ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Thursday reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for calm as protests against the Supreme Court verdict that overturned the death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was convicted for blasphemy in 2010, entered second day.
Fawad appealed to the agitators to end the protests, urging them not to harm public properties and lives. He said violence was never an option but stressed the government would have to “use tough measures if the state’s writ is at stake”.
“By no means we want to resort to violence but have to reconsider our options if the state’s writ is at stake. They (protesters) should clear their misconceptions about the state and army.”
The minister hailed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance against the demonstrators, saying the latter represented his country during his address to the nation.
“The consitution is in line with the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, and the verdict given by the Supreme Court is in accordance with the constitution,” he said.
Chaudhry also welcomed opposition’s stance on the issue and said his meetings with Bilawal Bhutto and Shehbaz Sharif were “promising developments”.
“Opposition has appointed two focal persons. We will try to come up with a joint strategy in order to tackle the protests,” he added. Meanwhile Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said the government is holding negotiations with the opposition to move forward with mutual consultation. Speaking to media after meeting Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, the minister said the government plan to tackle the current political situation was also shared with the opposition. “It’s not about a single party…it’s an issue of entire Pakistan,” said Mr. Chaudhry. He was of the view that the entire Pakistan was united in the face of current situation triggered by acquittal of Asia Bibi in blasphemy case. Reiterating that the parliament is united, the information minister said he took opposition into confidence on directives of the prime minister. Monitoring Desk