the sit-in protesters still await Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrival in Quetta to meet the bereaved families of victims of the Machh coalmine massacre.
The government officials are trying to end the sit-in, but the latest round of negotiations remained unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan on Thursday removed the deputy commissioner and senior police official of district Kachhi from their posts citing failure to ensure security in the area and prevent the vicious attack from taking place.
A notification of the removal of DC Murad Khan Kasi was issued by the Balochistan chief secretary.
Earlier on Thursday, leaders of various political parties including PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri reached Quetta to express solidarity with the families and relatives of slain coal miners.