PTI leaders decry Rana Sanullah’s comments as ‘direct threat to Imran’

Published March 26, 2023
PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference in Lahore on March 26. — DawnNewsTV
PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference in Lahore on March 26. — DawnNewsTV

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry and other party leaders lambasted Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday for saying PTI chief Imran Khan was “not a mere political rival” of the PML-N but an “enemy” and that the hostilities between the two political parties had reached a point where only one of the two could survive.

In an interview with PNN News a day earlier, Sanaullah said: “In my opinion, Imran Khan does not believe in democracy and democratic traditions. He does not believe in having a peaceful political environment in this country. He has turned politics into enmity.

“He considers us his enemies while we [previously] used to think of him as our political rival, but with time it has come to a point where [we also think] that he is our enemy,” the minister said.

“Democratic traditions, timely elections, and rights and wrongs are a part of democracy and politics but not during an enmity,” the interior minister added. “He (Imran) says that we want to murder him so if [he says] we want to murder him, then he also wants to murder us.

“Either he or us will get murdered. He has now taken the country’s politics to a point where only one of the two can remain.”

Sanaullah said that if his party’s entire existence was in jeopardy, then they would go to any length, explaining that in those circumstances it would become irrelevant to think “what can or cannot be done, if something is democratic or not, if something is principled or not.”

When the interviewer pointed out that such remarks could result in anarchy, Sanaullah said: “Anarchy already prevails. What else is there to anarchy.”

When asked if there was a way out and whether Imran’s arrest could ease the hostilities, the interior minister said the matter had escalated to a point of no return. “Either their politics will end or ours will.”

After video clips of the interview circulated online, Fawad told Dawn.com that Sanaullah’s remarks merely confirmed “an already known fact that he and his party were not democratic”.

“Are you running a gang or are you doing politics?” the PTI leader asked rhetorically in a separate press conference, adding that the Supreme Court was “absolutely right” in calling the PML-N the “Sicilian mafia”.

Ex-human rights minister Shireen Mazari urged the judiciary to take note of the interior minister’s “direct threat” to the PTI chairman.

“If anyone had any doubts about Rana Sana’s murderous intent towards Imran Khan, this is a direct threat given by cabal of crooks’ interior minister. The judiciary should take note,” she tweeted.

Another PTI leader, Murad Saeed, expressed the concern that the interior minister was “openly talking about eliminating Imran”.

Former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance minister Taimur Jhagra asked if the PML-N, the Pakistan Democratic Movement, the PPP, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and the Awami National Party would condemn Sanaullah’s statement.

PTI’s Shafqat Mahmood said that the government didn’t care whether its actions were democratic or not as it intended to “crush Imran Khan”.

“Dream on Rana Sanaullah and be ready to be politically wiped out in the next elections,” he said.

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