LAHORE: Law Minister Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan has said that workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) had intended to occupy Islamabad airport and that because of presence of unruly crowds at the airport, the government had to divert the plane carrying Dr Tahirul Qadri to Lahore.
Talking to the press on Monday, Mashhood said that followers of Dr Tahirul Qadri had injured over 100 security personnel in the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi but that none of them had been arrested anywhere in the province.
He said that PAT workers had tortured policemen in Lahore too, adding that the Punjab government and its police handled the situation with extreme care and patience. He said that the Punjab police deserved commendation as they demonstrated self-restraint despite being attacked by protesters.
Mashhood said Dr Qadri made Pakistan a laughing stock across the world. “Dr Qadri has tarnished Pakistan’s reputation through his actions. His followers subjected the police to torture,” he alleged.
The minister said that there was no bar on Dr Qadri’s political workers to stage protests, but registering such protests on strategic assets, including airports, were not tolerable.
The law minister said that those, who did not want Pakistan to prosper, stood exposed before the nation. He said that Dr Qadri used social media for issuing provocative statements. “Dr Qadri sent a messages on Twitter to spread chaos in Pakistan,” he stated.
The minister said that finally, Dr Qadri accepted the offers of the government, adding that the government had given space to Dr Qadri only in order to defuse the plane hijack situation, which was bringing a bad name to the country.
He said that the PML-N believed in democratic values and promoting democratic culture in the country to strengthen democracy.
Mashhood advised Dr Qadri to also inquire after the wounded policemen, who were tortured by his followers.
He said that a foreign national could not destabilise democracy in Pakistan, adding that a Canadian citizen could not dictate the representative government of 180 million people. The minister said that the country was facing many challenges and that the largest military operation was underway in tribal area but that Dr Qadri wanted to create chaos and unrest in the country.
“It’s our utmost priority to protect citizens,” he said, adding we would not allow democratic process to be derailed.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary on Tourism Rana Mohammed Arshad has advised Dr Qadri to shun politics of agitation and support the government in implementing its welfare agenda.
Talking to the press, he said that the government was engaged in a war against terrorists and was focusing all energies to purge the country of terrorism. He urged the PAT chief to wait for the report of the judicial commission on Model Town incident.
Labour Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar has also urged Dr Qadri to show responsibility in the prevailing situation.
Talking to the press, he said that the country was in a state of war against terrorists and that it could not afford any kind of polarisation. He said that instead of threatening to hold rallies; Dr Qadri should come forward and help the government face formidable challenges.
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