ISLAMABAD   -  Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Sunday warned opposition parties of action if they tried to create chaos in the country.

Addressing a news conference along with SAPM on Accountability Shehzad Akbar here, Firdous said holding peaceful protest was the constitutional right of individuals and political parties. However, no one would be allowed to take law in their own hands as it was the mandate of the government to maintain law and order in the country, she added. “The opposition parties will not be allowed to create chaos in the guise of protest.”

She was confident that the people would not participate in the protest announced by the opposition parties, which were involved in loot and plunder in the country. “The people believe that the protest announced by the opposition is to save their looted wealth, kids, fake accounts and properties,” she added.

To a question, Dr Firdous said cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari were in the courts and it was up to them to decide.

Firdous said it was unfortunate that opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif held a press conference in London along with a proclaimed offender Ishaq Dar. Shehbaz had taken oath in the Parliament to uphold the rule of law and Constitution, but his press conference along with Ishaq Dar was against the law and Constitution, she added.

Regarding the issue of production orders of members of the National Assembly from the newly merged tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, she said the government had very clear stance on the issue.

The areas cleared by the security forces by rendering unmatched sacrifices to eliminate terrorism would not be allowed to be used for anti-Pakistan activities and to promote agenda of another country, she stressed.

Dr Firdous questioned as to who attacked the security forces’ picket to release facilitators of the terrorists. The Jirga had peacefully handed over those facilitators to the security forces so it was unfortunate that the so-called parliamentarians caused disturbance by creating an issue out of a non-issue, she added.

She said if the operation had continued, the terrorists would have been arrested and the country would have been saved from the great tragedy in North Waziristan in which the country’s heroes embraced martyrdom.

“If some people think production orders of MNAs should be issued then there should be a review of National Action Plan. As per the present plan, the facilitators, supporters and financiers of the terrorists are also terrorists,” she explained.

She said as per the National Action Plan, there was no justification to issue production order for a person involved in terrorism. “There should be no doubt Pakistan is a priority then comes politics. I will appeal to the opposition parties that we should be one on issues of national interest and integrity of the country.”

Dr Firdous said the ministries and attached departments had been directed to play their role in minimising the miseries of the common man as the government had firm resolve to lessen economic woes of the people and regain the lost glory of the country.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan pleaded the case of Pakistanis at all international fora. A strategy was being devised to empower the masses to overcome challenges being confronted by the country, she added.

Talking about the defamation notice sent by her to Rana Sanaullah, Dr Firdous said she strongly believed that political issues should not be taken to courts, but her brother Sanaullah did not know the sanctity of the relation of a sister. She was legally bound to make news channels as respondents in the defamation suit, she added.

She said her brother Sanaullah had conveniently forgotten the socio-cultural norms and she would fight for preserving the dignity and sanctity of 52 percent womenfolk. Several options were available to teach a lesson to Rana Sanaullah, she added.

Responding to a question, she said the corrupt bunch of politicians wanted to start a movement against the government to discredit themselves. The people had political acumen and would not support those who only wanted to protect their looted money.

She said launching protest movement against the government was right of the opposition, however, the law would take its course in case of violations. She asked a religious leader without naming him to keep his eye on Islam not Islamabad.

The government, she said, was duty bound to protect the lives and property of the people. The opposition had the right to protest, however, violence would not be allowed, she warned.

To another question, she said the missing opposition leader in the National Assembly had been received by workers of a private limited company and not by the masses on his arrival from a leisure trip of London. Those who went to London for their own comfort had returned back to create discomfort for the people.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar said the direction of Pakistan economy was being set in the first budget of PTI. The Assets Recovery Unit had detected 10,000 to 12,000 properties of Pakistanis abroad. The data of 150,000 accounts had been collected from 26 countries. Some cases were with the FBR and others were with NAB.

He asked the unlawful owners of foreign assets to regularise their assets by June 30, failing which strict action would be taken as the government had all record available in that regard. A person could be convicted to seven years imprisonment, besides confiscation of assets for having unlawful assets abroad.

Commenting on the return of Shehbaz Sharif, he said Shehbaz should have questioned his son Salman and son-in-law for manifold increase in their wealth and transactions of millions of rupees in their bank accounts through TTs (telegraphic transfers).

Shehzad said the basic functioning of the Asset Recovery Unit was to coordinate with the state institutions, including FIA, FBR and NAB, to find out assets outside the country.

He said the unit till date had traced out assets worth $12 billion. The FBR, he said, was dealing with the cases related to taxes while the FIA and NAB were dealing with other cases.

To another question about the possibility of arrest of a political bigwig in near future, he said it was the discretion of the court. The recent Memorandum of Understanding signed with the United Kingdom was specifically related to return of Ishaq Dar, he added.