ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Sunday that government was ready to accept political demands of the PTI and PAT but they must be constitutional and democratic, and protesters parties must shun their illegitimate way for pressing of their demands.
Addressing at a late night press conference, soon after the speech of Imran Khan to his activists, Nisar said, “Democracy, people of Pakistan and the future of institutions are more important than any other thing.” He said they were prepared to accept every lawful demand of PTI chief and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri but they should adopt parliamentary and constitutional way for it.
The minister announced that federal government was going to constitute two special committees comprising parliamentary leaders to negotiate with the two protesting parties – Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). Speaking at the Punjab House he said that each committee will include two members of each parliamentary party and names of the members would be announced on Monday (today).
Reacting on the Sunday night speech of PTI chief he said that the announcement of civil disobedience movement was against the state, not against the government. It may be started against the foreign rulers but not against the democratically elected government of the country, he held. He expressed his surprise as to who gave Imran the suggestion of civil disobedience and how it became the PTI policy.
“If tomorrow you (PTI) will be in the government, such civil disobedience movement can be started against you as well,” he said to PTI leadership. The minister claimed that he had 45 years long relation with Imran Khan but ‘today’ he would not comment on his speech remarks.
Nisar appealed to the leadership of protesters to come back to the democratic stream and not let the things go beyond the folds of democracy and constitution. He said if one million people didn’t come to the protest march, revenge should not be taken from the society at large and the government.
The interior minister said that the security agencies had pointed out serious security threats and the government was fulfilling its responsibility in this regard while rising above politics. “The government gave freehand to both the protesting parties,” he said.
He however again warned the protesting parties that no one would be allowed to enter the Red Zone. Nisar said that nobody had tried yet to go to the Red Zone and it would not be allowed in any case. “We are not a banana republic and the offices situated there are the offices of the state, not of the government alone,” he added.
The minister said the diplomatic community had shown concerns over the sit-ins and some friendly countries have conveyed their formal worries about the situation. “We will not allow anyone to assault foreign mission.” He said, “We are under the international obligations and we will definitely secure the red zone and diplomatic community and no one would be allowed to enter the Red Zone at any cost.” He said the security situation was under control, though protesters have made fun out of Red Zone.
Replying to a question, he refused Imran’s offer to join PTI and said that his heart and inner conscious was satisfied in Muslim League-Nawaz and he doesn’t want to join his party. To another question, he said resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was out of question and there was no deliberations going on this matter.
The PML-N leader said the country is facing a warlike situation but media is not focusing on war on terror and ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb. He requested Imran and Dr Qadri to have a mercy on Pakistanis, specially the citizens of Islamabad, and requested them to end their protest and place their demands on table. The minister also requested the protestors of PTI and PAT to remain non-violent. Ch Nisar said that the government could stop the long marches in the light of Lahore High Court order but they did not do that out of political magnanimity.