- Information minister says protection of minorities' rights responsibility of the govt
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Saturday that the government would not stop Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan from holding a rally in Sialkot, but said that the opposition party should respect the sentiment of the minority community.
The minister said that the clashes between police and PTI workers in Sialkot did not take place because of the government's rivalry with the political party.
Earlier on Saturday, police and PTI workers clashed at the venue of the party's planned rally. PTI claims multiple members, including leader Usman Dar, were taken into custody.
In a press conference, Marriyum explained that the problem arose after the CTI Boys High School, Sialkot penned a letter to the deputy commissioner of the city, stating that its worship place was being used by the PTI to hold a rally.
Waving a letter, she said that the school management stated that the ground was used by the Christian community for worship purposes and a political rally cannot be organized at the venue.
The minister said that the school management also recommended two public places to the PTI leadership to hold today's rally.
“Last night, the Christian community began a protest against PTI which continued till this morning,” she added.
She said that the protection of minorities' rights was the responsibility of the government. The minister underlined that Sialkot DC requested PTI leadership to change the premises of their planned rally, but they refused to do it.
Marriyum also stated that PTI was using the helicopter belonging to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) government for its rallies “without authority.”
“Khan is insulting the institutions and inciting anarchy just because he is not in power,” he said.
Criticizing the former government, she said that six million people lost jobs during the PTI government’s tenure which triggered massive unemployment and poverty in the country.
She further added that the depreciation of the rupee was due to the PTI's government's economic mismanagement. “Imran Khan granted an unfunded subsidy on petrol and the decision was taken without Economic Coordination Committee and Federal Cabinet’s approval,” she said.
She said that inflation during the last month of PML-N’s government in 2018 clocked in at 3.9%. “When PTI government left office, inflation reading had amounted to 13%,” Aurangzeb claimed.
“Meanwhile, food inflation during the last month of PTI government was 15% while it was 2.3% in the final month of the PML-N government.”
According to her, Rs18 trillion worth of debt was added by PTI during 3.5 years (till December 2021).