Editorial | The Emperor Has No Clothes
The insensitivity displayed by Prime Minister Imran Khan towards the plight of protesting members of the Hazara community is appalling to say the least. That the PM would snub the mourning heirs of the slain coal miners by terming them ‘blackmailers’ in response to their demands is shocking, even by the low standards set by the ruling party.
When Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Bukhari spoke to the protestors with disdain, asking them as to what benefit they will give to the PM if he visits their sit-in, it was seen by most as an individual act of insensitivity. But Imran Khan’s callous remarks have made it clear that the government has deliberately shunned the protestors.
It’s crises like these when people look to their leaders for support and seek reassurance so they can heal from the ordeal. Once again, the PM failed his people. Imran Khan’s act of attacking the victims when he should have lent them support has disappointed even some of his ardent supporters.
On Thursday as the families of the Mach blast victims reiterated that they would not call off the sit-in until Prime Minister Imran Khan comes to meet them, the PM was holding a meeting with a team of Turkish show ‘Ertugrul’ at the PM House in Islamabad. A day earlier, the PM had reportedly met bloggers and social media influencers, but details of the said meeting were withheld by the government to avoid backlash.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Ludhianvi, chief of banned sectarian outfit Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a sister organisation of anti-Shia militant group Sipah Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), has endorsed the PM’s remarks that the Hazara protestors were blackmailing him into visiting their sit-in in Quetta. When extremist individuals from outlawed groups begin supporting your position, it is time for some serious introspection. We urge the PM to apologise for his insensitive remarks that must have been deeply hurtful for the oppressed members of the Hazara community.