There is no choice except to put a ban on PTI: Sanaullah

ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah stated on Saturday that the government was forced to ban the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and vowed to take strict action against “PTI gangsters who vandalised the public property” during protests against PTI leader Imran Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case.

He told a news conference that CCTV footage will be utilised to identify them. “Anyone identified will be held accountable,” he continued. He said that their commander [Imran Khan] will also face punishment for planning such actions.

He continued by saying that Mr. Khan has been working for years to achieve his goal of causing disorder in the nation. Since 2014, and particularly since last year, “he has produced a cult, which can help you gauge that it is not a political party, but a mindset full of hate, violence, abuse, and threats,” the speaker said.

He gave a breakdown of the number of demonstrations and demonstrators around the nation, claiming that on May 11, there were as few as 6,910 protesters, down from 45,000 on May 9. He said, “I am totally accountable for publishing these accurately confirmed facts and data.

According to him, demonstrations were held on May 9 in Islamabad at 12 locations with up to 700 participants, in Punjab at 221 locations with 15,000–18,000 participants, and in KP at 126 locations with 19,000–22,000 participants. On May 10, demonstrations took place in 11 locations in the nation’s capital, totaling 1900 protesters; at 33 locations in Punjab, 2200 protesters; and at 85 locations in KP, 13000 protesters.

The minister continued by stating that on May 11, demonstrations were held at 39 locations in KP with a total of 5,000–6,000 demonstrators, at 12 locations in Punjab with 1,000 protesters, and at four locations in Islamabad with 515 protestors.

The identical samples of petrol bombs were discovered around the nation during an inquiry, Mr. Sana added, adding that this was not a response from the general populace but rather trained terrorists. Is this the response from the general population that Mr. Khan has been claiming?

Who defines destroying military installations and martyrs’ cemeteries as political? he demanded. Despite the fact that the PPP and the PML-N have always had their swords drawn, he said, “It has never been our political culture.” However, he said that they never directly assaulted one another.

He questioned whose political party had destroyed homes, schools, historic structures like Radio Pakistan in Peshawar, and fields for livestock. He questioned, “Didn’t they [the PTI members] have homes in the country and families here as well?”

He regretted that stores, businesses, and important locations had been burnt down and plundered. People should be concerned, he said. “A man who is accused of looting Rs60 billion of the country is doing this,” the speaker said. According to Mr. Khan, it took almost ten years to train these terrorists to resist his capture. He said, “It is a matter of concern for the nation and thinking material for people who might face such things in the future.”

Tell me how hard it is for a political party to control a few thousand people to carry out such deeds, he demanded. It only takes the resolve to do it, he said.

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Money belonging to a real estate mogul that had been forcibly moved to the UK had to be returned to Pakistan. In its place, it was returned to the Al-Qadir Trust. “Not a penny was given back to the country,” he said.

The minister said that Mr. Khan continued to incite individuals to set buildings on fire, pillage banks and stores, and vandalise public property. He bemoaned that CJP Umar Ata Bandial “welcomes this criminal to the SC and provides him with relief that has never before been seen in history.”

He questioned what power the subordinate courts would have if the CJP accepted him. He said, “Mr. Khan even requested the court for bail in instances that hadn’t even been filed yet.

When information on the use of public funds for favouritism becomes available, Mr. Sanaullah said that the nation will quickly be informed. “Mr. Khan has now been exposed, and the nation should know him properly,” he said.

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