Saturday Oct 23, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed returned to Pakistan Saturday morning after he was called back by the prime minister, to deal with the ongoing security situation in the country.
The Opposition parties and a banned organisation have staged separate protests in multiple cities of the country, resulting in Islamabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi being partially shut down.
The interior minister had gone to the UAE to watch the blockbuster Pakistan-India T20 World Cup match on Sunday. Speaking to reporters a few days earlier, Rasheed had said PM Imran Khan had approved his request for a two-day holiday to watch the game live in the UAE.
However, the prime minister urged the interior minister to return to the country to tackle the law and order situation in Pakistan. The minister arrived in Islamabad via the Airblue flight PA-213 from Sharjah today.
A day earlier, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had announced that the provincial government had decided to form a committee to negotiate with the proscribed organisation as the outfit staged protests to demand the release of their leader Saad Rizvi.
Buzdar had made the announcement regarding the government's decision to hold talks with the banned outfit on Twitter.
"We have formed a committee, consisting of senior members of the Punjab Cabinet Raja Basharat and Chaudhry Zaheeruddin to negotiate with the banned organisation." Buzdar had written.
"According to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PUBH), we all need to work together for peace and harmony in the country," he had said.
Opposition launches protests
On Friday, the opposition parties had taken to the streets in various cities across Pakistan to put pressure on the government amid surging inflation in the country.
After the call to protest was given by the Opposition, protesters took to the streets in Karachi, Larkana, Lahore, Sukkur, Mardan, Jacobabad, Mohmand, Ziarat, Mingora and other cities of the country.
People had shouted slogans against the government and rising inflation. Traffic at the Quetta-Chaman highway remained suspended for several hours due to the rally.
In Karachi, the demonstration had started near the Empress Market area, due to which the surrounding roads had to be sealed.
In Lahore, PML-N members had staged a protest against inflation at the Jain Mandir Chowk while carrying utility bills and pieces of rotis (bread) in their hands. Akin to that, party members in Muzaffargarh had started a protest rally from Central Jamia Masjid to Qanwan Chowk. Members of the Jamaat-e-Islami had also staged a protest in front of the Muzaffargarh Press Club during which they chanted slogans against inflation.