ISLAMABAD – Minister for Interior Affairs Chaudhry Nisar Ali said on Tuesday that the sit-in by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was a mutiny against the state and parliament and sought guidance from the parliament how to deal with the mutineers.
Addressing the joint session of the parliament on current political situation, Nisar said that Pakistan was passing through extremely critical times. He said that this parliament was the voice of 180 million people and was united in the face of invasion and mutiny against the state of Pakistan by a few thousand people.
He said that no one should have doubt that the nation was standing with its elected leader. Nisar said that it was not a protest or sit-in but a mutiny against Pakistan and state institutions. Mentioning the attack on Pakistan Television (PTV) office, he stated that protesters broke the CCTV cameras and snatched cameras from the staff during storming the PTV building and misbehaved with a lady staffer, snatching her cell phone and valuables.
“They are not revolutionaries, they are intruders and terrorists,” he said. He said that the protestors among them 1500 to 2000 members of a terrorist organisation were trained terrorists who were armed with axes, wooden batons, nails, hammers, cutters and slinging. He said that those who were involved in invasion of PTV complex would be identified through CCTV footage.
National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) will be asked to identify them and provide their complete back ground which will be presented to the Supreme Court to show that they are liars, that they made false statements. Nisar sought the advice of the parliament to give its opinion whether this dharna was part of democracy and politics or a revolt against Pakistan as they entered state institutions which were symbol of state.
He said that enough was enough and taking no action against such people would be a crime and what role the parliament could play in resolving this situation. Regarding Javed Hashmi's statement, he said that he would not comment on remarks of the disgruntled the PTI leader. He said that Imran Khan attempted to drag army and judiciary into politics which is a heinous crime.
The minister said that he had proofs and he shared this information with the military leadership that these people were giving the impression that military was with them in order to advance their agenda. “The true friends and true sympathies of the army were not those who are using the name of the army to further their political aims,” he said.
Nisar went into the background of the march to Islamabad, saying that the government was flexible in granting permission even when they had reservations to certain conditions of the parties, such as the spot where the stages would be placed. He said that he was told by the prime minister that the protesting parties should be allowed to exercise their democratic right to protest as long as it is within the ambit of the constitution.
Nisar strongly defended his Interior Secretary saying that he is a man of principles and can say no to anything that is against the law. He said that Imran Khan hurled threats against him saying that he will not spare Shahid Khan and that if the PTI tigers catch him, they will not leave him. He said that Imran Khan took 360 degrees turn in three months and questioned what has changed in these few months.
The interior minister said because of the prevailing situation Heads of state of two friendly countries have cancelled their visits to Pakistan. The Chinese President is due to pay a historic visit to Pakistan and important agreements would be signed. He said that the Chinese Ambassador has been seeking meeting with him for about a week to discuss the visit but he could not get time though the finance minister discussed some of the agreements with him.
He paid tribute to the Punjab, Islamabad, AJK police, FC, Rangers, and the Pakistan army and said more than 100 policemen have been seriously injured in clashes with the demonstrators.