LAHORE: Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah says the government is not ready to accept pre-conditions for holding negotiations with the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
Talking to the media after casting his vote in the National Assembly’s constituency NA-108, Faisalabad, on Sunday, he told a questioner that they would not accept any pre-condition for going into talks with the PTI, which demands that the government should first give general election date for initiating a dialogue process with it and making it desist from anti-government protest campaign.
The PTI had earlier taken out a long march on Islamabad on May 25 and is planning to again march on the federal capital.
Rana Sana said that the government won’t budge to any pressure and would hold talks only without any pre-conditions, though the next general election may be on the agenda of the talks.
Referring to the PTI threat of re-launching the march, he said bringing a change through vote is democracy and not through use of force and threat.
“A government cannot be changed through armed crowds… We’ll enforce law to check the threatened march by multiplying the May 25 policy with 10,” he said, hinting at the use of greater force against the marchers than what had been applied during the previous march.
He argued that if they (the PTI) would do it (use of force to change the sitting government) this time, the next time some other party would come to repeat it.
Answering a question about Chief Minister Parvez Elahi’s role in the ongoing tussle between the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and opposition PTI, the interior minister said that Mr Elahi never did such politics in the past and said that perhaps Imran Khan had overtaken the soul of the chief minister like a jinn.
Responding to a query about the Punjab government’s intentions to arrest him, he said that he was ready to be incarcerated as it would not be his first experience.
The Lahore High Court had on Friday suspended arrest warrants issued by a special magistrate on the request of the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment in an inquiry related to purchase of plots in a housing society at throwaway prices.
About the orders to the police issued by the Election Commission for ousting him from the jurisdiction of NA-108, Sana said he did not do anything that violated the election code, while the (pro-PTI) president of the Faisalabad district bar association along with armed people were roaming freely in the constituency.
Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2022