“We are ready to fight terrorism and are already investigating a suspect involved in the Lahore blast,” Sheikh Rasheed says
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed on Saturday said that "small remnants of groups" defeated by the Taliban wish to create an "atmosphere of terror" in Pakistan.
“Small remnant groups left over after the Taliban defeated the NDS, RAW, and 42 international forces that were fighting in Afghanistan, wish to create an atmosphere of terror in Pakistan," the interior minister said, during a media briefing.
Rasheed said that his ministry has put the armed forces and inspector generals of police on high alert due to the rising cases of terrorism in Pakistan.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior earlier today, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have been directed to exercise "extreme vigilance" after the recent terror incidents in the country.
The minister said that no talks have been held with Daesh, adding that Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) is a “small group”.
He recalled that on January 18, two terrorists were killed in Islamabad in a gun attack on Islamabad police, which the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan later claimed responsibility for.
“We have found our way to six members of the banned outfit after the terrorists were killed in Islamabad,” he said, adding that he is not aware whether BNA has claimed the responsibility of the Lahore incident or not.
In response to rumours regarding the imposition of a presidential system and emergency in Pakistan, he said: "There is a lot of hullabaloo about the imposition of an emergency and about the presidential system, and I also heard talk of a resolution being presented in Parliament, but the cabinet of which I am a part of, has seen no such proposal thus far."
"We are ready to fight terrorism and are already investigating a suspect for his alleged involvement in the Lahore blast," Rasheed said.
He said that as long as he is the interior minister he will make sure roadblocks do not back a come back.
Speaking about the Opposition, he said: “Prime Minister Imran Khan is lucky to have an incompetent Opposition.”
“PM Imran Khan will complete his five-year tenure,” he asserted, adding that those who believe that the government will leave “have lost their minds”.
Rasheed reiterated: “Neither are we (the government) leaving nor are they (the Opposition) coming into power.”
Speaking of their constant warnings of mounting a no-trust bid, he recalled that 15 members of the Opposition were missing when the government passed the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021 in the National Assembly.
“Now that you are talking about a motion of no confidence, 25 members will be missing,” he said, taking a jibe at the Opposition's claims.
Shedding light on the upcoming long march announced by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), he said that leaders of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are coming to Pakistan and will be a part of the Pakistan Day parade on March 23.
“Some of the roads in Islamabad will remain closed on March 21 and 22 as a safety protocol for the foreign leaders,” he said, urging the Opposition to reschedule its long march.
Rasheed said that they should either hold their long march four days before or after the OIC meeting.