QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan has assured the Hazara community to provide them full protection and track down those behind the gruesome Machh incident.
Interacting with the bereaved families of the martyrs of the Machh incident at Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University Quetta on Saturday, the prime minister said the federal and provincial governments will play their parts in this regard.
He said a special cell is being established in the security forces to ensure the protection of Hazara community. The PM said he and the entire nation fully shares the pain of Hazara community and stands behind them and that they will not be left alone at this critical juncture. He assured that the promises made with them will be fulfilled.
Imran Khan said the bereaved families of the Machh incident will be fully taken care of and that their demands have already been accepted. He said that the government is putting in efforts to unite the nation and go after the elements trying to fan sectarian strife in the country.
The premier said that he had visited the community in the past as well and that he was aware of the tragedies that the community had been suffering. “When the war on terror was going on, and people were afraid to visit your Imambargahs, I visited your community even then,” he said.
The prime minister said that he is aware of the sectarian group that targeted the Hazara community and that the last time that he had visited the place and taken their name, the group had threatened him as well. “I understand all of your issues; I might be the only politician who understands your 20-year-old [struggle],” he said.
The PM said the intelligence reports strongly suggest that India wants to stoke anarchy in Pakistan by attacking the religious scholars of different schools of thought and the Mach incident was also part of a bigger game.
Imran Khan, however, commended Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for pre-empting three to four other major plots and said there are certain forces which want to create Shia-Sunni rift in the Muslim countries.
The prime minister said that “keeping the situation in mind, I had first sent the interior minister your way”.
“The first thing that we had to do was [console] the families who endured heartbreaking setbacks — Amna bibi, whose five brothers were martyred and Mohammad Sadiq, a brother of six sisters was also martyred.”
“That is why I had sent the interior minister first so that we could assure the families that we would not abandon them.”
“These are 35-40 people who have spread terror in the country; in the past they were known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and now they are a part of the extremist group Daesh,” the Prime Minister said.
“Several of the terrorists have been killed; however, 35-40 of them are left, and now a complete programme is in the works, including a security forces’ cell whose only responsibility will be to ensure your (Hazara community) safety and hunt down those responsible,” he said.
The PM, speaking about his delay in visiting them, said that a premier has a lot of matters to deal with as compared to the common man. “When I wasn’t prime minister, I had visited you.”
“Nobody can guarantee that an unfortunate incident won’t take place in the country,” he said, adding: “That is why I had asked your community to bury the deceased, and then I would visit you.”
“But when you keep conditions, then it becomes a precedent. Today Imran Khan is the prime minister, tomorrow someone else will be,” he noted.
“I want to say again, not only I, but the whole country was sharing your sorrow and pain.” He thanked the families for listening to the government and going ahead with the burial.
He said he is putting in effort to unite the Muslim Ummah that is why he also strived to improve Saudi Arabia-Iran ties.
Earlier, the Prime Minister offered Fateha for the departed souls of the martyrs of the Mach incident.
Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, federal ministers Ali Zaidi and Ali Ameen Gandapur, provincial ministers, inspector general of police, Frontier Corps chief and other high ranking officials were also present on the occasion.
Later, Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen leader Agha Raza said that during his visit, the people had registered their protest over the use of the word “blackmail” and how it is “unbecoming of a prime minister”.
The PM clarified that he used the word “blackmail” for the Pakistan Democratic Movement leaders, said Raza. He said that the prime minister has assured the community that the agreement signed will be fulfilled.
LAW & ORDER
Meanwhile, PM Imran Khan chaired a high level meeting regarding the Machh tragedy and law and order in Balochistan.
He also held a meeting with the Balochistan governor and chief minister which was also attended by Commander Southern Command Lt General Sarfraz Ali to discuss matters related to law and order of the province.
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Quetta on a day-long visit to the city. Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan, provincial ministers and other high ranking officials received the Prime Minister at the airport.