Rana Sanaullah warns Imran Khan against holding ‘riotous rallies’ in federal capital

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah warned PTI leader Imran Khan on Saturday that his “rebellious” rallies will not be tolerated in the federal capital as this page of anyone sabotaging, threatening or surrounding Islamabad has been ripped out.

“The state is now rid of these threats forever. Imran Khan should correct his problems and refrain from creating rebellion and instability in the country. He should engage in peaceful and national politics,” Sanaullah said in a media interview here on Saturday.

“All political parties in the country are currently on one side, trying to resolve the ongoing crises, while Imran Khan is busy abusing everyone and playing the politics of hate,” the minister said, emphasizing the need for political consensus.

The Home Secretary also promised to use ‘new’ and ‘updated’ tear gas against PTI supporters ahead of the party’s rally at the Islamabad parade ground today – ‘if needed. makes itself felt” – advising participants not to give rise to such a situation.

His remarks come as preparations are underway for the party’s power show at the capital’s Parade Ground today. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead a caravan from Rawalpindi instead of Islamabad.

His mention of tear gas also follows accusations by the opposition party that Islamabad police used expired tear gas against PTI supporters during the party’s Azadi march on May 25 – the day the former Prime Minister Imran Khan had marched on the capital to “haqeeqi azadi (true freedom)” with his party. The marchers were, however, prevented from heading towards D-Chowk by the police with tear gas fire.

Later, Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan said tear gas used on protesters only caused eye irritation. “The expired tear gas canisters were not used. No other chemicals were used to disperse the crowd on May 25.

At a press conference today, Sanaullah said the expired tear gas, which he said was purchased by his “predecessors”, was over. “Now they will get everything efficient, fresh and updated if the need arises.

“But it would be better if they don’t create a situation,” he suggested.

The minister also praised the Islamabad police for bringing the situation under control simply with rubber bullets and tear gas. “I want to tell them that they not only saved Islamabad that day but also democracy.”

At the start of his address, Sanaullah announced an increase in Islamabad police salaries. “They have always demanded that their salaries be equal to those of the Punjab police. And we finally accepted their requests in this budget.

This will have an impact of Rs788 million on the budget, he added.

Sanaullah also disclosed that payments of 1.2 billion rupees to the families of the martyrs, which had been pending for four years, would also be released immediately.

Separately, a 100-bed hospital will also be built for the Islamabad police, he said, adding that it was important as the police officers risked their lives for public safety and protection. “I am grateful to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif who has not delayed this project despite the current financial crisis.”

The minister further announced that the government had increased the ration allowance for officers of the Frontier Corps and that it would now be equal to that of the other armed forces.

“The FC officers had no riot gear and they were just helping the police. So we decided to donate funds for the riot training of 2,000 officers,” he added.