- Interior minister says no one is allowed to target state institutions
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz is creating problems for herself by issuing irresponsible statements against state institutions.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Thursday, Rashid said that Maryam is solely responsible for the PML-N's present situation.
The minister said that the opposition is defaming institutions for their own publicity. "Those criticising the institutions will get nothing," he said.
"Armed forces stand behind the democratic government. PML-N's politics, which involve blame game, is sinking."
The interior minister's remarks come after Maryam Nawaz levelled serious allegations against a top-ranking army official, saying he was behind the Avenfield Apartments case in London against her and Nawaz Sharif.
She also shared details of the application she had filed with the court. The application includes documentation of a speech by former IHC judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on July 21, 2018.
“I have written in my application that this proves that my case is politically engineered,” she said. She mentioned that the army official not only made the case, but he also ran it and had us convicted through the court of Judge Bashir.
Meanwhile, on the recent postings of top-ranking Army officials, Rashid maintained this was a routine exercise. "Generals come and go. Levelling allegations against the army is not wise.
New Zealand team's visit
Regarding the New Zealand cricket team's visit to Pakistan, he stated that India was involved behind the eventual cancellation of the trip and "everyone knows about it".
"I am saying this to you after thorough verification. The security personnel that we deployed for the New Zealand team were more in number than the soldiers in their army."
Reacting to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's earlier statement on reconciling with the PML-N's opponents for maintaining the rule of law in the country, the interior minister said the "ship has sailed".
Speaking about the NAB ordinance, Rashid said it was a "legal step taken to remove objections raised by people and the business community."
He said it was a "calculated step" by the government, reiterating that it had been taken to facilitate the people.
When asked why he was kept out of the loop on the government's discussions with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Rashid said "no talks, as per my knowledge, have taken place yet [between the government and the TTP]".
About the General Elections 2023, Rashid said only two years are left in the government's constitutional tenure, adding it plans to spend six months of its rule in campaigning for the elections. "I (also) see new alignment between PPP and PML-N as the next elections are nearing."