Imran urged to postpone PTI’s long march

Interior minister says security agencies have informed govt about threat to gathering

Our Correspondent November 25, 2022
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah is addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday. SCREENGRAB



The federal government on Friday asked Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to postpone the party’s political gathering in Rawalpindi due to security threats and reports received from intelligence agencies.

Addressing a news conference after chairing a meeting at the interior ministry here, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said there was no logic in holding political gatherings and Imran Khan should “leave his stubborn attitude”.

"I advise Imran Khan to postpone the useless gathering as intelligence agencies have informed the government about a red alert as any terrorist or terror organisation can exploit the situation and target the gathering," he added.

He said the life of Imran was at risk as per reports from intelligence agencies as such political gatherings could be targeted and anti-state elements might attempt to fulfil their nefarious designs.

The minister said that he had instructed the police to ensure strict security at all entry and exit points of the PTI's long march venue in Rawalpindi because of red alert.

The stage should be kept bulletproof at every cost and entry to the stage should not only be made safe but an eye should be kept on the people on the stage as well, he maintained.

"The federal government has issued an advisory and informed the IGP and Punjab chief secretary to ensure strict security measures from all four sides of the venue and no person should be allowed to enter without going through proper checking. Entry on the stage should be limited and bulletproof arrangements should not be ignored," he added.

He advised Imran to come back to parliament so that the country could move forward as it was the only solution to his problems. "If you don't do this then you will be responsible for everything including inflation, economic turmoil, and political turmoil. Stop being stubborn and come do politics instead," he added.

Sanaullah said when politicians sat together, deadlocks were broken and decisions were changed, adding that if Imran wanted a date for elections, he should become a politician.

"Become a politician and meet your fellows. Meet Asif Ali Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Akhtar Mengal, Khalid Magsi as well as Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and discuss the elections with them. You can even meet Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif, they won't refuse," he added.

The minister said that he has seen his leaders amend their decisions after arguments and discussions, adding that there was no purpose for the PTI's long march now as he would not get a date for elections from Rawalpindi because the establishment, as an institution, was sticking to its decision that it won't step out of its constitutional role.

He said that Imran used objectionable language against the institutions during the last five to six months and his real face got exposed before the people.
Sanaullah said it was not Haqeeqi Azadi (real freedom) March and that people should not attend it because its objective was to create instability in the country.

The minister also congratulated Lieutenant Generals Asim Muneer and Sahir Shamshad Mirza for their appointments as the Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee, respectively.

He said that the entire process of the appointments was conducted as per law and Constitution and both officers would effectively protect the interests of the country. He said Imran was involved in the worst form of corruption and he would have to be answerable for all his deeds.

To a question about the return of PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, the minister said that most of the cases against the party supremo were those in which Maryam Nawaz was acquitted, adding that Nawaz would come back and lead the general election campaign.

(With input from app)


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