On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan met the founding team of Ertugrul, the popular Turkish drama series. Meanwhile, the families of coal miners who were slaughtered in Machh six days ago by terrorists continue to wait for him to pay them a visit.
Armed assailants slit the throats of 11 miners in a residential compound near a mine site in the Machh coalfield area of Balochistan on Sunday. The militant Islamic State group claimed the gruesome attack.
Thousands of Hazaras have since staged a protest in the western bypass area of Quetta, along with coffins containing the bodies. In addition, their community members have also held protests in Karachi.
The mourners, including women and children, have refused to leave until the prime minister meets them and the killers are brought to justice, despite extremely harsh weather as the mercury drops to below freezing point.
On Wednesday, PM Khan said in a series of tweets that he was aware of “suffering & their demands” from the Shia Hazara community. He added that measures were being taken by the government to prevent such attacks in the future. In addition,’ this sectarian terrorism is instigated by our neighbour.’
I want to reassure the Hazara families who lost their loved ones in a brutal terrorist attack in Machh that I am cogniscant of their suffering & their demands. We are taking steps to prevent such attacks in the future & know our neighbour is instigating this sectarian terrorism.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 6, 2021
“I’ll never betray the confidence of my people. Please bury your loved ones,” said the PM, “so their souls will find peace.
In addition to this, several attempts were made to convince the demonstrators to bury the bodies of the miners killed. They were tried by both the federal and provincial authorities to convince them. However, without having a meeting with the PM, the protesters refused to do so.
Six days have passed and the funeral is still pending.
PM Khan went on to meet the founding team of Diriliş: Ertuğrul in Islamabad as the families of the victims waited.
Our favourite PM seems to have gotten his priorities straight. Meanwhile, to “show solidarity” with them, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz also visited the Shia Hazara community.
— Sehrish Qamar (@SehrishQamar4) January 7, 2021
Bilawal Bhutto sitting with the aggrieved Hazara community.
— Asadjoyo شیراز (@Asadjoyo69) January 7, 2021
Many Pakistanis who took to social media to decry his priorities were irked by the prime minister’s blatant ignorance.
The Twittersphere shouts down the incompetence of the premier
اے قوم گواہ رہنا!!
جب 11 لاشے 5 روز سے تدفين کيليے وزيراعظم کے منتظر تھے تب عمران خان معروف ترک ڈرامہ سیریل ارتغرل کی بانی ٹیم سے ملاقات ميں مصروف تھے ?#HazaraKoJeenayDo #IndiaBehindMachAttack #ImranKhan pic.twitter.com/Vw78vFGdxN
— Adeel Ahsan (@syedadeelahsan) January 7, 2021
Be witnesses, O people!!!! While 11 bodies waited 5 days for the Prime Minister to be buried, Imran Khan was busy meeting with the founding team of the well-known Turkish drama series Ertugrul, one user wrote.
— Nadeem Raza (@nadeemraza5) January 7, 2021
“The Prime Minister has time to meet with the founder of the Turkish drama series Ertugrul, but not the victims of Hazara.”
— Syed Hassan Raza (@hassanraza288) January 7, 2021
In both Pakistan and Afghanistan, Hazaras have frequently been targeted by Taliban, Islamic State militants, and other militant groups.
Three bombings in 2013 killed more than 200 people in Quetta’s Hazara neighbourhoods.