QUETTA: Interior Minister Brig (retd) Ejaz Shah warned Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman he could be arrested if he took the law into his hands during his planned march on the federal capital next month.
Talking to reporters after chairing a law and order meeting in Quetta, Shah advised the JUI-F chief to come on frontline over Kashmir solidarity, as he had served as parliamentary Kashmir Committee chairman for 10 years, instead of locking down Islamabad and stage sit-ins against government.
“Maulana is an educated political figure of Pakistan… [If] he is willing to come to Islamabad, we would welcome him,” Shah said. “I would suggest Maulana not to take law in his hands otherwise the government has the right to maintain writ of the state and arrest him.”
Replying to question, the minister said that the federal government has no concern with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif because he [Sharif] was a prisoner of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). “I don’t know if the NAB chairman has given any statement [whatsoever] about deal with Nawaz Sharif.”
Replying another query about the arrest of senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah and the reaction of the opposition parties, he said if someone committed any crime, he should be punished. “I don’t think there will be any reaction from opposition benches.”
The interior minister refuted rumours regarding any differences among coalition partners in Balochistan, saying: “We can have differences in our homes as well, so there is nothing that would lead to divorce.”
Talking about the law and order situation in Balochsitan, Shah said enemies had been attempting to destabilize Pakistan but “unfortunately our own people are being used in terror activities”. He added that the federal government sought to strengthen the capacity of security forces in Balochistan.
The minister lauded the efforts of the law-enforcement agencies for maintaining peace during Ashur-e-Muharram. “I have come here to congratulate security forces for ensuring a peaceful Muharram in Quetta,” he said.
The minister appeared to be supportive of the idea of round-the-clock trade with Afghanistan at the Chaman border point. Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated round-the-clock trade at the Torkham border “why not in Balochistan’s Chaman border”.
Regarding progress on the Safe City Project, Shah said he would discuss it with provincial government. He admitted that inflation had increased in the country but the government had been taking all possible measures to provide relief to masses.
Addressing journalists he said: “I request the media to highlight a positive picture of the society. Indeed you have the responsibilities to point out government’s flaws and crimes taking place in the society but you people should also highlight our actions after any crime.”
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