Sana asks Imran to refrain from ‘creating uprising’

ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan on Saturday called on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to pursue “peaceful and national politics” and refrain from creating chaos and unrest in the country.

The remarks of the minister came hours before PTI chief Khan led a rally from Rawalpindi to Islamabad’s Parade Ground—the main venue of gathering— to protest against rising inflation and ouster of his government.

Speaking at a press conference here at the main premises of the Safe City project, the interior minister advised Khan for course correction and to refrain from “creating uprising and instability” in the country. “He (Khan) should pursue peaceful and national politics,” he said.

He went on to say that all the political parties in the country at the moment were on one side and trying to solve the ongoing political, administrative and economic crises. He gave an indirect reference to PTI and said that only one party was busy abusing everyone and playing the politics of hatred.

He urged the need for a political consensus on political and economic matters of the country saying that the country could not be steered out of the present crisis without consensus. Sanaullah chided the PTI that the “expired tear gas shells” that were earlier used to disperse protestors of the opposition party during its May 25 long march had finished and were bought by his predecessor. “Now they will get everything effective, fresh and updated if the need arises,” he said, while warning the PTI of dire consequences if it violated any agreement made with the local administration to hold its protest rally at Parade Ground.

“But it would be better if they don’t create such a situation,” he added.

Earlier, PTI had accused that the Islamabad police used expired tear gas shells against its supporters during the party’s long march to stop them heading towards D-Chowk.

The minister also appreciated the capital police for bringing the situation under control just through rubber bullets and tear gas.

Interior minister warns PTI law violators won’t be spared

He said that in the future, any such rallies of armed groups would not be allowed to enter Islamabad. “This page of threatening or surrounding Islamabad has been torn, and the state has now got rid of such threats forever,” he said.

About talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the minister said that the talks would be held only under the Constitution, and neither any matter over and above the Constitution would be talked nor any such agreement would be signed. The parliamentary committee has given this permission to the leadership of the armed forces, he said, adding, the leadership would inform the parliamentary committee about any latest development and matter would be debated in the parliament.

Earlier, speaking at a ceremony at police lines, Sanaullah said that the loan agreement signed by the PTI government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was ill-negotiated and not implemented in letter and spirit by the previous regime. He said that the country had such an ailing economy that the IMF has kept Pakistan on toes only to get $1 billion. “We tried our best and presented every argument that we should not increase prices of fuel but to no avail.” He said that the ruling party had thought about dissolving the assemblies to get fresh mandate but the country was facing threat of default if the country was handed over to caretaker set-up.

During the presser, the interior minister announced an increase in the salaries of Islamabad police by bringing these equal to those of Punjab police.  He also announced to disburse pending payments of Rs1.2 billion to the families of martyrs of police.

He informed media persons that a 100-bed hospital will also be built for the Islamabad police at a cost of Rs 5 billion.

The minister further said the demand of Frontier Constabulary (FC) has been accepted to have equal salaries to those of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police.

Responding to the question, he also condemned the attack on journalist and anchorperson Ayaz Amir in Lahore last night. He said that the police were pursuing the case and the culprits would be brought to book.


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