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ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Tuesday announced that the federal cabinet has decided to stop the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from holding a long march to the federal capital in order to ensure the safety and security of the residents of the capital.

Rejecting the ban on long march, former prime minister and chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan (IK) said that he would go ahead with planned long march to Islamabad scheduled to begin today.

Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, he said that keeping in view the present circumstances and the past record of the PTI, the federal cabinet has decided that the PTI will not be allowed to spread chaos, violence and anarchy by besieging the country’s capital in the name of so-called democratic movement or long March.

He said that the so-called PTI’s long march has nothing to do with the democratic norms as these people are hell-bent upon creating uncertainty and spread anarchy in the country. The main objective to stop this march is to control the spread of “Imrani agenda” and to control the agenda of division of the nation, he said.

About the PTI’s previous sit-in in 2014, Sanaullah said these are the people, who had besieged the Prime Minister’s House, provoked people to start civil disobedience in the country, and hung dirty clothes on the buildings of the parliament and the Supreme Court.

He said that the whole leadership is present in Peshawar from where it is planning to “attack the Federation” by utilizing government resources. The “violent gangs” cannot be allowed to attack the Federation, he said. He said that he wanted to ask those people who have been trapped by Imran Khan’s politics of hatred and division to stay away from these things.

“It was not only the responsibility of a single party or allied government but it is the responsibility of the whole nation, all institutions, political parties and media organizations to play their role to stop this chaos and anarchy”, he said, adding that if this chaos and anarchy is stopped at this stage it would be a great service to this nation.

Pakistan police arrest 'hundreds' ahead of PTI rally

The interior minister said that democratic and peaceful protest is the constitutional and democratic right of every citizen. “Had they not named this “bloody march” and not “talked about spreading chaos and anarchy” then the government would have not created any obstacle in their way,” he claimed. He also said that no one will be allowed to besiege the federal capital and dictate.

The minister said that maintaining law and order and ensuring security and protection of the lives of the citizens, businesses, and properties is the responsibility of the government and nobody or group will be allowed to harm them.

Referring to the killing of a police constable in Model Town, Lahore during a raid, he said that these people have moved from “hurling abuses to using bullets.”

Sanaullah was flanked by leaders from the allied parties, including Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl’s Asad Mehmood, Pakistan Peoples Party’s Qamar Zaman Kaira, Jamhoori Watan Party’s Shahzain Bugti, and others who affirmed that the decision to stop the long march had been taken through consensus. Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday announced to lead ‘long march’ of his from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa today (Wednesday).

Addressing a press conference here, Imran Khan claimed that a large number of people including women and youth from all provinces would participate in the long march.

He said their march would be peaceful and that there was no justification of police crackdown on PTI workers last night.

He said opposition was being victimised and not allowed to stage peaceful march, which was their democratic right.

He said free and transparent election was the only solution of existing challenges.

Imran feared that economic conditions of the country would not be different from that of Sri Lanka if price hike and devaluation of rupee against dollar continued. “We need to stand on own feet as quickly as possible rather relying on IMF and the US to achieve economic prosperity,” he reiterated.

He said overseas Pakistanis, whom were contributing 31billion dollars, were being deprived of their right to vote which he termed a great injustice. Imran Khan said that corruption cases framed by NAB and FIA were being closed.

He claimed to have achieved 6pc GDP growth in last four years, 10.6 percent industrial growth and record bumper crops, adding record olive production was reported during his tenure.

The PTI chairman said youths are future of Pakistan. He urged them to participate in long march in a large number. He expressed the hope that state institutions would remain neutral.

He urged bureaucracy not to accept ‘illegal orders’ or legal action would be taken against them. He said that except fake news, media was provided complete freedom during his tenure.

Later, Sanullah in a Tweet said that according to reports, PTI workers are collecting arms. He will not allowed Imran Khan to come to Islamabad. The security of entire Islamabad including the Red Zone will be ensured at any cost. Rangers and army can also be called if requested by the district administration, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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