PDM rally to face no hurdle if it remains peaceful: Sheikh Rashid

Published February 15, 2021
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaks at a gathering on Sunday. — APP
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaks at a gathering on Sunday. — APP

RAWALPINDI: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Sunday announced that Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) would be welcomed if the opposition alliance acted within the ambit of law during its planned long march to Islamabad.

He said if the PDM remains within the ambit of law, there will be no problem.

“I want to inform the PDM leadership, if they come to Islamabad 10 times and remain within the limits, there will be no problem, no obstacles in their way. But if they will take law into their hand, they will see obstacles everywhere and I will be on the frontline,” he said while speaking at a function held to inaugurate a park on G.T. Road.

He said the government was ready to handle the protest of the opposition and if it did not remain within the ambit of law, Islamabad police have enough stock of teargas.

Says if opposition takes law into its hand, Islamabad police have enough stock of teargas

“We have already tested the teargas during the protest of government employees last week in Islamabad. The test was necessary as these teargas shells had not been used for a long time,” he said.

In reply to a question about the upcoming Senate elections, the minister said whether the elections were held through secret or open ballot, those willing to sell their votes would get money.

“But there will be less space in the country for those who sell their votes,” he added.

Sheikh Rashid said it was strange that those who curse the parliament and term it fake would come to the National Assembly to vote for their candidates. He said he withdrew his offer of Halwa to PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as the weather had changed.The minister said those who had opposed the creation of Pakistan were “trying to create chaos and political destablisation”.

He said he was saddened especially by the PML-N whose leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had criticised the security establishment in recent speeches.

“No PML-N member can say anything against the army. If he does, he is not a [member of the Muslim League],” he added.

Referring to PTI’s 126-day-long sit-in in 2014, Mr Ahmed said it was the most difficult thing he had done in his life.

He said the country had nearly gotten rid of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that he gave credit for bringing the situation under control to Prime Minister Imran Khan and the army.

They had waged jihad against Covid-19, he said.

He referred to four soldiers who were martyred in a terrorist attack on an army checkpost in South Waziristan on Thursday night and said they gave their lives for Pakistan.

“People who utter bad words against this great army should have their tongues pulled out,” he added.

He said: “India knows that if it comes to Pakistan’s borders, 200 million people would consider it as a matter of pride to sacrifice their lives along with the army.”

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2021

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