ISLAMABAD   -   Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Monday castigated the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of opposition parties, for holding anti-government rallies countrywide and called it a “dead political elephant.”  Addressing a press conference here at the Ministry of Interior, the minister said that the PDM had been posing since December last year that the incumbent government would be dislodged but all their predictions have proved wrong and next December was around the corner.

“The time of politics of frogs of well has ended now,” he again said while referring to the opposition parties and advised them to look at the changing situation around them.  

The interior minister said that the opposition has lost the grounds as they lacked any courage and enthusiasm to launch an anti-government movement. He ruled out any snap polls and said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would complete his five-year term. He said that PM Khan was lucky enough that it has got an opposition that was too tired enough to give him a tough time. “They have nothing to say to the masses,” he said and added, “When we had been in opposition, we also used to say that the government’s days are number.”

Replying to a question about the remarks of PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz about state institutions at a rally in Faisalabad, Sheikh Rashid said that she was “digging a well for herself.” He said that Maryam was creating problems for herself by abusing the state institutions and she was showing absolute irresponsibility.

Sheikh Rashid admitted that there was inflation in the country. However, he dismissed the criticism of opposition holding the PTI government responsible for the present increase in the essential commodities in the country and said the government had to deal with the pandemic like Covid-19 and weak economy.

He said that the opposition leaders were again portraying themselves as clean. “Those wiping their faces after looting the country have become champions against the inflation.” He said that there were flaws in the country’s justice system that it puts an iron hand on accused involved in trivial thefts but influential people get scot free even after committing corruption at large scale.

The minister said that no government wanted inflation in the country and added that Pakistan has avoided economy sanctions under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said that PM was keen in decreasing inflation in the country and the government would have to control it within a year.

Talking on other issues, the interior minister said that visa on arrival for Afghanistan has been suspended from today and there would be only online visa from now. He said that visa fee for Afghan nationals has also been waived till December 31 as “a goodwill gesture” He said that Integrated Border Management System  (IBMS) already installed at Chaman and Torkham border crossings was being extended to all crossings with Afghanistan to keep an online record of entry and exit.

He said that the government has decided to construct tomb of founder of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and Capital Development Authority (CDA) would prepare the map as per wishes of his daughter in this connection. He said that PM Imran Khan would soon inaugurate 150-bed hospital in Islamabad.  

The minister informed that cabinet has given approval to recruit 1000 personnel for riot police in Islamabad. He said that 90 days remission in sentences was being given to all prisoners except hardcore convicts on the eve of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (Peace Be Upon Him) and a notification has been issued under the directions of PM Imran Khan.