Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Saturday said there is no other option but to impose a ban on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after a three-day-long violent extremists protests that erupted following the arrest of party chief Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
The interior minister statement came after the day PTI chief was granted a relief by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) as the authorities were restricted from arresting him in any case till 15th May (Monday).
“It’s important to have a stance against armed groups. There is no other option but to impose a ban on this party [PTI],” the interior minister said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.
Interior Minister said the PTI chief’s only objective is to spread chaos and anarchy in the country.
He also held the Imran Khan-led party’s workers and supporters responsible for damaging public properties and storming military installations across the country during the countrywide violent protests.
“The government will bring these ‘gangs’ to the book. They (Culprits) will be identified through CCTV footage cameras and rounded up one by one,” he added.
He also took a jibe at the courts for granting relief to the PTI chief saying the situation would have been brought under control if Khan was not granted relief.
The Interior minister’s statement came hours after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the Punjab government to start crack down and arrest the vandals within 72 hours as he visited the Corps Commander House in Lahore that was ransacked by the PTI protesters.
“I have given law enforcement apparatus a target of 72 hours to arrest all those involved in facilitating, abetting and perpetrating the disgraceful incidents of arson, ransacking, sabotage & damaging public & private properties,” the PM said after chairing a meeting at the Punjab Safe City Authority Headquarters in Lahore.
Remember that 10 people were killed and dozens of others sustained injuries during the two-day protests with internet services also remaining suspended for over 72 hours across the country.
After the supporters attacked army installations, the army said that 9th May 2023 — the day when chaos gripped the nation following Khan’s arrest — would go down in history as a “dark chapter”.
The army called the PTI leaders “hypocrites” for inciting their workers against the armed forces on the one hand, and praising the military — in a bid to overshadow their criticism — on the other.
“The army’s mature response, however, thwarted this conspiracy. We are well aware that behind it were orders, directives and complete pre-planning by some sinister party leadership,” the statement added.
The facilitators, planners, and political activists involved in the protests have been identified and now, strict action will be taken against them “in line with the law and all these evil elements will now be responsible for the consequences”, the army said.
“No one can be allowed to incite people and take the law into their hands,” the ISPR added.
The ISPR added that any further attack — by the “very group that wants to push Pakistan into a civil war” — on the army, including all law enforcement agencies, military, and state installations and properties will be met with severe retaliation.