ISLAMABAD: Home Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed says the opposition is practically dead and the PDM parties are facing divisions and therefore do not pose a challenge to Prime Minister Imran Khan but that in fact the opposition leadership is the facilitator.
Speaking to media people in Islamabad on Wednesday, he quipped that if any journalist could tell him the names of 11 PDM parties, he would be willing to give him Rs500 as prize money. He said there were only two and a half parties in the PDM – half the parties were Maulana Fazlur Rehman, one PPP party and one PML-N.
“It is a pity that Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s politics are not based on basic reality and the emptiness of substance.” The PDM held rallies for six months and agreed not to take part in the elections, but then reversed course and fought over the elections, he added. The interior minister further said PML-N will also open on the day Mayram Nawaz appears before NAB.
On March 26, the nation will witness how much public support they enjoy, he added. Rasheed said the PML-N was staging a show of strength in his hometown. “This show of strength is not against the PM but their show of strength against the PPP.” But “no matter how hard the PML-N tries, the PPP will never vote for mass resignations.”
However, he admitted that his prediction about the long march of PDM was proven wrong. Criticizing PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif for going abroad after fooling the entire nation, he said revolutionary political leaders such as Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Karl Marx and Ayatollah Khomeini led the nation from the front rather than from a foreign country. Likewise, Rasheed said that Maryam Nawaz Sharif had managed to secure bail from the Lahore High Court but was still calling on people to take to the streets. The leaders do not make their supporters as human shields for self-defense, they even dare to face threats to protect the nation.
During his last appearance before NAB, a private news channel reported supporters pelting stones at NAB headquarters and law enforcement agencies.
In fact, they took the stones with them, he said. He said there would be no action against PDM supporters if they did not take legal action. The interior minister added “we approved the deployment of Rangers in Lahore on Friday at the request of the provincial government.”
The interior minister reminded the country on coronavirus alert for Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, adding that he was not saying this to scare anyone but that people need to watch out for the spread of infection from such mass gatherings.
Answering a question, Sheikh Rasheed said that he did not think there would be a reshuffle of the cabinet, but the number of ministers could increase in the coming days.
He said the Swiss account case would reopen tomorrow if not opened today, adding that governments come and go, but cases only end when the person dies. Sheikh Rasheed said that the prime minister has formed a 10-member committee made up of senior Pakistani leaders Tehreek-e-Insaf to hold negotiations with all parties.
Rasheed said it was the government’s focus on tackling the problem of rising prices, adding that the government would tackle the price spiral in the next year and a half. He said Imran Khan was sticking to his stance against corruption and the people wanted the restoration of wealth stolen.
The court will give a verdict against the robbers of national wealth. But so far, there has been no success as no money has been made from big thieves, said the interior minister.
He said three lakh applications had so far been received for visas online which was an initiative of the PM. He said he would also visit Kuwait to lift the Kuwaiti visa ban.
The interior minister said a plan had been finalized to establish a media city for news channels. He said a scheme to provide accommodation for journalists Rawalpindi and Islamabad would also be launched by Ramazan and Prime Minister Imran Khan would announce both schemes.
The Interior Minister, who got the coronavirus shot, said he took the injection because there was a lot of misinformation about the Chinese vaccine. Rasheed also prayed for the early recovery of all coronavirus patients including Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife.