Senior PPP leader Senator Sherry Rehman on Friday lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan for equating the Hazara community’s just demands to “blackmail”.
Reacting to the primer’s speech, made a few hours ago, the PPP leader said that the “egoistic” and “ruthless” prime minister has set the worst example.
Criticising PM Imran Khan further, Rehman said that his statement was “an insult to the bodies of the slain coal miners.”
“He has proved that he is not only incompetent but also ruthless.”
“This fascist prime minister has no empathy for the people […] The only brother of six sisters is dead; they have no man left in their family,” she noted.
“Does the prime minister still think that their demand is unjust?” she asked.
Rehman said that the people of the Hazara community have been calling on the country’s prime minister and not Imran Khan as an individual.
“Imran Khan can be Bani Gala’s prime minister, but not of the country.”
The prime minister has made the demand of going to Quetta in-person a matter of his ego, Rehman added.
Hazaras have staged a continuous sit-in in Quetta in freezing temperatures to demand justice for the coal miners gunned down in Machh last week.
The bodies of the deceased have been kept where the community is staging its demonstration on the Quetta-Sibi highway (Western Bypass), near the Hazara Town.
‘Not burying the dead is akin to blackmailing’
A few hours earlier, PM Imran Khan had said that he was ready to go to Quetta immediately if the protesting Hazara community buries the dead — but making the burial conditional on his visit is inappropriate.
Speaking at a launch ceremony of Special Technology Zones Authority in Islamabad, the premier said he wanted to clear his position on the matter.
“All the demands put forth by the protesters have been accepted; therefore, making the burial [of the dead] conditional on the prime minister’s visit is not appropriate,” he said.
“This is akin to blackmailing the prime minister.”
“Nowhere in the world can you blackmail a prime minister like this,” said PM Imran Khan. “Because then [it opens the door for] every crook to stage a sit-in and demand corruption cases against them be withdrawn. This is very important.”
On Sunday, ten colliers were killed and four others seriously injured after armed men opened fire at them at the Machh coalfield in Balochistan’s Bolan district.
The coal miners, according to police, were taken to nearby mountains where they were shot.
The 10 miners were kidnapped before dawn on Sunday as they slept near the remote coal mine in the southwestern mountainous Machh area — 60 kilometres southeast of Quetta city.
The militant group Daesh has claimed the attack, according to SITE Intelligence, which monitors militant activities worldwide.