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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Friday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit Quetta as soon as the Shia Hazara community buries their dead martyred in a brutal attack in Machh coalfield.

Talking to journalists here, he said that religious leaders were busy in holding talks with leaders of the Shia Hazaras, and the moment the issue was resolved, the prime minister would leave for Quetta.

During the last few months, he said that four terrorist groups had been arrested, which wanted to create Shia-Sunni sectarian issues in the country by killing their top clerics. He said that “international powers” were involved in killing of Hazaras in Balochistan, adding the prime minister wanted an end to sectarian violence at all costs, for which he was ready to take all the measures.

The minister said that all the demands put forth by the Hazara Shia community had been approved, and compensation would be given to the families whose near and dear ones were martyred.

In an obvious reference to the criticism by the PPP and the PML-N, he said that some people were yet to understand that this is not the right time for politics. He said that the government would not create any hindrance in the opposition’s protests, as next 60 to 90 days were very important in politics. “Whosoever from opposition wants to come to Islamabad, will be allowed and no hindrance will be created,” he said about the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)’s sit-in in Islamabad on January 19, outside the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The minister said that the opposition parties would take part in by-elections as well as the Senate elections, and there would be no resignations as he predicted earlier.

He said that the facility of online visas had been introduced, while 100,000 Computerized National Identity Cards would be issued on a daily basis.

Rashid said that six crime incidents occurred in Islamabad from December to January. The culprits behind four incidents have been caught, while rest of them will be arrested soon.

To a question about removal of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL), he said that it was the decision of the cabinet. “I knew Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will go to the UK to meet Nawaz Sharif and he did the same,” he added.

Responding to a question on unceremonious removal of Amir Zulfiqar as inspector general Islamabad Police, he said he was removed after Usama Nadeem Satti’s murder, who was shot by the police on Srinagar Highway.

Earlier, the federal minister distributed the certificates among the police officials who will move from Grade 17 to 18.

Later in the day, sharing the agreement made with the families of the victims on social media, Minister for Port and Shipping Ali Zaidi, said: “These are demands and this is the agreement for the last two days. Though there is no alternative to loss of a human life, I would like to say there has been quite reasonably increase in the compensation”.

“I don’t know the elements which are still doing politics on the martyrdom of the coalminers [in Balochistan] despite acceptance of all their demands,” he tweeted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021