ISLAMABAD: Defending the arrests of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has said they were held for attacking state property, and not for protesting.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, the interior minister said 20 people suspected of involvement in an attack on the Pakistan Television (PTV) headquarters two weeks ago have been identified, of which seven have been arrested.
The interior minister displayed an array of photographs of protesters attacking the police, as well as stealing electricity and water, as a means of providing evidence.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar displaying photographs during his press conference.
Holding out images of torched police vehicles, Nisar said two workers had been arrested on Bhera Interchange for setting police vans on fire.
"Those who attacked police personnel on duty will be brought to justice,” Nisar added.
“If PAT and PTI feel a worker has been wrongfully arrested, they can come talk to us,” the interior minister said, assuring that if someone is mistakenly arrested, they would be released immediately.
The interior minister went on to express t he hope that negotiations between the government and the protesting parties would continue because the political impasse could only be resolved through talks.
“I hope they have postponed talks in a fit of emotions and will reconsider them,” Nisar said, adding, “We have been trying to resolve this issue peacefully for weeks.”
Further, the interior minister revealed that they received an intelligence report last night, which stated that six terrorists had entered the capital with the intention of attackinh the marches.
“There are intelligence reports of the possibility of a terrorist attack on both marches,” he said, adding, “We deployed more forces and the bomb disposal squad there, and have also banned pillion riding for 10 days.”
“No matter how unconstitutional and undemocratic these marches are, the aim of the government has been to safeguard citizens,” the interior minister said.
“Women and children are being made a fodder for their (PTI and PAT leaders) political ambitions,” Nisar alleged, reiterating that the protesters are the responsibility of both the government and the PTI and the PAT.
The interior minister went on to deny PAT chief Tahirul Qadri’s claims that his personal guards were arrested despite having arms licenses.
Nisar, however, said Qadri's personal guards did not have arms licenses nor did any security agency come forward to release them.
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