Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid called on Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Thursday, as pressure to replace the chief executive of the province builds up on the embattled prime minister ahead of the no-trust vote in the assembly.
During the meeting, both government officials discussed the political situation in the wake of the no-trust move. They criticised the opposition leaders for trying to “create anarchy” in Pakistan. They said the opposition will wake up to a “big surprise” on the day of the no-trust vote.
“Buzdar is the frontline soldier of Imran Khan,” Rashid said, adding that the opposition had fallen into its own trap. “With the grace of God, the law and order situation in Pakistan is normal,” he said, adding that no one will be allowed to take the law into their hands.
CM Buzdar, on the other hand, said that he stood steadfast with the prime minister. “I will live and die with the people,” he claimed. Buzdar said the government took the necessary steps to ensure the security of the citizens.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Rashid said the prime minister will address a massive rally at Parade Ground, Islamabad on March 27. He said the interior ministry has given permission to the JUI-F for a rally in the federal capital whereas the PML-N has not approached the government as of yet.
In an allusion to possible defections, Rashid “switching parties will not do them any good” as “turncoats should also keep this in mind that snap election can also be called in”.
Rashid claimed the PML-N was facing internal differences. “Their ‘respect for vote’ slogan has been buried,” he said, adding that these “foolish people have turned Imran into a hero”. He said he was an “informed person” and will start “revealing news” from today onwards. The minister added that PM Imran was fighting the battle for honour.
The minister said the “establishment was siding with Pakistan”. He said, “Propaganda against the great Pakistan Army will not be tolerated. “I will crush whoever tried to run a campaign against the army and the judiciary,” the federal minister said.
In a comment regarding the allies, Rashid said they usually take some time to make their decision and hoped that allies will stand with the government.
“We have good ties with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P),” he said, adding that if the opposition had their lawmakers then “we have their people who will not go to parliament to vote against PM Imran”.