PTI-led govt will complete its term, stresses Sheikh Rasheed

sheikhInterior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government faces no threat, and the government will complete his tenure.

“No caretaker set-up is going to replace the PTI-led government,” the minister stated while stressing that the incumbent government will complete its constitutional term.

Rasheed further stated that that with PM Imran Khan’s guidelines, the government will bring down inflation in the coming months.

A day earlier, Rasheed asked the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to review its decision of holding an anti-inflation march in Islamabad on Pakistan Day.

His remarks came in the backdrop of the PDM’s decision of holding a march in Islamabad on March 23.

“Everyone has a right to hold peaceful protest. However, the opposition needs to review its decision about the date of the protest,” the minister said while addressing a news conference.

He asked the National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman to change the date for the march.

Announcing a march on such a date is not in interest of the country as the entire nation along with foreign delegates and overseas Pakistanis come to Islamabad for witnessing the national parade arranged by Pakistan’s armed forces on every March 23.

The minister said if the opposition does not change the date then it should not blame the government for not allowing them to hold protest as Islamabad would be on high alert for the parade with closure of some roads for two to three days in advance for parade rehearsal.

He said the prime minister has received recommendations on 14 programmes under National Action Plan, upon which the government would ensure implementation in true letter and spirit.

He said Fazl should not drag seminary students in the politics and use them as a tool to achieve agenda of those who have already lost popularity among the masses.

Commenting on the NA-133 by-election, Rasheed said the PML-N candidate secured only 10 percent votes as they cannot make the people fool any more.

To a question, he said the prime minister has convened a detailed meeting on the Sialkot incident and directed to take stringent measures as per law.

He said there is no threat to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government and he will complete his constitutional term and strengthen democratic system.

It is pertinent to note that Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced on Monday that opposition would hold an “anti-inflation march” in Islamabad on Pakistan Day, March 23, 2022 to stage protest against price hike.

Rehman stated that the ruling PTI was brought into power as a result of rigging in the 2018 general elections, because of which it was facing failure on several fronts.

He further said that PDM meetings will be held at a provincial level to prepare a strategy for the march. Giving a breakdown, the PDM president said that he will chair a meeting in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan’s (JUP) Awais Noorani will chair separate ones in Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh, respectively.

He added that the march will be a “huge demonstration” and the “whole nation will participate”. “People will come to Islamabad from all corners of the country to participate in a demonstration against inflation, unemployment and poverty.”

Rehman went on to state that a date for the seminar would be finalised after consultations with lawyers, civil society, business and other communities so that all kinds of people could be taken into confidence over the alliance’s policies.

He further added that a seminar would also be held for which he would meet with the lawyers’ community as well as the representatives of the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Pakistan Bar Council.

The PDM chief said that a meeting of the alliance’s steering committee had been called for tomorrow at 2pm to devise a strategy for the decisions that had been taken.

“All the participants of the meeting also condemned the incident in Sialkot,” he said, referring to last week’s brutal lynching of a Sri Lankan national. “No citizen has the right to take the law into their own hands,” he said, adding that such incidents should be stopped.

Rehman added that the issue of submitting resignations from parliament was also discussed during the meeting, adding that there was consensus on the topic. “[But] we will decide when and where to use this”

When asked about the duration of the protest, the Maulana replied: “You heard about March 23 right now. Wait and see what happens next.”

While responding to a question over the date of the march, Rehman said that the PDM was also a “part of the nation”. “It is a national level issue […] no one owns the country, the state owns the country.”

It is pertinent to note that in their last meeting which was held on November 23, the Maulana was so furious with the PML-N leadership that at one stage, he reportedly even offered to quit the opposition alliance’s presidentship. However, at that time, Nawaz persuaded the JUI-F chief not to do so and sought time till Dec 6 for in-house consultations.

It is to note that the PDM had failed to come up with a plan to launch its anti-government protest campaign, with the PDM chief declaring that they would meet on Dec 6 and devise “a final policy” and “announce very important decisions”.

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