Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he is ready to visit Quetta to meet with the members of the Hazara community, but only if they bury their dead, saying that making his visit a condition of their burial is highly inappropriate.
“This is akin to blackmailing the prime minister,” he said, adding that the demands of the community have been met and to now make the burial conditional is not right.
While addressing the launching ceremony of the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) in Islamabad, he said that the government had assured the protesters that they will be compensated and asked them to “refrain from blackmailing the premier”.
“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.”
“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 (PDM). “This blackmail has also been ongoing for two-and-a-half years.”
At the start of his address, the premier said that the Hazara community has been the victim “the most cruelty”. He said that the killing of the 11 coal miners in Mach was part of a conspiracy that he has been highlighting “since March”.
Furthermore, he said that during his previous visits, he had observed that “no community has been oppressed the way the Hazara community has been oppressed over the years.”
PM Imran also accused India once more of spreading chaos in Pakistan, adding that he has been saying since March 2019 that “India is fully involved in spreading chaos” and wants to spread sectarian violence in the country.
“I laud our intelligence agencies on the fact that they thwarted four major terrorist events. Despite this, a high profile Sunni aalim was killed in Karachi […] with great difficulty we managed to quell the flames of a sectarian divide,” he added.
Earlier, PM Imran took to micro-blogging site Twitter to reassure the Hazara families that he was “cognizant of their suffering and their demands” after they refused to end their protest until PM himself visits them and listens to their demands.