Sana vows to take ‘audio of Gandapur’ to court

Published October 31, 2022
In this file photo, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV
In this file photo, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD/DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday announced he would move court over the purported audio of Ali Amin Gandapur in which the latter could be heard asking a person about the number of guns and individuals available, whereas the PTI leader has rejected the “propaganda campaign” based on the “fake clip”.

Talking to a private TV channel, the interior minister said the PTI was bent upon staging a “bloody march” and therefore Mr Gandapur planned to bring arms in the rally. “We will move the court against carrying of arms by PTI marchers in the rally,” Mr Sanaullah said, adding that no one would be allowed to take law in their hands.

He said the government had declared the entire federal capital as red zone and therefore the marchers would not be allowed to enter Islamabad, unless the party guaranteed to remain peaceful and limit the march to the areas designated by higher courts. “The ambit of red zone has been extended to whole Islamabad and it has not been decided whether marchers will be allowed to enter Islamabad or not,” he explained.

Earlier, in a press conference at his residence in Dera Ismail Khan on Sunday, Mr Gandapur claimed that the alleged audio clips presented by Interior Minister Sanaullah a day ago was “meant to pressure the PTI’s leadership and weaken their struggle against the coalition government in the centre”.

PTI leader calls clip ‘fake’ and ‘pressure tactic’ to weaken march

He said that propaganda campaign generated against him through “fake audio” could neither affect his morale nor spirit to hold peaceful protest march against “imported government”.

Mr Gandapur claimed that when the PTI had held a “peaceful” march towards Islamabad on May 25, FIRs were lodged against party’s workers and leaders on behest of the interior minister. “Our workers were arrested from the venue of the rally without any warrants,” he alleged.

He also quoted PML-N leader Abid Sher Ali’s father Chaudhry Sher Ali’s statement who had claimed that Mr Sanaullah was involved in the murder of many people including the victims in Model Town case.

“Whenever there is an election in Punjab, he [Mr Sanaullah] tries to ban my activities by maligning me [and accusing me,] as well as other senior leaders of PTI including Imran Khan, in false cases,” he said and claimed that 16 FIRs had been filed against him. “Imran Khan will be elected again with a two-thirds majority” in the National Assembly, he said, adding that after coming to power, the PTI’s government will reform institutions and take stern action against Mr Sanaullah “for excesses against peaceful protesters”.

Mr Gandapur said Imran Khan was holding a march for haqeeqi azadi (real freedom) and it would remain peaceful as the participants would not do anything illegal and abide by the Constitution.

Commenting on the death of journalist Arshad Sharif, he said the federal government had filed false FIRs against him and he was harassed so much that he had to leave the country.

On Saturday, the interior minister brought forth an audio recording where Mr Gandapur could be purportedly heard asking an unidentified person about weapons and men for the march. In the audio clip played during the minister’s press conference, a man, believed to be Mr Gandapur, could be heard asking an unidentified person about the number of guns and individuals available. He also asked the person to keep “things and people” ready at a location near Islamabad.

The interior minister also claimed PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Pervez Khattak had contacted the government for backdoor negotiations. “In the past few days Pervez Khattak and Fawad Chaudhry contacted … and asked to sit together and hold formal talks,” he said, adding that he didn’t take up the offer as the PTI had in the past reneged from its commitments.

At this moment, the PTI was divided, he said, adding that one side was with “this madness” while the other wanted to find a middle ground to avoid the “path of destruction”.

The PTI’s long march, led by its Chairman Imran Khan, started from Lahore on Friday and reached Sadhoke on Sunday. The party leaders expect the march to reach Islamabad on Nov 4.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2022

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