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ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday formed a five-member committee to review “threatening” statements issued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and plan out a future course of action.

In a post-cabinet briefing given by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah along with Qamar Zaman Kaira of the Pakistan People’s Party and Asad Mehmood of the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl), Rana Sana said that the committee’s purpose would be to come up with an action plan to deal with anti-state activities as the federal cabinet expressed concerns over recent statements by the PTI leaders and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan regarding the PTI’s Azadi March.

He said it was neither a political activity nor a democratic march but it was “a criminal act”. People participating in this march were equipped with weapons and we also have videos of these. It is a criminal act and it should be treated under the Pakistan Penal Code.

The committee will be led by Rana Sanaullah himself and four other members are PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq, PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, and JUI-F’s Asad Mehmood.

Sanaullah accused the chief ministers of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan for using state resources to support the “criminal agenda” of Imran Khan.

PTI's long march will not be allowed to enter Islamabad: Rana Sanaullah

He said “several departments’ resources were used for this illegal long march.” He claimed that the provincial police force was also compelled to take part in the long march to facilitate it.

Reacting to the statements of Imran Khan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, he said that besides police, resources of other departments were also utilized for this criminal political agenda which consists of dividing the nation and the younger generation. In order to advance this agenda, the federation was attacked.

The minister said that in the long march, a few thousand armed men marched towards the capital, Islamabad, and when they were stopped, they opened fire on the police and held the policemen hostage.

He said that the obstacles that had been put in place to stop this “criminal gang” were also removed by the participants of the long march, adding they used fraud and misrepresentation in the Supreme Court. He said an order was issued to allow passage of protestors to enter Islamabad and let them hold a rally at H-9 in Islamabad that was implemented. However, he alleged that the purpose of PTI was not to hold a rally but to capture Islamabad and spread chaos and anarchy in the capital.

The minister said that ahead of the arrival of the long march, 3,000 to 4,000 people had gathered at D-Chowk and all of them belonged to the same province and acted as the front of this “criminal gang”.

The federal minister said that he has identified all the buildings, hotels, etc., in the report as to from where these people came and where they stayed.

He said that the people who came in the long march were also accommodated in the Parliament Lodges and the KPK House, adding never in such a blatant and bad way the government resources were used to achieve a political agenda.

He said that the PTI also committed contempt of the orders of the Supreme Court, although the court did not accept the contempt of court petition, but in his opinion, after Imran Khan’s statement that some people were armed in the long march there was no need for any other reports.

The home minister said that no one from Islamabad city participated in the riots and the government would like to thank all those who are not part of the riots from all over the country. He said that this was not a democratic and political activity but “a criminal act”, punishable under the Pakistan Penal Code, adding not a single shot was fired by the police, only tear-gas and rubber bullets were fired.

The interior minister said that if Imran Khan’s long march was against the state, it would be dealt with severely and a case would be registered.

Earlier, a meeting of the federal cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that thanked the people rejecting Imran Khan’s May 25 long march. The prime minister told the cabinet that he had instructed the Interior Ministry and the law enforcement agencies that no official should carry weapons.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told the meeting that no official had weapons.

The federal cabinet paid tribute to all the law enforcement personnel for performing their duties well. The prime minister formed a five-member committee comprising Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Advisor on Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira and others.

The interior minister assured the meeting that any long march against the state would be dealt with severely.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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