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Govt not afraid of long march threat: Sanaullah

Minister warns PTI of action if marchers head to Islamabad with ‘intent to cause anarchy’

Federal Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah on Sunday said the government was not afraid of threat for long march call by Imran Khan.

Talking to a private news channel, he said the ‘incompetent coterie’ had lost support of its every allied political party and making hue and cry alone now by making nation a fool, especially the youth.

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He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) always used to say that they would remain non-violent during long march but the government “does not believe this” statement as he was known ‘master of U-turn’.

He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government would not accept the agreements of PTI with International Monetary Fund on difficult terms and it will take confidence all allied parities about the new agreements.

Sanaullah warned the PTI of action if its protesters were to march towards Islamabad with the “intent to cause anarchy”, but also said that the final decision in this regard would be taken jointly with the help of coalition partners.

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Addressing a press conference in Bahawalpur, Sanaullah said the government and its allies were mandated to decide about the line of action against the PTI’s planned long march to Islamabad.

“I don’t know what decision the leaders of the coalition government will take, but if they decide [to go for] action, then we will not allow protesters to even come out of their homes,” the minister told media representatives.

The interior minister was dismissive of the PTI’s march, saying that it would not be much of a bother for the government.

He lashed out at former prime minister Imran Khan for asking his supporters to dub his rivals “thieves and traitors”, accusing him of proliferating “shamelessness and obscenity” in the country.

He also accused Imran of misleading youth for the sake of gaining political mileage.

“Thirty years ago, Hakim Sayed had written in his book that a lobby is preparing Imran Khan and he will destroy Pakistan in future,” the PML-N leader claimed.

Sanaullah also commented on the arrest of PTI leader Shireen Mazari on Saturday, saying that if her arrest was “inappropriate” then the arrest of Maryam Nawaz in front of her father should also not have taken place.

He also questioned the effectiveness of the cybercrime law in the country. “A person arrested under the law gets a bail within an hour. Attempts were made to make it stronger, but all such endeavours were based on dishonesty.”

He suggested that the government, opposition and media should decide the matter in a way that it does not gag freedom of speech but also prevents the misuse of the law.

Later in another media interaction, the minister said the PML-N would hold a rally in Bahawalpur on May 28, which, according to him, would “shatter all records of PTI rallies”.



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