South Asia and Beyond

A Condolence Visit That Took Six Days

It took Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan six days to travel to Quetta the capital of Balochistan province, to condole with the families of 10 miners belonging to the ethnic Hazara community who were slain, allegedly by the ISIS. Some say he was six days too late.

He’s accused of being “heartless” and ‘callous” in demanding that the miners families bury their dead before his visit, a demand which is actually blackmail. Despite the biting cold, families of these miners had been protesting on a highway leading to Quetta along with the bodies of the miners since their brutal killing on January 3. They were finally buried hours before the Pak PM reached Quetta.

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Khan’s visit is unlikely to undo the damage caused to his image that has been battered and bruised since he became PM. The Shia community has faced persecution for long. The resident editor of Dawn newspaper, Fahd Husain, wrote in a searing piece: “Did no one explain to him that a bludgeoned, beaten and persecuted community, burdened with the agony of unimaginable grief, was pleading for sympathy, and care, and consolation?”