Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday said that the rise in terror activities across Pakistan was ‘alarming’ but that the situation would not get ‘out of control’.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after attending a meeting to review the security situation in the country after a suicide attack in Quetta a day before, the minister said that the circumstances were not worrying, nor would they be “out of control”.
Interior Minister @RanaSanaullahPK addressing a news conference in Islamabad https://t.co/72Pkc1QS0R
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) December 1, 2022
Sanaullah maintained that terror activities by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) should be cause for concern for the Afghan Taliban as it endangered regional peace. The TTP accepted responsibility for Wednesday’s blast in Baleli, which Sanaullah deemed “alarming and condemnable”.
The interior minister urged the provincial governments of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, as well as security agencies and authorities, to address the matter of proliferating militancy before the federal government took the issue into its own hands.
“They need to take this situation seriously, and whenever they need the assistance of the federal government and its agencies, we will help them without delay,” he said.
The minister also lamented the absence of K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan from a recent security meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“Political matters aside, we must play our role,” Sanaullah said, highlighting that the state took precedence over political ongoings. He maintained that it was the K-P chief minister’s duty to seek assistance from the federal government and address the issue.
He said the federal government was keeping a check on the security situation across the country and security forces were fully capable of dealing with any challenge.
‘Imran spreading anarchy’
Sanaullah also criticised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan for trying “to spread anarchy and chaos” and for repeatedly pushing the country toward uncertainty. He claimed that “a group led by a ridiculous person was bent upon creating anarchy in the country” and had attempted to destabilise Pakistan.
Read ECP maintains fine on Imran, drops one on Sanaullah
The minister stated that following the “failure” of the PTI’s long march, the party chief should have accepted defeat, and returned to parliament. He furthered that impasses were overcome when politicians sat down together.
Sanaullah gave the example of the incumbent coalition government and highlighted that the various parties had different opinions on several matters but had talked through them.
“However, this man has stooped very low. He believes that what he says should be accepted,” he said.
He also claimed that the PTI’s plan to dissolve the provincial assemblies of K-P and Punjab was a ploy to trigger crises. Sanaullah added that if the party did not want to be a part of the “corrupt system” then it should also “leave the Senate, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir assembly and the Gilgit-Baltistan assembly” and ask the president to resign.
The minister, citing media reports that the PTI would dissolve assemblies on December 20, questioned why they were waiting.
He said that the former ruling party was jeopardising free and fair elections in the country and that the provinces of K-P and Punjab would not have caretaker governments when the general election takes place.
Sanaullah furthered that the decision to dissolve the provincial assemblies was “unconstitutional and undemocratic” and that the federal government would attempt to stop the PTI’s move.
He maintained that the incumbent government was ready for polls if the matter headed to that. The minister emphasised, however, that elections would be held for Punjab and KP assembly seats while general polls would be held on time.