Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that Imran Khan wanted bloodshed in the country on the pretext of a long march in May and that he must be arrested for desiring such a thing.
The federal interior minister claimed that Imran Khan was not a statesman but someone who wanted to see anarchy in the country.
Sanaullah was speaking on SAMAA TV’s show Nadeem Malik Live. He discussed a host of issues.
Talks with TTP
Speaking about talks with the TTP, Rana Sanaullah said that there would be no discussion on the reversal of the FATA merger and withdrawal of the Pakistan military from the areas near the Afghan borders — reportedly two of the key demands from the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
He said that it had been decided that when the negotiations make progress they would be discussed in the Parliament.
The interior minister said that the number of active militants was around 4,000 but they also had families with them and they could be classified into three groups: those who wanted to lay down arms, their families including women and children, and their leaders who were known for committing atrocities in different areas.
The minister said that a uniform strategy could not be used for all three groups and the people who had committed heinous crimes like the APS Peshawar attack could not be considered for clemency or reintegration.
Sanaullah said that before the actual negotiations, “pre-talks” will be held to decide what issues would be discussed. If Afghanistan’s political government becomes its part, certainly politicians from Pakistan will also participate, he said.
The minister confirmed that a ceasefire with the TTP was still in place.
He expected that the outcome of the talks would become clear within months.
Asked what if the militants refused to lay down arms, the interior minister said that civil and military leadership were in consensus that the militants would not be allowed to bring back their weapons from Afghanistan and that Pakistan had the capacity and power to deal with the situation.
Sanaullah said that foreign element was behind terror attacks in Pakistan in the past.
No threat alert against Imran
The interior minister said that there was no threat alert against PTI chief Imran Khan and any claims about it were mere ‘loose talks’.
He said that one night Babar Awan claimed that an attack was imminent and the government did not leave that claim “unattended” but there was no evidence to back it.
Now, a Chauhan sahib has surfaced, he said.
He said if the PTI leaders had any information they could have informed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police.
Sanaullah said that he did not believe the threat to Benazir Bhutto was “underestimated” as six other people in the vehicle with her remained unhurt in the attack in 2007.
He said that Imran Khan was being offered security and protocol at the same level he enjoyed while he was the prime minister.
On screening of the security personnel, he said the PTI had summoned Gilgit-Baltistan police for Imran Khan’s security, and they must have screened them. Islamabad police was on the outer security circle, he said.
The interior minister said that if Imran Khan decides to take part in the electioneering for Punjab by-elections, the government would offer him security.
Khan must be arrested and prosecuted
Asked whether the government would offer security to Khan or arrest him, Sanaullah said that he strongly believed that the PTI chief wanted to damage the country, divide the nation, and mislead the youth and that his politics was only centered on anarchy.
“If a politician says that he will die but not spare his opponents, is he a politician? Can in a parliamentary system, a politician say such words,” he said and added that this went beyond even personal enmity.
“The man who thinks like that, the man who plans storming Islamabad and the kind of speeches he delivers and the kind of discussions he holds in in-door meetings, travels with armed people, storm Islamabad with armed gang, is not a politician. He wants anarchy in the country.”
Sanaullah claimed that on May 25 Imran Khan wanted bloodshed in the country and for this, not only a case must be pursued against him but he must also be arrested.
“I believe that in the interest of this country, this man for these beliefs and his mindset of promoting anarchy, he must be arrested and prosecuted,” said the interior minister.
He said that the interior ministry had already submitted its recommendations to the federal cabinet to file a treason case against Imran Khan and that the cabinet had formed a committee.
The interior minister has also “satisfied” the cabinet committee, he said.
Sanaullah again issued a challenge to Imran Khan daring him to cross into Punjab from KP at Attock bridge.
He said that the “long march page” had been torn up and Imran Khan would not be allowed to enter into Islamabad.
‘Imran must explain gains’
Rana Sanaullah was asked to comment on Imran Khan’s statements that a watchman may not remain neutral when a house is being robbed and that the PML-N and PPP were afraid that he would appoint Gen Faiza as COAS.
The interior minister said although Imran Khan regularly made claims about the country being robbed by others bu the PTI chief had ill-gotten wealth.
Sanaullah said he told a press briefing ten days ago that Rs50 billion were laundered out of Pakistan and were seized in the UK. The money was destined to be returned to Pakistan’s exchequer, but Imran Khan’s government cut a deal at Rs7 billion, of which Shehzad Akbar received Rs2 billion and Imran Khan directly received assets of Rs5 billion worth, he said
On June 14, the interior minister held a press conference to explain how £190 million (Rs50 billion) seized in the UK were returned to the property tycoon.
Sanaullah said Imran Khan must answer why he and his wife got 458 Kanal land for Abdul Qadir University, which would be constructed by the same person who allotted them the land and why an additional 240 Kanal land was allotted to Farah Shehzadi (alias Farah Gogi) in Bani Gala.
Explaining how the money seized ended up benefitting Imran Khan, the interior minister said that money was meant to be sent to Pakistan but Shehzad Akbar representing the then-Imran Khan government told the UK authorities that the money be deposited to an account that belonged to the same person (from whom the money was seized) and thus the money was adjusted against a fine imposed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Sanaullah said the land registration documents were the proof against ‘this dacoit’.
Farah’s Al-Moeed Food Enterprises
The interior minister revealed that in Faisalabad an entity named Al-Moeed Food Enterprises forcefully got land allotted in the special economic zone after arm-twisting the farmers and when he ordered an investigation, it was discovered that the entity was owned by two women and one of them was Farah Shehzadi and the other was Bushra Khan.
When the host said that one Bushra Khan was Farah Khan’s mother, the interior minister said he believed the other owner was Farah’s mother.
Sanaullah said that if the media could get the ownership documents of Al-Mooed Enterprise and Abdul Qadir University and if he is proven wrong, he would apologize.
Appointment of next COAS
Sanaullah blasted Imran Khan for making comments about the army and changing his statements about alleged foreign conspiracy.
In response to a question about the appointment of the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS), the interior minister said that the standard practice required that the new COAS is announced by October.
Ishaq Dar’s return
Rana Sanaullah said that PML-N leader and former finance minister Ishaq Dar could return to Pakistan any day after securing protective bail.
He said he had also requested Nawaz Sharif to return and perhaps the PML-N supremo may not undergo the more serious surgical procedure.
“He may return as a free man to Pakistan and get his cases decided in the court of law,” said Sanaullah.
But Dar’s return, he said, was more simple, and whenever he wanted he could get protective bail and return to Pakistan.
Sanaullah said that even if Dar did not join the finance ministry he had a role to play as an experienced person in finance.
“People ask us to follow Dar formula to check runaway US dollar rates,” he said.
The interior minister said that Imran Khan registered fake cases against PML-N leaders but the one against Dar was the weakest.
Punjab by-elections outcome
Sanaullah predicted that in Punjab by-elections PML-N will get around 14-16 of the total 20 seats up for grabs.
He said that the PTI stood no chance of winning in the South Punjab and Jhang regions. The contest will be seen in Faisalabad and Lahore, the minister said.