LAHORE: The Punjab law minister says that none will be allowed to shut any city.

“Which authority does permit (anyone) the closure of a city and that, too, of the federal capital?” Rana Sanaullah said while briefing the Punjab Assembly’s Press Gallery Committee about the 24th session of the assembly that commenced here on Friday.

He said that a strategy to thwart the shutdown call by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) would be based on cautious measures.

The minister also lambasted PTI Chairman Imran Khan for giving such a call, saying that had such call been given in any other country, the party or even such a leader’s own family would have referred the caller to a mental hospital. He said leaders ran the cities, and not shut them.

About the Supreme Court chief justice’s reported remarks (later denied by the court) that there was monarchy in the country, he said as the remarks had been denied by the Supreme Court, it would be improper to talk on them.

Also, he said, remarks of judges during court proceedings did not carry any legal value and that the apex court itself had in the past barred reporting judges’ remarks. He urged the higher judiciary to get this verdict implemented for judges’ remarks without any context created confusions among the public.

About opposition’s threat of not allowing functioning of the house on the Panama Leaks scandal, the minister said that they were ready to respond to all such queries and get the Leaks probed but the PTI itself would not be ready for it as it was using the issue just for political purposes.

He recalled that Imran Khan himself had declared that setting up offshore companies was not a crime. The PTI chief had also admitted setting up such a company though the opposition leader did not have enough funds for the purpose.

About the presence of some opposition leaders in London just two weeks ahead of the call for Islamabad shutdown, he said the fate of the so-called London plan would be no different than the previous such attempt in 2014.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2016

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