- Rana urges PML-N’s workers, parliamentarians to hold peaceful rallies.
- “Do not increase the public’s problem,” Rana tells PTI workers.
- Minister says Khan is “trying to divide the nation”.
ISLAMABAD: Following the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict in the Toshakhana reference — disqualifying PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Friday told his party and supporters to stop rioting and suggested filing an appeal in the court.
Country-wide protests by PTI supporters began after the ECP’s decision was announced, leaving the public apprehensive about the state of law and order in areas impacted by the chaos.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Sanaullah told PTI supporters to “calm down” amid the protests that broke out after the verdict’s announcement.
“Do not add to the public’s problem; do not punish them,” he appealed to the protesters.
The interior minister added that so far, only Imran Khan Niazi was held accountable for [his misdeeds], while billions of rupees are yet to be accounted for.
“All the thieves sitting at Bani Gala have joined heads together,” the minister said while pointing toward party members’ frustration after the verdict.
Taking a jibe at Khan, Sanaullah added: “Who told you to steal the gifts of Toshakhana? You admitted the theft yourself and later claimed to have constructed a street with the acquired money.”
The interior minister also urged PML-N’s workers and parliamentarians to hold peaceful rallies in their constituencies as a show of solidarity with the ECP.
“All people should step out [of their houses] in their respective constituencies to express solidarity with the ECP,” the minister was quoted as saying.
Accusing Khan of “trying to divide the nation”, Sanaullah said that it was the responsibility of every Pakistani and institution to identify and cope with the “fitna” (rabble-rouser).
Paying rich tribute to the ECP members for their “highly-anticipated verdict in the Toshakhana reference”, Sanaullah said that a “thief who labelled others chor has been finally caught today”.
He congratulated the nation over the verdict and thanked God for exposing the fitna before the public.
Further berating Khan, Sanaullah said that he was “carrying forward a foreign agenda.”
The interior minister also directed the inspector-general of Punjab and the chief secretary not to obey “this thief” and urged them to stand with the state “instead of robbers.”
Referring to the countrywide protests, Sanaullah directed the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police to address the difficulties of the masses.