ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Wednesday that those provincial governments supporting Pakistan’s possible Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) march aimed at storming the capital would violate the constitution and face consequences.
When asked, after speaking at an anti-trafficking seminar jointly organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), whether the PTI’s long march in the provinces would be halted or not would be allowed to reach the capital, he said provincial governments backing the march to storm the country’s capital will be in breach of the constitution.
The minister said the constitution empowers the federal government in this regard and he will submit it to the cabinet and prime minister to exercise those powers.
However, when asked another question, he said it was the PTI’s constitutional right to hold peaceful protests. They can protest at designated places like F-9 Park or the parade ground, and the government will provide them with security, he said. He also warned that strict action would be taken against them if they attempted to move towards D-Chowk. We have prepared such a majoon (medicine) for them that if they inhale its fumes, they will electrify them and they will flee to Bani Gala, he said.
Asked if Imran Khan has the support of the people who supported him in the 2014 sit-in, the minister said those who supported the PTI 2014 sit-in now feel remorse. Khan is a stupid and crazy person with whom no one can have conversations or negotiations, he said.
When asked about the Toshakhana case against the PTI chief, he replied that this “thief” (Khan) was caught red-handed in the Toshakhana case. Khan has committed an immoral act by selling gifts, he said.
“After this theft, whether or not he is prosecuted, whether or not action is taken against him, or whether or not he is disqualified, he will never escape the curse he deserved,” he said.
About blocking various entrances and exits of the Red Zone, he said that the security measures have been taken since our peasant brothers are coming to Islamabad. We want to provide an appropriate venue for their protest, as conducting peaceful protests is every citizen’s constitutional right, he said.
He also said the government will help farmers stage their protest but they will not be allowed to move to D-Chowk to register their protest. He said he spoke to the farmers’ leadership and told them to hold back their protest but not insist on going towards D-Chowk.
The minister also dismissed the notion that Khan was still the blue-eyed boy, saying even real parents would not put up with such a son or daughter. He said Khan is a “naughty” person and he teaches it to the whole nation. He (Khan) misled our young generation and divided the nation, he said.
Earlier, speaking at a high-level consultative workshop for national and provincial anti-trafficking committees organized by UNODC and the FIA, he said effective coordination between federal and provincial governments is imperative to end human trafficking in society. He expressed the government’s determination to take concrete action to reduce human trafficking rates to zero.
He said human trafficking will be ended through effective implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). Coordination from the international community is necessary to end human trafficking, he said, adding that the FIA is working to end human trafficking.
dr Jeremy Milsom, UNDOC Country Representative, said: “Stopping human trafficking and migrant smuggling requires a coordinated response at all levels. The Government of Pakistan has recognized this fact and earlier this year notified the TIP Coordinating Committees at the provincial and district levels. We at UNODC are very pleased with this action by Pakistan and commend the efforts. We hope that there will be good coordination and synergy between all stakeholders and that activities will be carried out in a coordinated manner at all levels, including federal, provincial and district levels.”
He further said that our approach must balance balanced and proactive law enforcement with activities to counter the market forces that drive human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Pakistan.
Director General (DG) FIA Mohsin Hassan Butt said we are improving our identification of potential victims and offering more support to the victims of this heinous crime. Human trafficking is a gross violation of a person’s fundamental rights and dignity and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, especially women and children. We are working with UNODC and the European Union to improve support for victims of human trafficking and vulnerable smuggled migrants. Our NAP on combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling is victim-centred and fills the gaps involved.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022