ISLAMABAD: A day after meeting content creators and members of the famous Turkish show, Ertugrul, Prime Minister Imran Khan insulted the protesting Hazara community and called them “blackmailers”, drawing the ire of social media users.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in a counter-argument strategy had said on Friday that he would visit the protest camp in Quetta only after the Hazara community buries the victims of Sunday’s massacre in Machh.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the Special Technology Zones Authority in Islamabad, he said that the government had assured the protesters that they will be compensated.
You do not blackmail the prime minister like this, the premier said adding, “Otherwise everyone will start blackmailing us. Even the ‘corrupt mafia’ is blackmailing us.”
“I have told them [the Hazaras] to the bury the dead. If you bury them today I will go to Quetta today. You [the protesters] cannot set conditions,” says prime minister.
Senior journalist Fahd Hussain said: “Revulsion to PM’s statement about #Hazara mourners “blackmailing” him is cutting across partisan lines and forming an organic deluge. @PTIofficial govt better be concerned #Hazarakillings“.
Meanwhile, PM Khan’s ex wife, Reham Khan gave the examples of leaders like Barrack Obama and Jacinda Ardern who showed empathy with the victims of terror, unlike PM Khan.
Reham said: “This is what a leader says after a tragic event that rips the hearts of the people. This is the sensitivity needed. The empathy needed. The emotional intelligence needed.”
In his speech, PM Imran expressed that Hazara was the most targeted community in the country. “They have been persecuted in ways no other [community] has been persecuted. I have visited them and seen their fear.”
Deeming the murder of 11 coalminers brutal, he said, all this is part of the conspiracy hatched by India which has been highlighted many times since March. “It’s a big attempt to spread sectarian divide,” he maintained.
Expressing that the government was aware of the sufferings of the Hazara community, Imran said that he first sent Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed to Quetta and then two federal ministers to assure the Hazara community that the government stood behind them.
“I assured them that they would be compensated and looked after as the affected families have lost their breadwinners,” said PM Imran Khan.
Gunmen abducted a group of minority Hazara Shia coal miners and killed 10 early Sunday, Pakistani officials said. The terrorist group Daesh has claimed the gruesome attack, according to SITE Intelligence, which monitors militant activities worldwide.
Thousands of protesters in Balochistan continued a sit-in in a bitting cold on Friday, saying they would not bury their dead relatives until PM Khan visited the province and ensured justice.
Bilalwal Bhutto-Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, and Maryam Nawaz Sharif, vice president of the Pakistan Muslim-League Nawaz, visited Quetta to meet with protesters on Thursday. The Pakistani interior minister and two cabinet members have also flown to Quetta this week to negotiate with protesters on the government’s behalf.