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Terror attack on Balochistan miners: Protesters want PM Imran Khan to visit Quetta

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QUETTA/ ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad today (Tuesday) to give an update to the premier about his visit to Quetta.

The minister had assured the Hazaras protesting the execution of the coal miners  in Balochistan’s Machh that he will share their demands with PM Khan.

The protesters announced that they will continue their sit-in till Prime Minister Imran Khan makes a visit to Quetta himself.

They shared their demands with  Rashid when he visited the protesters Monday. The interior minister said he will communicate the  demands of protesters to PM Imran Khan.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan himself should visit Quetta and look into all these issues,” the leader of the Hazaras said Monday.

The terror attack on the miners has been claimed by the Islamic State.

Up to 2,500 protesters staged a sit-in, gathered with eight bodies in coffins and blocked a bypass on the outskirts of Quetta, demanding justice Monday. “We will not end our protest until the arrest of all the assassins,” Balochistan Shia Conference chief Agha Daud said

“The latest wave of killings will spread to other cities including Quetta if a decisive action is not taken at this stage,” he said.

The protesting relatives of miners demanded resignation of the Balochistan government.

Sheikh Rashid meets protesters

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed reached Quetta Monday evening and joined a sit-in organised by the Hazaras and families of the deceased coal miners a day after the Machh massacre.

He said he is ready to accept all the demands of the Hazara people, except the resignation of the Balochistan government.

“Today or tomorrow morning I will inform the Prime Minister about the message of the protesters,” Rashid said.

Rashid had announced compensation amounting to Rs2.5 million for each family of coal mine workers.

“Each family of the martyrs will be given Rs1 million by the Prime Minister, while Rs1.5 million by the chief minister of Balochistan,” Rashid told the media.

He reportedly flew to Quetta on the instructions of PM Khan. The minister was accompanied by National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri and Balochistan’s chief secretary.

“On Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special instructions, I arrived in Quetta alongside Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed to share the grief of the families of the martyrs of the Machh tragedy, assure our Hazara community of immediate justice, and to review the security situation,” Suri wrote on Twitter.

The interior ministry has also sought a report on the massacre.

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