ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi Thursday emphasised that no one was above the law and constitution irrespective of status, while saying firm action would be taken against those who broke the law.
Addressing a press conference here, Afridi also criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) workers and party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari over their actions.
“Strict action will be taken as nine people including policemen and media workers were injured yesterday (Wednesday) because a political party broke the law,” he said, referring to the clash between PPP workers and the police outside the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) office in Rawalpindi during Wednesday’s hearing.
“Everyone has the right to protest. As political workers, we spent most of our time on the streets due to protests. However, we never took law into our hands,” Afridi added.
He said the acts of PPP workers had been recorded by cameras while emphasising that violence for political purposes would not be tolerated. "Whether the acts of PPP workers were pre-planned or not, no one can hide from the camera. We are monitoring the recording and those involved shall be taken to task."
He also criticised PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto over his speech in which the latter accused the state of protecting those associated with banned organisations, calling it ‘beyond understanding’. Afridi also censured the PPP leadership for asking its supporters to show up for the NAB hearing, which resulted in the clashes.
The minister said that the state will not bow down to blackmail at any level and always act as per constitution and law. He called on all political parties to take a proactive approach in resolving all the issues responsibly, adding that Pakistan was passing through a critical juncture when it was facing fifth generation war and external hostilities by enemies.
Speaking about the interior ministry, Afridi said that it has an integral role in maintaining national security and peace. (With additional input from APP)