Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday warned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that law will take its course in case the party leadership failed to explain its agenda regarding its planned November 30 jalsa and seek proper permission from the district administration.
“The PTI leadership must come up with a clear-cut agenda whether they want to have a political jalsa on November 30 or they seek to create chaos on the pretext of a rally,” Nisar said while briefing media persons regarding a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on PTI’s upcoming rally.
He said the government was ready to deal with any situation which could arise out of PTI’s plan to hold a massive rally in Islamabad on November 30, adding that the administration would deal with an iron hand if somebody tried to violate the law. “If anybody thinks that the administration is incapable of tackling protesters, they must refresh their memories of August 31 police action,” he said while referring to a police crackdown on protesters when they tried to march towards the PM’s House. “PTI should declare before the nation what it wants to do on 30th November,” he said, adding that the government would facilitate if a peaceful rally is held and daily routine of residents of Islamabad is least disturbed. He said “the tendency of blocking roads, invading government institutions and trying to blackmail the government should end now.”
He said the government would not create any hurdle in holding a political gathering in Islamabad but the organisers would have to follow the procedure and get permission from the administration about the site. He said the district administration would contact PTI leadership in a day or two to decide about the venue and the party’s agenda.
However, he did not make it clear whether or not PTI would be given permission to hold its rally inside the Red Zone for which an ordinance is said under consideration to be promulgated. But Nisar denied any such move to promulgate an ordinance to prevent protests in the Red Zone.
“The confusion over whether or not the government will allow PTI to hold a rally in the Red Zone will be cleared in a day or two,” he said, adding that the PTI leadership should give a formal guarantee on certain conditionalities prior to agreeing on any venue for the rally.
To a question about withdrawal of army from sensitive buildings in Islamabad, he said the decision was taken by Ministry of Interior after realising that there was no threat to sensitive installations. However, he declared that troops would be called in on a short notice under Article 245, if needed. He said only Interior Ministry had the authority to requisition or withdraw army, adding that troops had been deployed in different cities as counter-terrorism measures.
About the dialogue with PTI, Nisar said the government was ready to revamp talks but that would be after 30th of November, “as talks cannot be held in a threatening environment.” To a question why the government is not arresting an absconder (Imran Khan), the Interior Minister stated that the decision to arrest him would not be taken by the government but the police and courts.
He said that PTI chief Imran Khan had been claiming that 24 people were killed during the night of 31st of August. He challenged to identify those people with their names and CNIC numbers. The minister said that only two deaths took place on that night and according to forensic reports – one of them was shot at in the foot and the other was fired at from a point blank range. He said police was unarmed and therefore, there was no possibility of firing from the police side.
He said that there should be a probe into the incidents of August 31, and the government was committed to holding a transparent investigation into what happened during that night. To another question, the Interior Minister said the government wanted that Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) should have confidence into the investigation of the Model Town tragedy.
He said a cabinet member had contacted PAT leadership in this regard and PAT wanted that the head of the investigating team should not be from the Federation, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan but only from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Nisar said there was a PTI government in the KP but the federal government was still willing to talk to PAT on the issue to address their concerns. Nisar also maintained that Imran khan “is writing a new constitution” daily on containers and blaming the entire segments of society, including journalists. “Now the people will have to decide whether they want to formulate or remove the governments through constitutional procedures or through the ‘Go-Go’ [Go Nawaz Go’ slogan] introduced by Imran Khan and his party,” he added.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT