ISLAMABAD – Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said on Tuesday that bad-minded people who speak out against the Armed Forces will be handled according to law.
Speaking to reporters here, he said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) announcement for a tender to resign its members from parliament looked sluggish.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz must contest the election after the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) decision to take part in the Senate elections, he added. He said PDM was facing disintegration and would eventually head for their home.
The minister said PPP deputy chairman Asif Ali Zardari was playing a sharp move for his personal gain, adding that today is a day of mourning for Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He said it had been decided to file a case against Mufti Kifayat in Lahore. He said Imran Khan played well and the New Year would bring more fame and popularity to the prime minister.
“If the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) runs in the Senate elections, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will have to follow suit,” he said. The interior minister pointed to several media reports that the majority of participants in the PPP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) opposed a previous decision by the opposition Democratic Movement of Pakistan (PDM) to resign from the national and provincial assemblies ahead of the Upper House Parliament vote.
“After the PPP decision, PML-N will face pressure from within the party and they will have to contest the elections,” said Sheikh Rashid. “I have said that the opposition will not step down and take part in the Senate elections,” he added. “Either (former PM and PML-N opposition leader) Nawaz Sharif will not return to the country or they (the opposition) will resign,” he said when asked that media reports indicated that the CEC had made a condition that they would only resign if Sharif. will come back and participate in the long march. Each party needs some reason to back away from its past claims, he commented too.
He said only the two resignations from PML-N had brought tears to their eyes and their MPs were forced to say the resignations had not yet been sent to the National Assembly of Speakers. He explained that the opposition party understands well that if Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling party is given space in the Senate because of the resignation, it will repeal the 18th Amendment and bring tough legislation.
Answering a question, the interior minister said the developments in the political landscape were very disappointing for the opposition Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). He was asked to comment on several media reports that the CEC from the opposition PPP criticized JUI-F chairman Maulana Fazalur Rehman for not coming to Garhi Khuda Bakhsh to attend an event to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
He said those who talk about displacing the government will see him gaining strength every day. “PM Imran Khan will gain strength in the New Year and will prove his strength in politics.” On the other hand, he said there would be more gaps in the opposition PDM in the days to come. “They (the opposition) will be sent packing and not the PM.”
Answering another question, he said PPP General Chairman Asif Ali Zardari played well by holding his card close to his chest. Zardari knows very well how to protect his interests and personal future, he added.
Speaking about the cabinet decision, the interior minister said that JUI-F leader Mufti Kifayatullah would be registered for a cortical speech against the army. “A case will be filed against the JUI-F leader in Lahore with full preparation.”
Earlier, Mufti Kifayat had on a TV talk show criticized the military generals on charges that they too should be held accountable for their theft.
Previously, Kifayat was arrested in October 2019, ahead of Azadi’s march in Islamabad by Maulana Fazl, by the capital’s police for issuing provocative statements against national institutions. Later, he was released from prison after the Abbottabad court at the Peshawar High Court (PHC) bailed him.
Earlier in the day, the federal cabinet had approved registering a case against Kifayat for his anti-military statements.