- Newly appointed Minister for Interior, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed addresses first press conference
- Says the Minar-e-Pakistan rally on December 13 will only be the “political downfall of the Opposition”
- Vows to bring law and order to all four provinces
- Says designs to weaken Pakistan from within will fail
In his first press conference after being appointed Minister for Interior, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Friday lambasted the Pakistan Democratic Movement and said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is not going anywhere, not in the least with a “copied” Minar-e-Pakistan rally.
His remarks come as the 11-party Opposition alliance is gearing up for its next public gathering, on December 13 which it says will be the “final nail in the government’s coffin”.
Sheikh Rasheed said that if the Opposition has deluded itself into thinking that they will be able to “copy Imran Khan” and hold a massive rally at Minar-e-Pakistan, “they must know that Imran Khan was blessed and rose to the top, whereas the Minar-e-Pakistan rally will only be the political downfall of the Opposition”.
He claimed that if this is the sort of the Opposition that will go to the elections next term, PM Imran Khan will emerge the victor once again.
The minister said that if the Opposition wishes to “march to Islamabad”, they are welcome.
“We, too, staged a sit-in here for 126 days. It made no difference whatsoever,” he said, also criticising the choice of winter months for a protest.
Sheikh Rasheed said for the sake of “saving their children” the leaders of Opposition parties sought nationalities of other countries. “When your own children cry (injustice), you are pained to see that, but when the child of a poor man is ill with the virus, it is [but the mere inconvenience of] a headache for you,” he said to the Opposition.
“You are mistaken if you think Imran Khan will go away due to your rallies. He is going nowhere,” he said, adding that they have full permission to hold rallies if they so wish.
Sheikh Rasheed said that the container issue in Multan “will not be a problem this time”, referring to the administration’s attempts to block the paths leading to the Multan rally venue — the Kila Kohna Qasim bagh Stadium — which the Opposition forcibly tried to remove with cranes.
“A true politician is one who gives the call for a rally. He does not go from street to street to distribute invitation cards,” he said, in a jibe at the PML-N’s mass contact campaign a head of the December 13 rally.
Promises by the new appointee
Sheikh Rasheed said any efforts to bring down Pakistan’s economy will fail.
He also declared that he, as interior minister, stands behind “all Islamic forces” and “will be their voice”. “All our madressahs stand as the pillars of Islam,” he added.
The minister said that there is no danger to Pakistan from the borders due to our valiant soldiers stationed there and at the ready.
“This country is at risk from factors at play within. There is foreign investment being made in the country so chaos can spread and those who are doing so will fail,” he said.
Sheikh Rasheed said that as interior minister it is his solemn vow to instate the rule of law and the Constitution. “The era of looting and money laundering will be brought to an end.”
He promised to bring the latest border management system to Pakistan, passport facility to the poor and an improved immigration system.
“I will bring law and order to all four provinces,” he said.
He criticised the Opposition for creating hurdles in the way of “the politics of truth”.
“They say they will not speak to the prime minister. Then whom do you wish to speak to?” he asked, before adding: “They only wish to save their ill-gotten wealth and rid themselves of cases.”
In a cryptic message before wrapping up his address, he said: “On December 14, 15, 16 we will bring good news for Prime Minister Imran Khan. There will be nothing but success for the government and failure for this lot.”