On Saturday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed vowed that action against those found using derogatory language against the Pakistan Army and state institutions will be taken within 72 hours.
Rehman had also said that the likely long march of the alliance to the capital “could also be to Rawalpindi” He also said that in the forthcoming by-elections, the opposition would take part.
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The interior minister said at today’s press conference that the PDM has “accepted defeat” because of its intention to challenge the forthcoming by-elections.
As “good news” he welcomed the progress, adding that no “political stage should be left vacant” Rashid said he was vindicated because he maintained that the PDM will fight the elections and now “there are no resignations […] they’re not boycotting the by-elections elections nor are they boycotting the Senate polls”
Elaborating on the government’s reaction to the long march of the PDM, he said that the government was prepared to welcome them. He said the government does not wish to disrupt anybody and would respond in kind to the actions of the PDM so that “democracy, [the] Constitution and the law” are not disrupted.
In discussing the problems of securing visas, the Minister of the Interior said that citizens used to face corruption when obtaining visas from China and Afghanistan. Rashid said the implementation of online visas will be implemented to resolve the issue.
Manual visas have been completed and 192 countries have been transferred to [the system] of online visas, Rashid said. He also reported that 200,000 applications for online visas were registered in a day, adding that Pakistanis from overseas will contact the Ministry of the Interior for grievances.
He also stated that, following its expiry on Feb 16, the passport of PML-N Supreme Nawaz Sharif will not be extended.
‘Govt will not resign’
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated on Saturday that, amid the opposition’s demands, the PTI-led government will not resign.
He said in a statement: “Why is the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) waiting for Jan 31? We will not resign [if they tell us to] or under pressure. Prime Minister Imran Khan has the confidence of the Parliament, why would he resign on their demand?”
The public has lost faith in the storey of the PDM, he added, adding that the 11-party opposition alliance’s “five-hours” long meeting on Friday was “inconclusive”
“They extended the decisions made by the Central Executive Committee of the PPP. Like the PPP, they also announced that they will take part in by-elections. They are saying they will decide [whether to take part] in Senate elections when the time comes but I am saying today that they will also take part in them,” he added.
“always fulfilled their responsibility according to the Constitution and the law”always fulfilled their obligation under the Constitution and the law”nothing would come from trying to pressure them”nothing would come from trying to pressure them. “We are not worried about the PDM’s protest. Those who are in need themselves, what will they protest?” he asked.
People won’t pay heed to PDM protest plans: PM
On Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that people would not pay attention to the PDM’s call for a ‘long march’ and denied the opposition’s accusation of a ‘puppet’ premier, saying that even though the military leadership had ordered him to do so in order to end political turmoil, if it was real that he did not hold talks with them.
In his first Dunya TV interview of the year, PM Imran made it clear that his subordinate agency was the Pakistan Army, just as the bureaucracy was.
While reiterating that he will never give the opposition leaders facing corruption references any National Reconciliation Ordinance-like relief, the PM said: “The Pakistani nation is only taking to the streets against corruption and for their genuine rights, but this time they know that PDM leaders are planning a long march only to save their ill-gotten money.”
“Asked about the one-month deadline of the opposition before holding a long march against his government, the prime minister said: “I will write that the Pakistani nation would not come out on the streets at the behest of the PDM.
“In answer to another question, he said, “If I am a puppet, and if I have been asked by the army to speak with the opposition, then why am I not doing so?
He said if he was a puppet, why he did not make any concession on the PTI governing manifesto. The irony is that the military stands by me in pursuing the manifesto of my administration. The army needs the country’s peace and prosperity and that is why it is with me,’ he added, adding that the government has not intervened with the activities of state agencies, including the army.
“I am able to hold talks on crucial national issues with the opposition. I’m happy to speak, but if I send NRO to the opposition, I will commit treason. “Whatever they (the opposition) do, I’m not going to give them NRO,” said the premier.