No crackdown ordered, claims Nisar
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday said the law enforcement agencies had nabbed only seven out of 20 people who stormed Pakistan Television (PTV) building, Parliament House and attacked police. Addressing a news conference, Nisar said that police arrested suspects on the basis of an identification process through National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and TV footages.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2014
"Police have so far arrested seven persons from different areas of the federal capital, Lahore and some other areas," he said. He said both PTI and PAT had no right to raise a hue and cry over the arrested people involved in attacks on PTV and Parliament House, as both parties had denied their involvement in those unlawful acts.
To a question about the crackdown on PTI and PAT workers, he said that the government had neither ordered any general crackdown nor had it contemplated any crackdown on protestors in the Red Zone. He said that after clarification of the entire situation about arrests, both the parities needed to end the deadlock in talks and resume negotiations. Both the parties should realise that dialogue was the only solution to the prevailing crisis. He claimed that talks with PTI were going on in the right direction. "This is the reason that I have avoided making any comment," he added.
However, he said the government and state institutions would not allow imposition of any solution that constituted any challenge to state's writ. He made it clear that all those involved in attacks on PTV, Parliament House and police personnel would be arrest. Those involved in the theft of electricity and water would be brought to justice. Two people had been arrested on Bhera Interchange for setting police vans on fire, he said.
The Interior Minister said a committee headed by additional secretary, Ministry of Interior has been formed for proper identification and the government would welcome the co-operation of PTI and PAT in this process to ensure that no innocent person was held.
He said that a strict direction had been issued to police not to arrest non-violent political workers and action should be taken only against those who were involved in attacks on state institutions or police personnel. Nisar displayed the photographs of protesters involved in attacking on PTV and Parliament House, manhandling SSP Islamabad, attacking police personnel and stealing electricity and water at the venues of sit-ins. He said an FIR had been registered against electricity and water theft.
He said that eleven people with repeater guns had been arrested. One wireless set snatched from police had also been recovered from them. Nisar said that Ministry of Interior had received some very serious security alerts from a sensitive agency due to which security of the participants of sit-in had further been enhanced. Bomb disposal experts of police and Pakistan army were deployed at sit-ins and a ban was imposed on pillion riding in the capital. He, however, regretted that the participants of sit-ins were attacking, humiliating and manhandling security personnel deployed for their protection. He said the Ministry of Interior had written a letter in this regard, hoping that a better sense would prevail and participants of sit-ins would cooperate in ensuring security.