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  • Firdous Ashiq Awan says narrative of opposition is lifeless and baseless.
  • Special assistant says the protesters coming to Islamabad should not do anything damaging to the national security and image of the country.

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Thursday said the narrative of opposition was lifeless and baseless and the protesters coming to Islamabad should not do anything damaging to the national security and image of the country.

Addressing a press conference along with Minister for Interior Ejaz Shah, she said the government had the responsibility to provide security to 7000 members of the diplomatic corps and staff belonging to different embassies and international organizations based in Islamabad.

The United Nations had declared Islamabad a non-family station after the Marriott hotel bomb attack in 2008. However, due to efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan Islamabad was again declared a family station in 2019, she recalled. The government had improved the law and order situation, she said.

She said the government had no difficulty in political confrontation with the opposition, adding Maulana Fazlur Rehman had embarked on an adventure which hopefully would end peacefully.

The government had accepted the right of the opposition to protest and it would fulfill its commitments in this regard, Dr Firdous remarked. She said the government was taking measures to help out the victims of the train tragedy near Rahimyar Khan. The Prime Minister himself  was steering the relief effort.

To a question, Interior Minister said the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan was out of the question.

A member of party of Maulana Fazlur Rehman had said that it would not go back without resignation of the PM, he noted.

He said the government would facilitate the people who would gather in Islamabad, adding that nobody would be allowed to violate power of the state.

To another question, Ejaz Shah said Prime Minister Imran Khan had clearly instructed that nobody should say anything about the health of others. There would be no politics on the health of others, he stressed.

He said Islamabad had a history of marches, protests and sit ins starting from the protest in the government of Iskander Mirza and then in different decades.

He said there was political tension between the government and the opposition because of the protest march to Islamabad.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided not to stop the protesters and tackle them politically and in a democratic manner.

Some people used Maulana Fazlur Rehman to target the government and the state and to create chaos, he observed. Maulana Fazlur Rehman failed to turn his march into march of the opposition parties.

He said the democratic government believed in talks with the opposition.

A negotiating team headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak held negotiation with the opposition and a venue for the public meeting was decided. The government did not stop the protesters since the day they started their march.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman had been informed about the threat alerts, he said adding Islamabad administration and local JUI leadership had signed a 37-point code of conduct for the protesters.

The administration had cleared the venue of the public meeting and had provided facilities of electricity, water and toilets. The government would ensure security of life and property of the citizens, he added.

Ejaz Shah said the caravans of opposition would enter Islamabad from Rawat, Faizabad and then onto the 9th Avenue and venue of the public meeting. The caravans coming from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would enter Islamabad through Rashakai interchange. A route had been planned for the expensive container of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and it would be facilitated to go straight to the venue, he added.