Sunday June 26, 2022

Will stand by Imran if he confronts institutions: Sheikh Rashid

By News Desk
May 03, 2022
Sheikh Rashid photographed during his interview with VoA Urdu on May 02, 2022. Photo: VoA Urdu
Sheikh Rashid photographed during his interview with VoA Urdu on May 02, 2022. Photo: VoA Urdu

ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League chief and former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said there should be no confrontation with the institutions, but if at all it happens, he would stand by PTI chief Imran Khan.

In an interview with the Voice of America, Rashid was of the opinion Imran would not go for confrontation with the institutions. If the situation leads to a confrontation, he (Rashid) would play his role in bringing it to defuse it. The minister refused to respond when asked about the issue between Imran Khan and the army on which he wanted reconciliation.

To a question about the PTI government’s fall, Rashid said certain misunderstandings with the institutions had developed, which should not have happened. He said that the army was always with the democratic government, but something did happen due to which the coalition parties joined the opposition.

“BAP (Balochistan Awami Party), MQM and half of Q League left the government, so we must have made some mistake,” Rashid added.Regarding reconciliation with the establishment, Rashid said that he had started efforts this week, but has not received any response so far.

He said former Prime Minister Imran Khan was ready to hold talks with Shehbaz Sharif’s government for early general elections, but it required guarantee from the powerful quarters. He said that the PTI’s long march was not aimed at enforcing a martial law in the country, rather it was for holding early general elections.

Rashid said that the establishment wants continuity of democracy in the country and the only way to maintain it was to hold early elections “otherwise neither we nor the government will survive.”

He said, “Imran Khan is going to gather millions of people in Islamabad, and in that case the country would go into a state of uncertainty, which may lead to a civil war.”Rashid said that if a large number of people gather in Islamabad on Imran Khan’s directions, then his (Khan’s) politics would reign and his only demand was to hold early elections.

He said that the PTI does not want to topple the government, but the marchers would not return from Islamabad without securing the date of general elections.Rashid said that he has no link to rowdyism at Masjid-e-Nabavi (SAW), adding, however, people hate the present rulers and would treat them like this. On cases of incitement to violence, he said that he had spent many years in jail on fake cases in the past and was still ready for his arrest.Rashid said that wanted to retire from politics, but in these circumstances, he would take part in the elections as desired by Imran Khan.