ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Tuesday said that he has suggested the federal government to register a sedition case against the PTI top leadership for the ‘criminal act’ under the Pakistan Penal Code. He was briefing the media along with Minister for Communication Maulana Asa’ad Mahmood and Prime Minister’s Advisor Qamar Zaman Kaira about the decisions taken in the federal cabinet, which met here with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair.

The interior minister said that the federal cabinet was also assured that any ‘anti-State’ long march in the future would be dealt with an iron hand.

Regarding speculations that Imran Khan will announce another long march, the interior minister warned that party members will be arrested on the same day they begin their preparations, “let them come and I’ll see how they cross barriers this time.”

The interior minister said PTI Chief Imran Khan used resources of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government in the march. He said it was not a democratic march and he has proposed the federal cabinet to allow registration of criminal cases under Pakistan Penal Code against those responsible for violence in the march and issuing inflammatory statement against the federation. He said a committee has been constituted to review provocative statements of the Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He said no one will be allowed to ‘make a siege’ of the federal capital. To counter and ward off the PTI salvoes and dangerous narrative, the cabinet has decided to form a committee under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah. The other members of the committee include Ayaz Sadiq, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Maulana Asa’ad Mehmood and Azam Nazeer Tarar. The committee after taking stock of the PTI statements regarding the ‘bloody march’ will chalk out a strategy to effectively deal with such a situation and apprise the cabinet members of its plan.

Sanaullah said that the committee formed by the cabinet would take stock of the statements of Imran Khan and KP CM Mahmood Khan.

Rana Sanaullah said the cabinet was briefed that the PTI narrative was not political rather it was an assault on the state and the ‘illegal’ May 25 long march of the PTI in fact came under ‘treason’. He said on May 24, the armed groups reached the KP House and all provincial buildings in Islamabad. The Interior Minister said that the KP police have been included in the ‘criminal force’.

| Interior minister warns of strict action

against any ‘anti-state march’

He was of the view that the PTI Azadi March was in fact an attack on the Federation. He told the media that the cabinet had taken notice of the statements of the arms-holding groups of Imran Khan. “The armed groups also made police hostage during the march,” he added. The interior minister claimed that no citizen from Islamabad and Rawalpindi participated in the ‘Fasadi Mach’.

“We marked each and every person who participated in the march and from where they came,” the minister said adding that the PTI did not want to hold a march rather it wanted to create anarchy. He claimed that police did not fire even a single bullet.

Sanaullah said that the PTI committed contempt of Supreme Court. “Imran Khan came to Islamabad with an intention to fire bullets. But the police were equipped with rubber bullets and tear-gas shells only,” he stated. He said that after the statement of Imran Khan that armed people were with him, there was no need of further proof.

Rana Sanaullah said that the federal cabinet has felicitated the nation on rejecting the PTI’s long march and lauded the law-enforcement agencies on performing their duties efficiently. He said the federal cabinet congratulated the nation for rejecting the PTI long march while expressing concerns over the harsh statements issued by PTI Chairman Imran and KP CM Mahmood Khan. The interior minister informed the cabinet that no police official was carrying arms on that day. The cabinet members expressed their satisfaction that people had rejected those who were creating anarchy in the country, said Rana Sanaullah further.

“The lawmakers deviated from their oath, law and Constitution in order to fulfil the criminal agenda of their political leader Imran Khan,” he claimed, terming May 25’s “Azadi March” an “anti-state conspiracy” instead of a political activity in which resources of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s government were used.

Sanaullah alleged that contrary to the claims of PTI leaders regarding the number of people present, there were only a few thousand people at D-Chowk.

“We have video proof from the Swabi jalsa where armed people attended the public gathering,” he added.

“This was a ‘fitna and fasad march’ and PTI supporters came intending to spread chaos,” the interior minister said. He added that a recommendation was made during the federal cabinet meeting that cases should be registered against these people.

Speaking on the occasion, Maulana Asa’ad Mahmood said the government will not let anyone to harm peace in the country. He said writ of the state will be ensured. The JUI leader said that his people too had held Azadi and Million marches. “During our long march, people in Punjab and Sindh showered us with flowers,” he said adding that we never violated constitution and law. The JUI leader said that Imran himself confessed that there were armed people in his long march. He vowed that the government would maintain writ of the state.

Qamar Zaman Kaira said Imran Khan should keep it in mind that the law will take its course if anyone violates it. He said Imran had declared that he did not accept any order and that he would definitely go to the D-Chowk on May 25.