Govt warns PTI against turning Aug 13 rally ‘violent’

FAISALABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has warned the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of “dire consequences” if its workers disrupted law and order or resorted to violence during the party’s August 13 rally in Islamabad.

Addressing a press conference in Faisalabad on Monday, Sanaullah said it was the constitutional right of PTI workers to stage peaceful protests but added that the government would deal with them with an iron fist “if they use violence or tried to blackmail the government”.

He also reminded the PTI of a crackdown on its workers and leaders during May 25 Islamabad long march, saying this time around consequences will be “grave”.

The PTI last week announced to hold a rally in Islamabad’s Parade Ground on the eve of Independence Day in which former prime minister and party chief Imran Khan would announce the next plan of action to deal against the coalition government led by PML-N.

The interior minister also accused the Imran-led party of running a malicious campaign on social media following the helicopter crash in which six army officers, including Quetta Corps Commander Lt General Sarfraz Ali embraced martyrdom during a flood relief operation in Balochistan.

“Entire nation stands by the martyrs of the Pakistan Army, I salute all the martyrs, those who spread negative propaganda against the army are misguided and such dirty campaigners have been identified,” he remarked

His statement came as the Inter Services-Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers on Monday joined the team investigating the hate campaign on social media against the martyrs in Balochistan’s Lasbela helicopter crash.

Sanaullah said that Imran was dividing the nation and misleading the youth and the entire nation by spreading negative propaganda.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) verdict in the PTI prohibited funding case had proved that Imran was a “foreign agent”.

“After the ECP verdict, his mental health has been affected… if he is not stopped he will lead the nation to any catastrophe,” he added.


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