Interior minister sees Imran Khan as ‘mastermind of script’ n Rules out Pak role in US action against al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan n Imran trolled martyrs to divert public attention from foreign funding: Marriyum.

ISLAMABAD:   -   Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that se­nior PTI leader Shah­baz Gill Gill has been taken into custody fol­lowing his alleged com­ments prepared un­der the supervision of PTI chairperson Imran Khan to plan a conspir­acy to create a division within the military.

Addressing a press conference flanked by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, the interior minister said that the comments were according to the script prepared un­der the supervision of PTI chairperson Imran Khan which was car­ried forward by former information minister Fawad Chaudhry and Gill. “Khan is working on a narrative after re­alising that he had been trapped in the foreign funding and Toshakha­na reference,” the interi­or minister said, adding that this conspiracy was plotted to divert pub­lic attention from their [PTI] wrongdoings.

Khan’s aide Gill was taken into custody for inciting the public against the state insti­tutions, a spokesperson of the Islamabad po­lice confirmed. Sanaul­lah stated that Gill has been arrested by the Is­lamabad police “in accor­dance with the law” on charges of sedition and in­citing the public against the state institutions which has been registered in Kohsar Police Station.

The interior minister stated that the first information report (FIR) has been registered on behalf of the state and the PTI leader will be presented before the court tomorrow morning.

Sharing the details, Sanaullah said that the case was registered at a magistrate’s complaint un­der the following sections of the Pakistan Penal Code. “I assure Khan and [Fawad] Chaudhry that all action against them will be taken according to the law,” he said, adding that a “fair and transparent investigation” will be conducted and a team had been formed. Sanaullah went on to say that “hateful and se­ditious” remarks made by Gill were in line with the conspiracy in which a private news channel was also involved.

“Inquiry will be held regarding who are people behind Gill and the private channel as no fur­ther investigation is needed on Gill’s statement,” he said, adding that those involved from the pri­vate TV channel will eventually come to the limelight.

“The sentences that were said are such that I think it is not in the national interest to repeat them,” he stated, claiming that the PTI leader went to the ex­tent of “leading people towards rebellion” and “inciting muti­ny and sedition within the in­stitution.” The interior minister further stated that the incident proves that the PTI was respon­sible for running a negative so­cial media campaign on the tragic incident of an army heli­copter crash amid a flood relief operation in Balochistan.

Replying to a question, Rana Sanaullah ruled out the im­pression of Pakistan helping the US in the operation to hit Ayman Al-Zawahiri. He said that the death of the outlawed Teh­rik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Umar Khalid Kho­rasani was confirmed. He said Umar Khorasani was involved in the terrible and tragic inci­dents of terrorism in Pakistan. He said that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has weakened, nego­tiations with the outlawed TTP should be in accordance with the constitution if someone is ready to surrender, and if there are women and children with them, talks can be held. He said that the Pakistan Army has the capacity and strength to deal with the Taliban.

Top al-Qaeda leader Zawahi­ri was killed by a drone strike carried out by the US on July 30 in Afghanistan. After the drone strike, the media, both national and international, started spec­ulating from where the drone flew. However, the US media reports claimed later that the American drone that eliminated Al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri in Ka­bul was possibly launched from an airbase in Kyrgyzstan. The US administration, however, has refused to disclose where the drone took-off from and what route it used.

Sanaullah said that the TTP was targeting police officers and Army in Swat in order to increase pressure on the gov­ernment. He said that forces were playing their role in deal­ing with these incidents. Talking about the peaceful culmination of Ashura processions across the country on Tuesday, the in­terior minister said that the federal government provided utmost cooperation to all pro­vincial governments as well as Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan governments to ensure security arrangements from first to 10th of Muharram. He informed that around 7,000 processions and over 50,000 Majalis took place across Paki­stan which culminated peace­fully. He said over 16,000 Rang­ers personnel performed their duties during Muharram and no untoward incident was report­ed anywhere in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Au­rangzeb said both Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi tasked the PTI social media teams to troll the Army top brass and its martyrs for diverting public at­tention away from its foreign (prohibited) funding which had been proved after eight years.

“PTI did trolling of the Army’s martyrs. Bushra Bibi would have asked ‘Arslan Beta (son)’ to run malicious campaign on ‘Shuhada’ (martyrs) when the party foreign funding came un­der discussion on public plat­forms. These directives directly came from Bani Gala,” she said.

Referring to the PTI’s lead­er Shehbaz Gill statement in the media, she said Imran Khan was playing a “dangerous game” as call for mutiny in the Army’s rank and file was a red line which nobody would be al­lowed to cross at any cost.

The minister said Imran Khan’s spokesman and chief of staff had started admitting that a script of his interview with ARY news channel was given by the PTI’s chief. “He (Gill) will be­come an approver in this (sedi­tion) case,” she added.

She said those who trolled the Army officers and its martyrs had also got caught and start­ed admitting that the campaign was run on the directives of PTI leadership. The joint investiga­tion team probing a “malicious campaign” against the Army martyrs on social media will soon bring facts before the pub­lic to prove who is the architect of this entire saga,” she added.

“Enough is enough,” she said while announcing zero tolerance against those who would try to incite division within the state institution, and make efforts to spread chaos and anarchy in the country. The minister advised youth not to become part of the PTI’s chief grand conspiracy against the country and refrain from participating in the so­cial media campaign against the state institutions. She added that the PEMRA acted independently and issued a show-cause notice to the ARY for violating different Articles of Constitution and me­dia rules. It should not be linked with democracy and freedom of expression, she added.