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Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said the government would not allow former prime minister Imran Khan to lead a long march towards Islamabad unless the latter gives assurance to the officials that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers would remain “peaceful and the protest would be a democratic and political process”.

“Imran Khan is provoking the party workers to create anarchy in the country,” the interior minister said while talking to reporters on Saturday after appearing before a Lahore court in a case related to possession of drugs.

Sanaullah claimed that the ex-PM should be embarrassed for levelling false cases against politicians that the latter could not prove and the courts granted bails to the leaders.

The interior minister said: “Shahzad Akbar [former SAPM on accountability and interior] contacted the then Islamabad police chief, told him the plan to arrest me, asked for his cooperation and informed him that it was an order from Imran Khan [the ex-PM].”

He further said the police officer refused to initiate a fake case against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader. “Later the former government contacted the Anti-Narcotics Force and initiated a case against me. This case has only two accused, former PM Imran and former SAPM Shahzad.”

Sanaullah also talked about the latest allegations of murders against him by the PTI leadership and said: “If I was involved in murders, why false cases of drugs were filed against me instead of murder cases?”

The federal minister alleged that Imran was misleading people and PTI workers through false claims. As the PML-N’s Punjab president, Sanaullah warned the PTI chief and said, “You [Imran Khan] will have to face the same attitude, if you keep on provoking people against the leadership of other parties.”

“The PTI leadership and its workers should respect leaders who belong to other political parties.”

He also talked about the Masjid-e-Nabwi incident and said the government was under “intense pressure” and the religious factions were protesting against the incident.

The interior minister said: “The PTI leadership should ask for forgiveness over the incident and distance themselves from it as their involvement has been proved.”

When asked whether the PML-N public gatherings were a response to the PTI’s campaigns, Sanaullah said, “This is the last year ahead of elections and the PML-N has started a public campaign.”

Sanaullah also talked about a NAB’s inquiry against Farhat Shahzadi aka Farah Gogi. “Former chief minister Usman Buzdar was only a puppet, while Farah was managing the province. Now Imran Khan was asking for amnesty for her.”