Will not stop PDM to protest before ECP office: Sheikh Rashid

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid has asserted that the PTI-led federal government would not stop the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an 11-party alliance, from their protest in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

“We urged the opposition alliance not to take the law into their hands,” he said, while addressing a press conference along with Law Minister Barrister Farogh Nasim, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry, and others after a cabinet committee meeting on public order.

Talking about the meeting, Rashid informed that the ministers exchanged views on the public order situation in the country. “We hope that the Opposition does not negatively affect law and order during its protest outside ECP,” he added.

“The 11-party alliance was going to partake in the upcoming Senate polls — an election which they were against,” he pointed out. Regarding the opposition parties’ slogans, the interior minister said, “no one has advocated the cause of Khatm-e-Nabuwat more than us.”

He added that the opposition must not incite people in the name of religion and also made it clear that Prime Minister Imran Khan will not recognise Israel at any cost.

Criticizing JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, he said, “Fazl-ur-Rehman should keep his attention towards Islam as he leads a religious party; Islamabad is not in his fate,” implying that Fazl’s struggle was only aimed at getting into the corridors of power.

Regarding the ongoing foreign funding case, he claimed the ruling PTI had presented the signatures of 40,000 people as an endorsement of the party’s stance, while PML-N or PPP hadn’t furnished a single cheque.

The law minister, taking over the presser, citing the Supreme Court’s remarks in the Faizabad sit-in case, said that it was made clear that not every place is feasible for protests. “The state will protect your rights within the law,” he added.

Meanwhile, the science minister, Fawad Chaudhry slamming the Opposition, said that they had criticised every state institution — and did not spare any. “Their protests are aimed at creating chaos in the country,” he added.

The PDM has announced a protest in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on January 19. PDM chief Fazlur Rehman has demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan by January 31 and has warned of a long march towards Islamabad if he does not do so.