Imran Khan Visits Quetta After Hazara Coal Miners are Laid to Rest

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, arrived in Quetta on Saturday to have a meeting with the grieving families of the Machh victims. He made his trip, as promised, soon after the community obliged and buried the bodies of the slain coal miners. 

The premier boarded a special flight for Quetta from the Nur Khan airbase. He was accompanied by several Federal ministers, as well as Sheikh Rashid, the Interior Minister. 

The funeral prayers of the executed coal miners were offered in Quetta at the Hazara graveyard. The funeral prayers were attended by various leaders of different political parties. These included Qasim Khan Suri, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Ali Zaidi, the Federal Minister, and Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis. Many provincial ministers also turned up to join the funeral prayers. 

Late on Friday night, the negotiators representing the government, who were led by Jam Kamal Khan, the Balochistan Chief Minister, as well as Ali Zaidi, Maritime Affairs Minister, were successful in persuading Hazara mourners to call off their protest. Moreover, the families of the victims were convinced to lay their loved ones to rest, who were murdered brutally earlier in the week. 

The families had been encamped in the freezing cold on the Western Bypass. They had sat there, alongside the coffins of the slain miners, waiting for the Prime Minister to come. On Saturday, they announced that they had called off their protest after the government had accepted their demands. 

After the late-night talks between the senior government functionaries and protestors in Quetta took place, a member belonging to the Hazara Shuhada Committee confirmed that their demands had been accepted. Thus, the families in cohesion, decided to lay to rest the martyrs. 

As per the agreement reached, the government will take strict action against those who are responsible for gross negligence in the Machh incident. In addition, a high-level commission, which will be headed by the provincial home minister, has been created to conduct a proper investigation in this regard. 

The agreement further stipulates that the government of Balochistan will be liable to pay Rs1.5 million as compensation to all the living heirs of every martyr. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the provincial government to provide the heirs with jobs. 

Just last Sunday, 11 colliers, belonging to the community of Hazara, were brutally slaughtered by the Islamic State terrorist group residing in the Bolan district, specifically the Machh area. Ever since the occurrence of the incident, all the relatives, as well as the supporters of the community, got together to hold a vigil alongside the coffins of the slain coalminers. 

The protestors had clearly stated that they would not call off their sit-in and bury the dead until the premier came to Quetta to personally assure them that the targeted killings of the Hazara community will end. Most of the ethnic Hazaras are predominantly Shia.