ISLAMABAD    -  Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday said that the ‘performers’ who give an ‘Islamic touch’ are now in need of a ‘legal touch’.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader made the comments while responding to former minister Sheikh Rashid’s statement and added that “criminals” in the foreign funding case have been escaping the “legal touch” for the past eight years.

Earlier in the day, Sh Rashid, also the Awami Muslim League leader, in a tweet said that, “Earthly powers are with 15 ruling parties, celestial powers and people are with Imran Khan.”

In response, Sanaullah, during a press conference, said, “These international thugs have been caught pocketing dollars unlawfully from foreigners. For each of their thefts, Imran and foreign agents become even more crafty and creative with their lies.” He went on to term former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan a ‘crooked character’.

The interior minister said those driving a hateful campaign against martyrs are dirty and vile characters. Moreover, the federal minister said that despite the PTI chairman’s efforts to avoid the foreign funding verdict for eight years, “God finally allowed the truth to come out.” Earlier this week, the ECP had announced its ruling in the long-awaited, cliffhanger case of the PTI’s prohibited funding and ruled that the party did indeed receive illegal funding while issuing a notice to the party asking why the funds should not be confiscated. A three-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja had announced the verdict in the case filed by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar, which had been pending since November 14, 2014. “The office is also directed to initiate any other action under the law, in the light of this order of the Commission,” also said the 68-page judgement. Terming PTI’s back-to-back public gatherings across the country “political stunts”, the minister said that Imran Khan was trying to divert attention from his theft.

It is pertinent to mention here that the PTI is preparing to stage a ‘grand power show’ at Islamabad’s Parade Ground to decide its strategy with party supporters on the eve of Independence Day. The interior minister said that the PTI is allowed to stage a public gathering at the Parade Ground, adding that it will be a political stunt.

“Whoever will not cooperate with the FIA relating to an inquiry into the prohibited funding case [against PTI] will be arrested,” warned the interior minister. Without giving an exact time frame, Sanaullah maintained that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif will return to his homeland ahead of the next general elections.