Hazara Shiites refuse to bury dead as Pakistan protest continues

Sectarian militant groups worst outcome of Afghan Jihad Pakistan PM

Sectarian militant groups worst outcome of Afghan Jihad Pakistan PM

Two ministers, representing prime minister Imran Khan, flew to Quetta on Wednesday to try to convince the mourners to end the protest.

The PM's spokesperson said he had already advised the prime minister in the last federal cabinet meeting to immediately proceed to Quetta so that the mourners, who were staging a sit-in with the bodies in bitterly cold weather, could be consoled so that they bury their loved ones. He said the corrupt elements are mistaken that they can blackmail him. He expressed regret over the brutal killing of the members of the Hazara community and said that they were facing genocide.

He said his mission was to unite the entire Muslim world, not just the people of Pakistan.

In return, the Prime Minister once again appealed to the Hazara community to bury those killed in the attack in Balochistan's Mach area, calling on them to refrain from "blackmailing the premier", promising he would be there for them.

"It shouldn't be so that a sit-in takes place; every government should meet these requirements", he said.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who had met the protesters on Monday, had announced that Rs 2.5 million would be paid to each victim's family as compensation.

The interior minister held a press conference in the federal capital and said work is in progress regarding the demands of the Hazara community as the Frontier Corps (FC) has been directed to conduct search operation at a large scale and DC, along with administration, has been suspended.

Earlier on Friday, PM Khan's remarks in reference to the protest by the Hazara families that "the prime minister can not be blackmailed in that manner" took the social media by storm, as even some die-hard party leaders and workers expressed "regret" over the situation. "We will not allow them to sow sectarian strife in our country", Imran Khan said while speaking to a delegation of the Hazara community, including relatives of the slain coalminers, at Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University in Quetta on Saturday.

"Since March 2020, our intelligence agencies had reports that India was plotting to incite sectarian violence by assassinating Shia and Sunni religious scholars", the prime minister told the Hazara delegation members.

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Lauding the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), he said that the agency had apprehended culprits and averted several attacks that could have led to sectarian violence.

"These are 35-40 people who have spread terror in the country; in the past they were known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and now they are a part of the extremist group Daesh", the prime minister said.

"Nobody can guarantee that an unfortunate incident won't take place in the country", he said, adding: "That is why I had asked your community to bury the deceased, and then I would visit you". He said that a special cell is being established in the security forces to ensure the protection of Hazara community.

According to reports, the prime minister has chose to visit Quetta "soon" to express solidarity with the members of the community, but the date and time of his visit are "being kept secret due to security concerns".

"You need to understand that things are different for a prime minister".

"I share your pain and have come to you before also to stand with you in your time of suffering".

The premier said that he wants to categorically state that the whole while he was "completely" in touch with his ministers and the security forces and sought updates on the sit-in.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Baluchistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan in Quetta yesterday.

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