ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah said on Wednesday that if Khan gives an assurance to the Islamabad High Court that the march will remain peaceful, he will be allowed to come here.
He was asked about the PTI’s long march and permission for its entry into Islamabad. He said a petition was being heard by the IHC on the issue. The interior minister held an interaction with journalists and other stakeholders regarding an amendment about the seven-year imprisonment for those spreading hateful content on the social media. The minister said that if the amendment leads to restrictions on people’s freedom of expression, then the government will withdraw the bill.
“There are certain things on the social media that need to be controlled,” Sanaullah said, adding that the social media platforms were being used to harm people’s private lives. He added that the issue was an important one; therefore, the government was hoping that the amendments would not create hurdles in the way of people’s right to freedom of expression.
Sanaullah said that there would be a discussion in the parliament related to transfer of powers to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) with regard to the social media amendment. When the minister was asked whether the government would hold negotiations with Imran Khan despite PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif’s prohibition to do so, he said, “Negotiations are always supported in politics and no politician ever says no to such offers. However, whenever we talk about holding negotiations, Khan resorts to hurling abuses.”
He also added that while talks were held with politicians, the same could not be said in the case of Khan because he was a “political terrorist” and not a politician. Separately, speaking in Geo News programme Capital Talk, Rana Sanaullah said: “I will keep him [Imran Khan] in Mirchi Ward of Machh Jail, as various politicians have also lived there already.”
He said he would send the PTI chairman to Balochistan’s Machh Jail after arresting him. BNP chief Akhtar Mengal had asked him that if Khan was arrested, he should be kept in Machh Jail. He said if he lay his hands on Khan, he would not spare him.
Recalling the incidents that took place on May 25 during Khan’s first long march towards Islamabad which was abruptly ended due to massive clashes between people and law-enforcement agencies, the interior minister lamented not arresting Khan on that day.
“I wish a case should have been filed instead of forming a sub-committee,” he said, adding that if the cabinet would have paid attention to his words, the authorities would have arrested the PTI chief on that day. In response to Khan’s claim that Islamabad Police would join his march when they reach the federal capital, he declared that Rangers, the Islamabad Police and FC would arrest him.
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