Friday Oct 21, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Following the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) verdict in the Toshakhana reference — disqualifying PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Friday told his party and supporters to stop rioting and suggested filing an appeal in the court.
Country-wide protests by PTI supporters began after the ECP's decision was announced, leaving the public apprehensive about the state of law and order in areas impacted by the chaos.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Sanaullah told PTI supporters to "calm down" amid the protests that broke out after the verdict's announcement.
"Do not add to the public's problem; do not punish them," he appealed to the protesters.
The interior minister added that so far, only Imran Khan Niazi was held accountable for [his misdeeds], while billions of rupees are yet to be accounted for.
"All the thieves sitting at Bani Gala have joined heads together," the minister said while pointing toward party members' frustration after the verdict.
Taking a jibe at Khan, Sanaullah added: "Who told you to steal the gifts of Toshakhana? You admitted the theft yourself and later claimed to have constructed a street with the acquired money."
The interior minister also urged PML-N’s workers and parliamentarians to hold peaceful rallies in their constituencies as a show of solidarity with the ECP.
“All people should step out [of their houses] in their respective constituencies to express solidarity with the ECP," the minister was quoted as saying.
Accusing Khan of "trying to divide the nation", Sanaullah said that it was the responsibility of every Pakistani and institution to identify and cope with the “fitna" (rabble-rouser).
Paying rich tribute to the ECP members for their "highly-anticipated verdict in the Toshakhana reference", Sanaullah said that a "thief who labelled others chor has been finally caught today”.
He congratulated the nation over the verdict and thanked God for exposing the fitna before the public.
Further berating Khan, Sanaullah said that he was "carrying forward a foreign agenda."
The interior minister also directed the inspector-general of Punjab and the chief secretary not to obey “this thief” and urged them to stand with the state "instead of robbers."
Referring to the countrywide protests, Sanaullah directed the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police to address the difficulties of the masses.
“A criminal case will be filed against this thief,” Sanaullah said, adding that everything is on-record and since Khan has admitted to it himself, nothing is left to be proven.
“He cannot deny this matter,” the minister maintained while reiterating how the former premier "fooled the nation in the name of Rs50 billion."
The minister warned PTI’s group of “mischievous rioters” against creating a law and order situation and said it has been proven that Khan received gifts and stole them and only paid 20% of the money after selling the gifts. The income Khan mentioned in his documents is Rs150 and Rs160 million, he said. "You earned around Rs180 million by stealing and selling off those presents,” he said while criticising Khan for taking the presents from the Toshakhana which led to his disqualification.
The minister, while further slamming Khan, shared that the PTI chief had not earned as much during his entire life as he did by selling the gifts.
“You have embarrassed the entire nation. No one has committed such a despicable act before,” Sanaullah said.
Commenting on Khan’s allegations against PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif for taking a car from the Toshakhana, Sanaullah said: “If someone took a car, it was only used after having paid its fixed cost.”
Sanaullah said that Khan was now been proven to be a “certified and verified” thief.
“He collected funds in the name of humanity,” the interior minister said, adding that the PTI chief kept yelling against theft and was caught “red-handed” by the ECP.
The minister remarked that Khan also disrespected the ECP’s Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.