Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah says Imran Khan is only marching with five to six thousand people
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Wednesday criticised the PTI's "Azadi March" and said that even the government bought Imran Khan's "lies" of leading a march with two million people toward Islamabad.
The interior minister, while speaking during a press conference in Islamabad alongside Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, said that Khan was leading the march with aroundfive to six thousand people only against his claim of holding the biggest gathering in Pakistan.
The PML-N leader said that the government should not have made preparations on such a big scale if it knew that the march will only have a few attendees.
"We stopped the metro operations, the examinations were postponed, people faced trouble commuting, and the patients faced issues as well," he added.
Sanaullah said that he apologises to the people on behalf of the government for troubling them and maintained that the PTI portrayed a picture of a huge crowd marching towards the capital. "Only people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa attended the march," the interior minister claimed.
Talking about Punjab's situation, the minister said that the situation in the province has settled down and there is "complete peace at the moment."
He expressed his happiness and said that the people of Punjab are not a part of this fitna adding "may Allah guide those who attended the march.
Sanaullah added that the people in Balochistan do not even know about this fasad, while people in Sindh have refused to be a part of it.
"Only a few thousand people are a part of the march and they are in possession of weapons and teargas. They are trying to overtake the federal capital while using government protocol," he added.
He went on to say that the PTI chairman wants to "instigate" a civil war. Calling the march an "unconstitutional act", the PML-N leader said that the PTI will have to face the consequences.
He maintained that people preferred to stay at home rather than attend the march. "People want the nation to move forward," he said, thanking the media for playing a positive role in the ongoing situation.
The minister said that the Supreme Court has directed to "form a negotiating team between the government and the PTI", and added that the PTI has formed a four-member committee and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed a team.
"The party can hold public meetings, however, the violations of the law cannot be tolerated," he added.
He said the Imran Khan-led party is asking to release the arrested members. "Around 4,414 raids have been carried out, and about 1,700 people have been arrested," he said, adding that 240 people have left for their homes after signing an affidavit, however, some are detained under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance. He also said that no arrests were made in Balochistan and Sindh.
Sanaullah further added the PTI members were asking to get arrested and then spreading propaganda of a crackdown. He added that there are no talks going on with the PTI and no agreement has been made.
Speaking about the detained PTI members, Sanaullah said the Imran Khan-led party is asking to release them. "Around 4,414 raids have been carried out, and about 1,700 people have been arrested," he said, adding that 240 people have left for their homes after signing an affidavit, however, some are detained under Section 3 of the MPO.
Sanaullah said the PTI members were "asking to get arrested and then spreading propaganda of a crackdown," adding that there are "no talks going on with the PTI and no agreement has been made."
Former premier Khan and his caravan are heading towards Islamabad for the Azadi March despite the government's instructions not to. Multiple scuffles took place between the marchers and the Police.
To come to a peaceful agreement, the SC ordered the government and PTI to hold consultations over the alternate venue for the party's rally.
The court directed the authorities concerned to hold consultations over permission for PTI rally in H9 ground and update the court on the outcome.