Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said that surgical strikes were being carried out on the country’s political stability.
Speaking to journalists, Ahsan warned that Pakistan is facing conspiracies and the country’s enemies were working overtime to spread anarchy. He added that any person or institution moving the country towards anarchy could not be considered a friend. Ahsan also mentioned the threat of a surgical strike that Pakistan had received from India, adding that country was also faced with similar internal threats.
“We need to be united. Our neighbouring country is threatening us with surgical strikes and we will face this threat. But surgical strikes are also being carried out on the political stability in the country. There is no room for this. Why are we becoming our own enemy?” When asked about the Senate elections, Ahsan responded that some steps that have been taken are creating the impression that the process of target killing is underway in politics.
According to the interior minister, the Pakistani voter is no longer comparable to a primary school student, rather someone who has received a PhD in politics.
“They [Pakistanis] are well informed and analyse everything. This is the reason that the PML-N, despite steps being taken against us, is not experiencing any political backlash. In fact, our political support is increasing.” He stressed on the supremacy of Parliament, calling it the most important institution in the country that gives birth to the constitution and other institutions.
“The Parliament decides on how many judges will be appointed in the Supreme Court or what the pension of a Supreme Court judge will be; it also gives birth to the structure of the judiciary. It decides on the prime ministerial criteria and who will be the next premier.”
“The Parliament is the representative of the people of Pakistan,” he added. The Minister said that a decision of the Financial Action Task Force to place Pakistan on the grey-list of the global money laundering watchdog will be made in June. “The resolution against us was on political grounds to pressurise Pakistan. We were on this watch list till 2015 and despite this, we grew the country’s economy. It is wrong to speculate that this will have dire economic consequences on the country.”
Ahsan emphasised that Pakistan had made the most efforts to combat terrorism. “We are taking steps not to please the US but for our own benefit. We will follow our own agenda to achieve national goals.”
Ahsan Iqbal said measures being taken against the Pakistan Muslim League-N are helping the party earn more sympathy and support. “For that I will say Thank You, Supreme Court”
The interior minister said Pakistan has been facing US pressure over Afghanistan. “Pakistan-US cooperation could become source of peace in Afghanistan. Growing mistrust would hurt both the countries,” said he. He said that the government started an operation with the help of Pakistan Army, gained major victories against terrorism and was consistently working on the National Action Plan.
Ahsan Iqbal said that in such a critical situation, politicians need to be united on national issues and parliament is present for the purpose. “We should respect prime status of parliament and keep this in mind that parliament is the supreme institution and asset of democracy,” he added.
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said that the government will expedite steps to curb terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan’s performance in the war against terrorism was better than others’, but it still faced pressure from Washington, the minister said.
Ahsan let shoe thrower go
A man hurled a shoe at Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal while he was addressing a workers’ convention in Narowal on Saturday.
The man, Bilal Haris, stood up from his seat as Iqbal arrived on stage to address the convention in Aliabad area. Bilal hurled a shoe at the minister, which reportedly touched the minister. Workers at the convention grabbed the man, who was handed over to the police. After the incident, Iqbal descended from the stage leaving his speech in between. The minister, however, directed the police not to take legal action against the man, officials said. He was subsequently released by the law enforcers.