After a week-long protest by the Hazara community in the freezing cold of Quetta, Prime Minister Imran Khan has arrived in the provincial capital to meet the families of the slain Hazara coal miners.
The Hazaras blocked a highway in Quetta and refused to bury their dead after gunmen kidnapped 11 miners in Mach region of Bolan district and slit their throats. The killings sparked protests across Pakistan, with the protesters demanding the PM to visit the heirs of the deceased. However, the PM said he would only visit after the burial of the slain miners and called the protest a “blackmail”.
Following days of talks, the protesters on Friday night agreed to bury the dead bodies on the condition that the PM will come to Quetta and listen to their demands. The agreement cited by a media outlet says that the Balochistan government will pay Rs1.5 million compensation to the heirs of each martyr as well as provide employment.
The funeral prayers held in Quetta ahead of the PM’s visit were attended by the Maritimes Minister Ali Zaidi, PM’s aide on overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari, provincial ministers and others. The deceased were buried in the Hazara graveyard.
PM IN QUETTA:
Finally, Imran Khan has reached Quetta. He is accompanied by Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed and other cabinet members. The PM will meet the families of the miners and the religious leaders of the Hazara community. The provincial authorities will also update him on the Mach incident.
A report by Dawn says that the PM had initially decided to visit the Hazara on the day of the killings; however, he was dissuaded by his aides, including Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed who said that the PM should wait till the situation gets normalised.
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