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Govt, protesters reach consensus; Quetta sit-in ends

Federal minister Ali Zaidi addressing the protester at the Quetta sit-in, on January 09, 2021. — YouTube 

The federal government and the protesting Hazara community reached a consensus late Friday and the latter decided to end their sit-in. The protesters have agreed to bury the slain coal miners.

Thousands of Hazara protesters, including women and children, had staged a sit-in at the Western Bypass in extremely cold weather for the last six days against the brutal execution of 10 Hazara coal miners in Machh.

Meanwhile, speaking to the protesters on the occasion, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said such incidences of violence must now come to an end.

The minister, who had spearheaded talks on behalf of the government, said  that a written agreement had been reached with the Shuhda Action Committee.

“No such written accord has ever been struck before with any other government,” he said.

“The demands put before us were difficult,” said Zaidi, adding that the officers who had to be removed have been decided.

The minister said that if governance in Pakistan “had not been so poor, poverty like this would not have existed”.

“People would not have been massacred like this,” he said, adding: “Foreign elements wish to create sectarian division in Pakistan.”

With the agreement reached, the sit-in by the families of the victims of the massacre, which had been staged for the past six days in freezing cold temperatures, came to an end.

Zaidi also announced scholarships on behalf of his ministry for the children of all the victims. 

Moreover, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan said that he was thankful to the people for ending their protest, adding that no system could prosper where “oppression”  existed.

The chief minister, stressing that the city and the province belonged to the people, said that it was the government’s responsibility to provide the citizens with safety.

The chief minister said that the government aimed at a prosperous Balochistan and that his team was striving for it.

The chief minister said that this should be a learning lesson for the rulers of the country, adding that the demands met today should have been met without this sit-in.

“It isn’t necessary that a sit-in takes place, every government should meet these requirements,” he said.

More to follow…

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