Prime Minister Imran Khan, while trying to clarify the delay in his visit to Quetta to meet the families of Machh tragedy victims, said on Saturday that when he last visited the Balochistan capital [in the aftermath of a similar incident] it was different because he was an ordinary citizen and not a prime minister.
“I told them, [federal government’s team] I would come but when you put conditions then it sets a precedent,” he said while addressing the Hazara community in Quetta.
“I aim to end the Shia-Sunni discord throughout the world… look how our government is trying to thaw tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” he said.
The premier said that the intelligence agencies had told him that India wanted to stir sectarian violence in Pakistan and it would target Shia and Sunni scholars.
The prime minister had earlier arrived in Quetta to meet bereaved families of the Machh victims as the Hazara community buried coal miners brutally murdered by unknown assailants last week. Da’ish had claimed responsibility of the gruesome incident.
The prime minister left for Quetta on a special flight from the Nur Khan airbase. Federal ministers including Interior Minister Shiekh Rashid were accompanying the premier.
“Our intelligence agencies foiled three major plots to attack Shia and Sunni clerics,” he said, adding that the Machh incident was part of that ‘grand scheme’.
“There are 35-40 people who are doing this… believe me when I say this that we have our plans in place. We will set up a cell only for these people. We will go after them,” he added.
PM Imran said that upon hearing the tragic news, he immediately sent his team to the aggrieved so that they could feel that the federal government was with them. “I wanted to tell them [Hazara community] that we will go after ‘these elements’. We wanted to take the families and the community into confidence. The state will provide you protection.”
He said that he was in touch with his team and federal agencies throughout the duration of Quetta sit-in, adding that his government, all security agencies and entire Pakistan felt the pain of Hazara community.
Imran Khan said that it is his mission to unite the Muslim Ummah so such incidents do not occur. “We all know who want to divide us. I even tried to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” he added.