by Naveed Toshi
The handsome and smart woke up late in the evening to meet the producer of Diriliş: Ertuğrul, the popular Turkish television series on the glory of the Ottoman Empire. IK was reportedly full of praise for the drama because it has depicted how Turkish Muslims made history by creating an empire fighting Mongols, Christian Byzantines and the Knights Templar Crusaders of the 12th century.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with the founding team of the drama amid the ongoing situation in the country has sparked public outrage. While the families of the 11 coalminers belonging to the Hazara tribe who were brutally butchered by terrorists in Machh, Balochistan on Sunday last, were waiting for the prime minister to visit the mourners and show empathy for their pain and sorrow, Khan preferred to host his favourite Turkish drama team.
The meeting was led by Turkish politician Kemal Tekden and it was attended by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz, Kashmir Committee Chairperson Shehryar Afridi and personalities from Turkish and Pakistani film industries.
That’s fine! But wait. What’s happening in the land of the pure? The devastated family members of the slain coalminers buried their loved ones after six days agonizing sit-in and vigil under the skies in chilly weather of Quetta. They waited for the PM to come and give some hope and ensure their safety.
Their grief was felt by everyone across the country. People from all faith and political spectrum came out on the streets in various cities in Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan against the despicable act perpetrated by the ISIS, an international proscribed terrorist outfit who claimed responsibility for the slaughtering of the 11 hapless coalminers in a compound and uploaded the video of their crime on the internet.
The protesters had declared that they will bury the victims of the wanton terrorism only after PM Khan visits them and ensures the safety of their community.
But our handsome, smart, brilliant, agile, shrewd PM instead of visiting the mourners rubbed salt to their wounds by declaring them ’blackmailers’.
This statement appalled all irrespective of their faith, caste and creed who expressed their anguish on social media. Even IK’s die-hard supporters openly slammed him and regretted voting him.
It is to be recalled that IK once criticized former PM and his government after a similar incident in which over 100 Hazaras were killed in 2013. He had demanded immediate resignation from the then government for what he termed its failure in taking any immediate action against the perpetrators.
The PM visited Quetta on January 9 after almost a week inviting massive criticism from all segments of society for his insensitivity and heartless attitude as well as dual standards and somersaulting on his claims and promises that have become a hallmark of the premier and his government.
According to media reports, only one or two families of the slain Hazara coalminers have met the PM. The others have refused to meet him for letting them suffer in chilly weather for six days with bodies and calling them blackmailers.
Naveed Toshi belongs to Chipursan Valley of Gojal Hunza and doing his masters at KU