Imran has to clarify stand on Sheikh Rashid’s provocative speech: Pervaiz

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan would have to own or disown Sheikh Rashid’s provocative speech at Sahiwal inciting for state destruction.

Addressing a press conference here, the minister said that the PTI chief should clear his policy regarding Sheikh’s such addresses at PTI public gatherings provoking the workers to go for “Jalao aur Gherao” (burning and besieging).

He said that Imran Khan should handover all his party workers to police custody who had attacked PTV following his directives. The PTI chief, he added, had been continuously provoking people through his addresses since August 14. He had the habit of criticizing the government all the time.

The minister advised him to avoid politics of destablizing the country and instead play his due role in parliament and work for the prosperity of the country. Imran Khan had outsourced some terrorist groups for fulfillment of his designs including creating fear and panic among the people through acts of terror, he said.

He said the government could deal with such non-democratic and political aggression in the same coin but it believes in democratic norms and exercised the policy of restraint, patience and peace.

The people had become aware of the tactics of Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri as the later had left his Inqilab (revolution) and sit-in just for renewal of his Canadian passport.

Commenting on Imran Khan’s statement that he was sleeping at the time of attack on PTV, the minister said that footages were available which showed that the PTI chief was stimulating his workers to attack the Prime Minister House.

He added Imran Khan could also be seen in the footages threatening that it was better for the Prime Minister to quit otherwise the whole country would be blocked for which the government would be responsible.

Pervaiz Rashid said that after attack on the PTV both the PTI and PAT leaders congratulated each other. Later Imran Khan directed his ‘tigers’ (workers) to return back.

He said that PTI workers wearing party caps and flags could be clearly seen from footages which was ample proof of the party’s involvement in the PTV attack.

He said Imran Khan, who was now absolving himself of the charge of his involvement in PTV attack, had actually directed the workers to attack. He said PTI leaders arranged security bonds for bailing out those who were arrested in this regard.

He said that it was Imran Khan who had postponed the dialogue process. He However, he said the government was ready to hold talks but in accordance with the country’s laws and constitution.

The minister said that electoral reforms committee had been constituted while a letter had been written to the Supreme Court for forming a judicial commission to probe election rigging allegations leveled by the PTI.

The Prime Minister, he said, had no power to open the four constituencies for probing fake votes as demanded by PTI. It was the domain of election tribunal to decide the matter, he added.

He said that holding peaceful demonstrations was a right of the PTI, however, no one would be allowed to take law into hands on November 30.

The minister dispelled the impression of any involvement of the government or Pakistan Muslim League-N in the firing incident in Jhelum. He made it clear that the house where the incident occurred was located in a village which was not near the place of PTI’s public gathering.

He added the police were investigating the case and those involved would be arrested.