Pakistani PM Imran Khan thinks he is being ‘blackmailed’ to visit the mourning Hazara protestors

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The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan once again appealed to the mourning Hazara protestors on Friday to bury their dead, calling them to refrain from “blackmailing the premier.”

Addressing the launching ceremony of Special Technology Zones Authority in Islamabad, Khan said that the government has assured the protestors that their losses will be compensated.

He said that the government has accepted all the conditions that the Hazara community has put forward, adding that he also sent two federal ministers and an interior minister to visit the protestors.

The Prime Minister said that associating the burial of the dead bodies of the slain Hazara colliers with his personal visit is unbecoming, adding that no prime minister should be blackmailed like this.

“We have accepted all of their demands. [But] one of their demands is that the dead will be buried when the premier visits. I have sent them a message that when all of your demands have been accepted […] you don’t blackmail the prime minister of any country like this.

“Anyone will blackmail the prime minister then”, he said, adding that this included a “band of crooks” in reference to the Pakistan Democratic Movement. “This blackmail has also been ongoing for two-and-a-half years”, he said.

The Pakistani premier further said that the Hazara protestors have been informed that he will visit them once they have buried the slain miners. “I am using this platform to say that if you bury them today, I will go to Quetta to meet the families of the deceased”, he said.

Addressing the protestors, he said that all of their demands “have been met” and that their condition that the premier must visit personally bears no logic. He said if the mourners bury their dead today, he will visit Quetta today.

The Pakistani prime minister’s remarks come as the Balochistan’s Shia Hazara community protest for the sixth straight day on Friday in Quetta in the aftermath of the brutal killing of their loved ones in Machh. They have refused to bury their dead, saying that the premier of the country must visit and personally assure them their demands will be met.

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