Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday lashed out at the opposition, questioning who exactly they wished to speak to if not Prime Minister Imran Khan. “We are an elected, democratic government and, under the leadership of Imran Khan, we will take this country forward. We don’t want to close the doors for dialogue. [The opposition] says it does not want to talk to Imran. Tell us who you wish to speak to so that we can arrange it,” he said while speaking to the media in Islamabad.
The minister was referring to statements made by opposition leaders at the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) much-hyped power show at Minar-i-Pakistan in Lahore a day earlier. “The responsibility shown by the people of Lahore […] if children from madrassahs did not show up for yesterday’s rally, [the opposition] would have had to face a lot of disappointment,” the interior minister said.
“They had to face the death of their politics at the same place they used to make tall claims.” Commenting on the opposition’s decision to submit resignation in parliament en masse, Ahmed simply replied: “You [are] welcome please. Do it. Do it as quick as possible. “[The opposition] has also said that it will March to Islamabad. Please come. Islamabad is also yours […] we will do whatever the law and the Constitution allows us to do.”
Ahmed stated that the opposition had not said “anything new” at the Lahore rally. However, commenting on the speech made by PkMAP chief Mahmood Achakzai, the minister said that the remarks were “irresponsible”. “All those that lose elections develop mental health issues,” he said.
The minister maintained that the opposition was staging rallies only to protect its looted wealth. “They are spending billions [on staging rallies]. “Imran Khan has explicitly said he will leave his seat but will not give the opposition an NRO. He directed me to say this during the press conference [that] the sun can rise from the West and set in the East […] but he will not give them an NRO.”