With the exodus of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and Jahangir Tareen — the estranged party leader — getting active post-May 9 riotings, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah predicted that three splinter groups will emerge in the future and that will no longer be a threat to Pakistan Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
“On Jahangir Tareen’s issue N-League should remain calm as our vote bank is not going anywhere,” Sanaullah said.
In Punjab, it is the PML-N against PTI but after the May 9 rioting, the situation had changed, he added.
“The PTI will get divided into two or three parts. One part will go into the PPP, second to Jahangir Tareen and third will remain in the PTI,” predicted the interior minister.
In such a scenario, he said, if the PTI is divided into three parts then the PML-N should remain calm.
“If the PTI chairman is disqualified then Shah Mahmood Qureshi would run the party,” Sanaullah also said.
There has been an exodus of leaders from the PTI after the May 9 attacks.
On May 9, Imran Khan was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court. Following the detention there were riots across the country during which important military installations, including the General Headquarters and Corps Commander's House in Lahore, were attacked.
As a result, the government has decided to try those involved in the attacks in military courts.
Apart from the PTI leaders leaving, many groups of the party have also emerged in recent days.
On the May 9 attacks, Sanaullah said that the PTI did not protest but “rebelled against the state”.
“No party can seek relief after rebelling against the state,” the security czar said.
He added that PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid was involved in taking the mob to Jinnah House and Hammad Azhar played a “criminal role” in the riots.
On the issue of elections, Sanaullah said that general elections will be held in October or November.
Taking about the PML-N’s election campaign strategy, the federal minister, who is part of the Shehbaz Sharif-led party, said that they had requested party supremo Nawaz Sharif, who has been in self-imposed exile in London since November 2019 owing to health reasons, to lead the campaign.
He also called for the former prime minister to get protective bail.
“On the party’s request, Nawaz Sharif promised that he will lead the party during the election campaign,” he added.
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