ISLAMABAD, Jan 18 (APP): Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad Monday said no seminary student or banned Ansar ul Islam militia would be allowed to participate in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) protest before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The ECP was a constitutional institution and the government would not let anyone to intimidate it, he said while addressing here a news conference.
The minister warned the Ansar-ul-Islam members of action if they were spotted in the protest donning uniforms with battons.
“We (the authorities) will keep a close eye on the protesters to ascertain if any Madrasa (seminary) student were brought by the PDM leadership.
The Ulema and religious scholars should better comply with the law and avoid using their students for politicking, which is even against the sanctity of their stature.”
He said the Madaris (seminaries) were the torchbearers (minarets) of Islam and they had great esteem for them. They should not be used for political gains.
He said he chaired a meeting to take stock of the law and order situation, which might arise due to the PDM’s protest in the Federal Capital on Tuesday.
The chief secretaries of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab also attended the meeting.
He said neither the PDM had sought no permission for the protest nor the government had allowed them to do so. “It’s the first protest to be carried out in the Red Zone,” he added.
Sheikh Rasheed said he had a meeting with the prime minister to discuss the measures being taken regarding the PDM’s protest. The PM had directed him to ensure that no seminary student was brought to the protest.
He said the government was taking all precautionary measures were taken and the PDM leadership would hopefully abide by the law.
No free hand had ever been given to anyone to hold protest in the Red Zone where all the important offices such as the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue, Prime Minister Secretariat and Parliament House were situated, he added.
Sheikh Rasheed said it was PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who would have to ultimately bear the burden of the crisis as leaders of other PDM’s constituent parties would make their way out leaving him trapped in the quagmire to face the music.
He (Sheikh Rasheed) was the only person who would help him or otherwise the so-called PDM protest would become a noose for him, he added.
The PDM had lost its momentum as its all member parties were now contesting by-polls and Senate elections, backtracking from their decision of boycott. It was he who had first presaged that the PDM would never boycott any elections and even Maulana Fazl, who had been cursing the existing parliament, was also in the field.
As regards the foreign funding cases, Sheikh Rasheed said Prime Minister Imran Khan had given the details of 40,000 overseas Pakistanis, who had donated funds to the PTI.
He, however, dared the leaders of both Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to justify funds by only 4,000 expatriates. They had nothing to prove the legitimacy of funding from abroad.
The minister cautioned that Rawalpindi and Islamabad had been on high alert since December 15 and seven threat alerts were issued in the due course of time. “I do not want to scare anyone but the threat risk prevails in the twin cities.”
To a question, he said the government had made all the details related to Broadsheet report public as it was a bigger scandal than the Panama Papers.