Leave our allies. They are with Imran Khan: Rashid


ISLAMABAD/PIND DADAN KHAN   -   Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Sunday said that the opposition’s plan to bring a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan will fail.

Addressing a press conference here, he said there is a deadlock among the opposition parties over no-confidence motion and the reason for that, he said, was that these parties were quarreling with each other over who will benefit the most from the no-confidence motion. “The opposition parties are only interested to protect their own vested agendas. These political parties are trying to create chaos in the country and will have to face defeat, eventually,” he said. He said government will not create hurdles for participants of long march as he invited the opposition to come to Islamabad. On the other hand, he said that PTI had trust in its coalition partners.

He further said that Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari did not have the ability to force Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign. He said PPP Chairman was not capable of pulling off its planned long march towards the capital. It is to mention here that the PPP has kicked off its long march towards the capital against the PTI government on Sunday and is expected to reach Islamabad in 10 days after travelling through 34 cities and towns of the country. He reminded that these were not the times when turncoats or deserters could be kept at Changa Manga or Murree. “I wonder where these opposition parties will keep those members of the parliament (MPs) whose loyalties they will purchase in lieu of money,” he said.

The Interior Minister said, “Bilawal sahab, it is not in your capability that you are staging a long march for 10 days for the prime minister’s resignation. Come to Lal Haveli, we will give you a resignation,” he said smilingly. Rashid also claimed there was a group of 12 “joggers” — people who might back off from their support — in the opposition and said he fully believed that the PDM wouldn’t be in the capital on March 23. “All these people having vested interest have got united against Imran Khan who will launch a political cyber attack at an appropriate time. You will get to know, you are underestimating him,” he added. He said the opposition’s movement would fail and it would instead strengthen the prime minister, calling on the opposition to take care of your own people. “Leave our allies. They are with us and will remain with us and Imran Khan,” Rashid claimed. He said that he had held a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on the issue and added that the provincial government would take care of the march.

Responding to a question, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said investigation in Noor Muqaddam case was unprecedented and Islamabad Police deserves appreciation. He also disclosed that Pakistan was again in talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The minister said it was after 24 years that the Australian cricket team was touring Pakistan. “And in order to ensure their protection, we are offering them security of a state-level,” he added.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said Sunday that the ‘leaderless’ and ‘aimless’ alliance of the Opposition parties posed no serious threat to the democratically elected government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). “We have been hearing for the last 15 to 20 days that the no-trust move was around the corner, but in reality that is beyond their power as they lack the capacity to bring the motion,” he said.

Describing the Opposition’s current endeavor to oust the democratically elected government as “futile”, he said their leaders just wanted to keep their members of parliament engaged politically. As regards to the long marches of the Opposition parties towards Islamabad, he said it seemed that the PTI would have to provide them people for their face-saving and political survival.

Referring to a viral video in which a female leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) could be seen riding on a donkey cart with party workers, the minister said he had already offered to provide them with “horses” and “donkeys” for the long march.

To a query, he said PTI leader Jahangir Tareen stands by the party and would continue to support the government. Commenting on the meetings between the government allies and the Opposition parties’ leaders, he said the politicians took their decision by reviewing evolving politics and future political discourse. “Who will prefer to get along with the Opposition which does not know even about their leader or candidate for prime minister,” he questioned.

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s visit to Russia, he said that it was for the first time that Pakistan demonstrated an independent foreign policy. “Prime Minister Imran Khan is a brave leader,” he said reiterating his stance that the country should always have a leader who had stature at the national and international level.

Opposition leaders had no credibility within the country and abroad due to their corrupt practices, he added.

Referring to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader, he said actually those people were perturbed by the Prime Minister’s visit who had their estates in the west. They would never return to Pakistan as the people of Pakistan had buried their politics once and for all.