Prime Minister Imran Khan met on Saturday the families of slain Hazara coalminers in Quetta.The coalminers were executed by unidentified men in their sleeping room in the Machh coal field area on January 3. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State’s Wilayah Pakistan arm.Hazara protesters had been staging a sit-in at a highway near Quetta for the last six days. They had earlier refused to bury their loved ones.But the prime minister accused the protesters of "blackmail". “You cannot blackmail a PM like this when we have agreed to everything else,” he said at an event in Islamabad Friday.PM Khan visited the provincial capital Saturday, after the protesters ended their sit-in and buried the slain coalminers.He met with the victims' families at Sardar Bahadur Khan University. Hazara representatives, Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen leader Agha Raza and Adviser to Balochistan CM Abdul Khaliq Hazara were at the meeting too."Many tragedies befell you," PM Khan said, while speaking to the victims’ families. "I visited you when people were afraid of coming to you during the time when terrorism was on the rise in Pakistan."He said he was aware of the entire issue and whatever happened to them over the last 20 years."I have no doubt that this [Machh attack] was part of a larger [sectarian] game," the premier said, adding that his government would go after the perpetrators "with full force".There are 35 to 40 militants left who have been orchestrating these attacks, according to the prime minister. A special cell of the security forces is being formed which will be dedicated to protect the Hazara community in Balochistan.
'Setting a condition sets a precedent'
The prime minister also explained his "blackmail" remarks to the bereaved relatives."You should understand this that it is different for a prime minister. When I was a common man I came to you," he said."I conveyed the message that you bury them and I will come to share your grief immediately but when you set a condition then it becomes a precedent."PM Khan said he was fully aware of the developments and in touch with the federal ministers and security agencies."I want to tell you that not just me but the whole country was watching and we all shared your grief," he told relatives of the slain miners."We are standing with you," the prime minister assured the Hazara community.