No other option but to impose ban on PTI: Sanaullah

Interior minister says miscreants involved in damaging public properties will be identified through CCTV footages

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Web Desk
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on May 13, 2023, in this still image taken from a video. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on May 13, 2023, in this still image taken from a video. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

  • Sanaullah says Imran Khan’s only objective is to spread chaos, anarchy.
  • “PDM will be compelled to take extreme measures if PTI's attitude not changed.”
  • Government will bring these “gangs” to the book, vows interior minister.


Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Saturday there is no other option but to impose a ban on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) following three-day-long violent protests that erupted following the arrest of party chief Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

His statement came a day after the PTI chief was granted a blanket relief by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) as the authorities were barred from arresting him in any case till May 15 (Monday).

“It’s important to have a stance against armed groups. There is no other option but to impose a ban on this party [PTI],” the interior minister said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.

He said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led coalition government would be compelled to take extreme measures to outlaw the opposition party "if it did not change its attitude".

Sanaullah said the PTI chief’s only objective is to spread chaos and anarchy in the country.

He also held the Khan-led party’s workers and supporters responsible for damaging public properties and storming military installations across the country during the countrywide violent protests.

“The government will bring these ‘gangs’ to the book. They [miscreants] will be identified through CCTV footage cameras and rounded up one by one,” he added.

He also took a jibe at the courts for granting relief to the PTI chief saying the situation would have been brought under control if Khan was not granted relief.

The Interior minister’s presser came hours after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the Punjab government to move swiftly and arrest the vandals within 72 hours as he visited the Corps Commander House in Lahore that was ransacked by the PTI protesters.

"I have given law enforcement apparatus a target of 72 hours to arrest all those involved in facilitating, abetting and perpetrating the disgraceful incidents of arson, ransacking, sabotage & damaging public & private properties,” the PM said after chairing a meeting at the Punjab Safe City Authority Headquarters in Lahore.

At least 10 people were killed and dozens of others sustained injuries during the two-day protests with internet services also remaining suspended for over 72 hours across the country.

After the supporters attacked army installations, the army said that May 9, 2023 — the day when chaos gripped the nation following Khan's arrest — would go down in history as a "dark chapter".

The army called the PTI leaders “hypocrites” for inciting their workers against the armed forces on the one hand, and praising the military — in a bid to overshadow their criticism — on the other.

Khan has criticised the military in the past and following his arrest, his supporters raised the stakes by attacking military targets — torching the residence of the corps commander in Lahore and attacking the entrance to the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi.