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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Friday warned the opposition that all those who take the law into their hands will be crushed as long as he is the interior minister.

“As long as I am the minister for interior, I will crush those who dared to take the law into their own hands. Think twice before you [opposition parties] take the law into your hands,” he said, while addressing a press conference a day after the police raid at the Parliament Lodges.

He said that he will not take care of the stature or how much big a leader and will take action against him or her, if they take law into their hands.

He said that if any parliamentarian was arrested for creating law and order situation, he will bring him to the parliament for casting their vote.

The minister asked Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman that you had earlier staged a sit-in and both the Pakistan People Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had used you, therefore, for God’s sake do not use students of the seminaries. “I will not spare those who come to Islamabad wearing militia dress,” he said.

The minister said that the opposition staged this drama as they do not have 172 members for making the no-trust motion moved by them against Prime Minister Khan successful.

He said that this time around, he let it go as no-confidence motion is the democratic right of the opposition. Vote of no confidence is part of democracy and thank God you are saying the military is neutral, adding that he knows the Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa since his college days, he will stand with democracy.

“You have to bring 172 members for making the no-confidence move successful. ”What kind of impression you wanted to give by bringing a militia? he asked.

“I would like to tell the opposition that you have the right to cast vote against us but you have no right to bring a private militia in the Red zone of Islamabad and spread your terrorism,” he said.

He said that this time we have registered normal cases and in future cases under section of terrorism will be registered against those who take law into their hands.

He said that he has also directed the chief secretary Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and all the IGPs that no one wearing militia dress be allowed to come to Islamabad. We have also taken action in Mardan and Nowshera, he said.

Rashid said that it had been decided that the security of the Parliament House, the Parliament Lodges, and the old MNA House in Islamabad would be handed over to paramilitary Rangers and Frontier Corps (FC) on the day the National Assembly votes on the no-trust motion against the prime minister.

To a question, he said that as a senior parliamentarian he wanted to tell the opposition that the opposition’s bad time is near, saying they were involved in a personal battle with Imran Khan, instead of a political one.

The minister said that the Nazim of private militia of the JUI-F which was abolished on October 24,2019 had issued a video statement that its first group will reach Islamabad. The JUI-F MNA, Salahuddin Ayubi, had taken control of the gate of the parliament lodges on Thursday last and bring around 50 to 70 of Ansarul Islam into the Parliament Lodges, he said. “We obtained search warrant with the consent of the speaker National Assembly and appointed a magistrate and held five hours long negotiations for handing over these people”, he said, adding that the police have not entered any other suite except suite no 401.

The minister said that 362 families were living in the Parliament Lodges. Of them, 53 are senators and 278 are MNAs, he said, adding that he does not want to spread fear but we do not have good reports as law enforcement agencies few days ago busted a gang from Bhara Kahu who have set up a group for carrying out terror activities in Islamabad.

He said that there are serious threats of life to Maulana Fazlur Rehman and him. The private militia scuffled with the police and five police personnel got injured on the occasion.

The minister said that six police officers have been suspended and ordered Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad to conduct an inquiry within 48 hours.

About the arrest of members of Ansarul Islam, he said that neither we registered case under anti-terrorism act against anyone nor nominated any MNA in the first information report (FIR). The MNA’s of JUI-F have not been arrested by the police and they went to the police station as per their free well, he said.

The minister said that JUI-F Senator Kamran Murtaza used extremely foul language against the police and police have to calm him down.

“This is all being done to affect the independent foreign policy that Pakistan has adopted under the premiership of Imran Khan,” he added.

Meanwhile, Islamabad police released the workers of Ansarul Islam who were arrested during a police operation inside the Parliament Lodges, on personal surety bonds.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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