Tuesday November 30, 2021

Anti-Army elements to be dealt with: PM Imran Khan

January 10, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that those speaking against the army will be taken to task.

Speaking to digital media representatives, Imran Khan said institutions are being pressurised to save loot and plunder. According to a private news channel, the premier said those attacking the institutions will not be spared. He said the corrupt elements are mistaken that they can blackmail him. He said it is unprecedented that the army is being criticised under a democratic government just to save corruption. He said the PDM was a group of thieves and robbers that sought NRO from him in written form.

According to INP, the premier said the opposition is asking COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa to send an elected government packing.

The premier said India was behind the terrorist acts in Balochistan, and vowed that stringent security measures would be taken for safeguarding the Hazara community. He expressed regret over the brutal killing of the members of the Hazara community and said that they were facing genocide.

“Some terror elements have joined hands with Daesh and they are supported by India for promoting terrorism in Balochistan,” he said adding the cabinet was apprised of attempts being made to fuel sectarian rifts in the country in March. He said that India has made attempts to fuel sectarian tensions in the country and Maulana Adil’s assassination was one such bid to fuel the rifts. However, it was tackled in the best possible way by the security institutions.

“Our forces have foiled many attempts from terrorists and arrested several such elements before the execution of their nefarious designs,” Imran Khan said.

He said Balochistan was neglected in the past due to its less population and votes, however, their government is giving special attention towards the development of the province.

“The chieftain system in the province has also a role in the destruction of Balochistan,” the prime minister said while also blaming the PPP for neglecting it during its tenure. “The development funds were previously funnelled through chieftains of the province, which made them richer while the masses remained poor,” Imran Khan said.

He lauded Jam Kamal and said that he was performing well for the betterment of the province.

Earlier, after the passage of six long days since the brutal massacre of coal miners of the Hazara community in Mach, the prime minister met with the bereaved families. The meeting took place at Sardar Bahadur Khan Women's University.

Imran Khan extended his heartfelt condolences to all those who lost their loved ones in the tragic incident. The premier speaking to the families said that he had visited the community in the past as well and that he was aware of the tragedies that the community had been suffering.

"When the war on terror was going on, and people were afraid to visit your Imambargahs, I visited your community even then," he said.

The premier said that he was aware of the sectarian group that targeted the Hazara community and that the last time that he had visited the place and taken their name, the group had threatened him as well.

"I understand all of your issues; I might be the only politician who understands your 20-year-old (struggle)," he said.

The prime minister said that the intelligence agencies had informed the government last March that India wanted to spread sectarian violence in Pakistan by killing Shia and Sunni scholars.

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.

"When this incident took place, I had no doubt that it was a part of a larger game — it was a step towards spreading violence in the country," he said.

According to Geo News, the prime minister said that "keeping the situation in mind, I had first sent the interior minister your way".

"The first thing that we had to do was (console) the families who endured heart-breaking setback — Amna Bibi, whose five brothers were martyred and Mohammad Sadiq, a brother of six sisters was also martyred. That is why I had sent the interior minister first so that we could assure the families that we would not abandon them," said the premier.

"The second thing I wanted to convey to the Hazara community was that we will (hunt down the people involved in the attack)," he said, adding that he was in constant contact with the intelligence agencies in this regard.

"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.

"Several of the terrorists have been killed; however, 35-40 of them are left, and now a complete programme is in the works, including a security forces' cell whose only responsibility will be to ensure your (Hazara community's) safety and hunt down those responsible," he said.

The premier said he aimed to do two things — assure the aggrieved families and then the community — that the federal government would ensure their safety.

The prime minister, speaking about his delay in visiting them, said that a premier has a lot of matters to deal with as compared to the common man. "When I wasn't prime minister, I had visited you."

"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."

"But when you keep conditions, then it becomes a precedent. Today Imran Khan is the prime minister, tomorrow someone else will be," he noted.

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.

"I want to say again, not only I, but the whole country was sharing your sorrow and pain," he said.

He thanked the families for listening to the government and going ahead with the burial.

"The whole nation will continue to stand with you, as will the provincial and federal governments, the security forces; I came here to tell you that we will take full care of these children and our sisters," he said.

The prime minister, sharing his vision, said that he aims not only to bring people of the country together, but also bring closer the Muslim states, to end this "divide and rule" philosophy. "I have tried to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia closer."

"We will try our utmost to root out this element that creates divide in our country and spreads hatred," he said.

The prime minister also chaired a meeting to discuss with the federal and provincial leadership the overall security situation of the province.

Besides the Balochistan governor and chief minister, federal ministers Shaikh Rashid Ahmed, Syed Ali Zaidi, Ali Amin Gandapur, Special Assistant Zulfiqar Bukhari and Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri attended the meeting. Provincial Interior Minister Ziaullah Langau, Commander of Southern Command Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali, Inspector General of Police Balochistan Mohsin Hassan Butt, Chief Secretary Fazeel Asghar and senior civil and military officers were also present.