Saturday April 13, 2024

PM Imran Khan in Quetta to condole with Hazara community

The prime minister will also receive a briefing on the investigations into the Machh tragedy.

By Web Desk
January 09, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan. File photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has arrived in Quetta to meet the Hazara community and get a briefing on the law and order situation in the province after the Machh tragedy, Geo News reported Saturday.

According to the TV report, PM Imran will meet with the leaders and religious scholars of the Hazara community to share their grief and condole over the last week incident in which 10 miners were killed by the militants in Balochistan’s remote area.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed is with the prime minister on his daylong visit to the provincial capital.

The concerned authorities will also apprise the prime minister on the progress made in the investigation.

PM Imran had on Friday said that he will not visit Quetta till the miners are buried. His statement that the prime minister can not be blackmailed invited strong criticism from all the major Opposition parties.

Meanwhile, the funeral prayers of the victims were offered in the Hazara Town. SAPM Zulfi Bukhari and National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri and other provincial ministers were also present.

Sit-ins called off

Earlier, Shuhda Action Committee announced to end protests across the country after the government accepted their demands.

Qasim Suri had said that "right after the burial", PM Imran Khan will leave for Quetta and will be accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi who had been spearheading talks in Quetta on behalf of the government had said such incidences of violence must now come to an end. "We are making amends for the last 70 years," he noted.

Zaidi said that a written agreement had been reached with the Shuhda Action Committee. "No such written accord has ever been struck before with any other government," he remarked.

"The demands put before us were difficult," said Zaidi, adding that the "officers that must be removed have been decided".

The minister said that if governance in Pakistan "had not been so poor, poverty like this would not have existed".

"People would not have been massacred like this," he said, adding: "Foreign elements wish to create sectarian division in Pakistan."

Zaidi also announced scholarships on behalf of his ministry for the children of all the victims.

With the agreement reached, the sit-in by the families of the victims of the massacre, which had been staged for the past six days in freezing cold temperatures, came to an end and the bodies were carried away to be buried.

What happened in Machh

Ten colliers were killed and four others were seriously injured on Sunday after armed men attacked them at a coal field in Balochistan's Bolan district.

The coal miners, according to police, were taken to nearby mountains where they were shot.

According to AFP, the 10 miners were kidnapped before dawn on Sunday as they slept near the remote coal mine in the southwestern mountainous Machh area — 60 kilometres southeast of Quetta city, local government official Abid Saleem said.

Security officials who did not want to be named told AFP the attackers first separated the miners before tying their hands and feet and taking them into the hills to kill them. Most were shot, however, some were beheaded, said officials who did not want to be named.

Officials on Monday clarified ten people had died in the attack, revising a previous death toll of 11, AFP reported.

The militant group Daesh claimed the attack, according to SITE Intelligence, which monitors militant activities worldwide.