Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique and others pray after inaugurating the newly-constructed academic block and multipurpose hall in Govt Degree College, Murree Road, on Wednesday. — APP
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique and others pray after inaugurating the newly-constructed academic block and multipurpose hall in Govt Degree College, Murree Road, on Wednesday. — APP

• Says no curbs on opposition protests as long as law and order situation not created
• Insists PM has ordered steps to control price hike
• ‘Air Patrolling Unit’ of Islamabad police being inaugurated today

RAWALPINDI: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday predicted that a third faction of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would emerge before the next general elections were held in 2023.

Talking to mediapersons after inaugurating the newly-constructed multipurpose hall in Government Degree College for Women, Murree Road, the minister said the party already had two factions - PML-N and PML-S.

“The US charge d’ affaires also knows about it,” he said while making a veiled reference of US Charge d’ Affaires Angela Aggeler’s separate meetings with Maryam Nawaz and opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif.

He also said the government would not impose any restriction on the opposition’s protests but would not allow anyone to take law into their hand.

Mr Ahmed said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government would complete its constitutional term, adding that all out efforts were being made to provide relief to the citizens from the price hike.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs a weekly meeting to review prices of essential commodities and had ordered steps to control price hike,” he added.

To a question, the interior minister said that he was happy that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had selected his city to launch its countrywide agitation.

“If they do not create a law and order situation, there will be no problem,” he said, adding that the citizens of Rawalpindi were educated and understood the causes of the recent surge in cost of essential items.

Mr Ahmed said the multi-billion Leh Nullah and Ring Road projects would begin soon after getting a formal approval from the Punjab government.

He said Pakistan Navy had detected an Indian submarine venturing into Pakistani waters for the third time, which spoke of the alertness of our military.

He further announced that Islamabad police would be getting the ‘Air Patrolling Unit’, which would be inaugurated on Thursday (today).

Sheikh Rashid reiterated that his Lal Haveli would be turned into a university.

“Lal Haveli will pay school and college fees of deserving female students,” he pledged, adding that he was also trying to establish an Information Technology varsity in the city.

The minister said he had managed to establish three universities for women in the garrison city while 60 educational institutions would be set up to provide education facilities to girls at their doorsteps.

“We are going to introduce a new system under which talented female students will be provided scholarships to continue their higher education and get admission in foreign countries,” he said, adding that Rawalpindi city had been made a centre of education.

The minister said the government was working to improve the health sector and modernise facilities in public sector hospitals, adding that 20 ventilators had recently been provided to Holy Family Hospital.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2021

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