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Rana Sanaullah terms PTI’s long march ‘armed attack on State’

Updated 31 May, 2022
<p>Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Islamabad. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News</p>

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Islamabad. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that he requested the federal cabinet to allow him to file a case against the May 25 long march of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, adding that it was ‘not a political activity, but a planned anti-State conspiracy’.

The interior minister assured the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday that any anti-State long march in the future would be dealt with an iron hand.

He apprised the cabinet that the long march in fact was an “armed attack on the State” in the garb of political activity, however, categorically stated that no law enforcement personnel at the venue was carrying any weapon.

PM Sharif mentioned that he had directed the Interior Ministry and the law enforcement agencies not to carry any weapon at the venue of the long march.

He constituted a five-member committee including Rana Sanaullah and Adviser on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira to chalk out a future plan of action to deal with such anti-State activities.

The cabinet felicitated the nation on rejecting Imran Khan’s long march of May 25 and lauded the law enforcement agencies on performing their duties efficiently.

The meeting took strong notice of Imran Khan’s call for a bloody march on May 25 along with the people carrying weapons.

It was highlighted that PTI utilized the resources of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government by gathering armed groups in the KP House a day ahead of the long march. Also, the Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan attacked the police personnel.

The cabinet expressed grave concern over the statement of Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan who had announced to attack the State and the federal capital with full force.

The interior minister while addressing a press conference earlier in the day said that the government has all the pieces of evidence pertaining to the PTI protesters “destroying the public property”. But, he added that the government was ready “this time” to block the PTI from staging a long march and vowed to stop them and not allow the parliament lodges to be used by them.

He was accompanied by Adviser to the PM on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira and Communications Minister Asad Mahmood.

“We hope that the Supreme Court will play its role in the prevailing situation,” he said, “PTI chief Imran Khan’s claim that some participants of the long march were armed does not need clarification from our side.”

Sanaullah said: “The day when they will start their preparation, from there we will start our preparation and register cases against them.”

He was of the view that the PTI chief would be exposed by the registration of cases and it would not increase his following among the public.

To a query over media reports on talks with the banned TTP, he said the government would not respond to this until there was no approval from the cabinet. He described such developments as “positive” for the government.

“Imran Khan is not ready to abide by the Supreme Court orders,” said Adviser to the PM on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira.

“PM’s directives are obvious or else it will be tit for tat.”

Communications Minister Asad Mahmood accused the PTI of running the government through social media and vowed to maintain the write of state via law and Constitution.