ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Friday asserted that no one has prohibited Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from holding rally in Sialkot, stressing that the government was “not afraid” of Imran Khan’s hard-hitting speeches.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the information minister said the PTI has been holding public gatherings over the last few weeks and no one has ever stopped the party from doing so. “We are not scared of the speeches of former Prime Minister Imran Khan as these are only exposing his own mindset to the public,” she added.
“Your hate-mongering speeches will benefit us,” Aurangzeb said. The federal minister further said the PTI and government had no issues over the venue after the party was informed of an alternate place.
In response to Khan’s message that he would be coming to Sialkot, Aurangzeb said: “Do come, who is stopping you? Nobody is afraid of you, the people have seen your real face.”
Marriyum further said the PTI was informed that the Christian Community does not want to give the Church Ground in Sialkot for a public gathering as there has been no such political activity there before.
She pointed out that it was the government’s duty to protect the rights of the Christians. “The Tehreek-e-Insaf should also have shown respect to the rights and sentiments of the Christians,” the minister added.
‘Govt to complete tenure’
Marriyum Aurangzeb also stated that the newly-elected Shehbaz Sharif-led government would complete its tenure in line with the Constitution.
The statement comes after PML-N’s senior leadership held a huddle in London — the details of which are expected to be released soon — as speculations are being over the government’s tenure.
A split in the ruling party was also seen as PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had stressed on early elections, in light of the troubles that Pakistan faces on the economic front.
Imran Khan, the chairman of the country’s biggest Opposition party, PTI, has also called for snap elections as he has refused to accept the new government and vowed to march to Islamabad after May 20.
In today’s press conference, the information minister confirmed that there were speculations regarding the PML-N’s visit to London and that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would soon lay out the details to the nation.
Aurangzeb, saying that the visit was of a private nature, informed journalists that during the London huddle, detailed deliberations were held on the rising inflation.
Speaking about the long march, the information minister noted that the Opposition was targeting the government leadership and warning of a “bloody march” during their press conferences and rallies.
“If Imran Khan calls for a bloody march, then it is Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s responsibility to ensure the public’s safety,” Aurangzeb stressed, adding: “Nobody has the right to hold a bloody march.”
Giving a message to the people going to PTI’s rallies, Aurangzeb told them that Khan “lies” and that they should refrain from attending the party’s rallies.
“Imran Khan is incompetent, he made false promises of jobs to the youth,” she said, adding that the PTI chairman had damaged the country’s tradition of decency.
The information minister also slammed Khan for “using government resources — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s helicopter — for his jalsas” and blaming the incumbent government for corruption.