- CM Balochistan urges mourners to bury the miners
- Religious obligations may not be held back, says Jam Kamal Khan
QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan reiterated his appeal to the members of the Hazara community to bury the slain coal miners.
“I once again request the lavaiqeen to do tadfeen of [the] bodies. The religious obligations may not be held back and please it may be done. I request you all again,” he wrote on Twitter.
Thousands of mourners, including women and children, have staged a sit-in at the Western Bypass for the past five days in extremely cold weather. They are protesting against the Machh tragedy wherein 11 miners were kidnapped before dawn on Sunday as they slept near a remote coal mine some 60 kilometres southeast of Quetta city and shot to death.
Security officials who did not want to be named that the attackers first separated the miners before tying their hands and feet and taking them into the hills to kill them.
The members of the Hazara community have refused to bury the slain coal miners until Prime Minister Imran Khan personally meets the mourners.
CM Jam Kamal Khan had visited the protest camp and Imambargah Wali Asr in Hazara Town on Wednesday and urged demonstrators to end the sit-in.
A night before that, the prime minister’s aide Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari arrived in Quetta with Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi to hold talks with the members of the Hazara community.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed had also visited the city on Monday and held meetings with the Hazara community leaders and provincial government officials. He announced a compensation of Rs2.5 million for the families of the slain coal miners.
PM Imran Khan’s visit
Reassuring Hazara families that he was cognisant of their sufferings and demands, PM Imran Khan urged them to bury the dead in a tweet on Wednesday.
“I share your pain and have come to you before also to stand with you in your time of suffering,” he wrote. “I will come again very soon to offer prayers and condole with all the families personally. I will never betray my people’s trust.”
Bilawal, Maryam head to Quetta
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N vice-president Maryam announced that they would be visiting Quetta today to offer condolences to the affected families.
Bilawal said he was trying to reach Quetta with Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah and former premier Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani but they had to off-load from the plane as the engine would not start. “Trying to make other arrangement,” he wrote.
The PPP chairman said PM Imran Khan must accept the demands of the victims’ families.
Meanwhile, Maryam also left for Quetta from her Jati Umra residence. “A premier is like a father figure for the country. But this government is showing indifference,” she told reporters. “I am going to Quetta with my father’s [Nawaz Sharif] message to the victims of the Machh tragedy.”