Any slur at army, state institutions invites action within 72 hours: govt

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid has said that action will be taken within 72 hours against anyone using derogatory language against the Pakistan Army or other state institutions.

Talking to the media in Rawalpindi on Saturday, Rashid took a jibe at Fazl and said that Fazlur Rehman is a scholar and respected, but he should also keep in mind the respect of Islam and Islamabad. “He [Fazl] should talk about Islam and stop dreaming of Islamabad,” Rashid said in a reference to the long march PDM is planning.

The interior minister criticised the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and its chief Fazl, and spoke about PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s passport issue and the facility of online visas in Pakistan, among other topics. He said the PPP has won and the PDM has lost, adding that the PPP has forced PDM to get on its knees.

In response to a question about the PPP chairperson, Rashid said Bilawal is sensible and has played his cards well. He said Bilawal will find a good path for himself. He said a politician who does not keep the door of dialogue open is not intelligent.

Referring to PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the federal minister said that Maulana’s stars are in circulation and his politics has turned upside down.

Rashid’s comments come a day after PDM announced that member parties of the alliance will take part in by-polls and decide about Senate elections later. Fazl had said the alliance is “is stronger than before” and rubbished rumours of any internal conflict.

Asked about the PDM’s long march, the interior minister said that the day the PDM members tell the date of the long march, the government will communicate their legal and political rights to them the same day.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday accused the opposition alliance of hatching conspiracies against him and Pakistan’s armed forces.

The prime minister, in an interview, asked his rivals to cite an example where the military has transgressed from its powers and backed the government.

PM Khan said the recent report by EU DisinfoLab has exposed the leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) as those media outlets which target Pakistan with fake propaganda are also backing them.

“They both have the same agenda; attack Imran Khan and the Pakistan Army,” the premier said.

The interior minister spoke about the facility of online visas in Pakistan.

He said it has been provided for 192 countries. Rashid said 200,000 online visa applications were received in just a day.

Responding to a question, he said the passport of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is expiring on February 16 and it will not be extended.

The federal minister also said a case against Mufti Kifayatullah for anti-military remarks has been sent to authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

The federal minister also noted that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s passport will expire on February 16.

Sheikh Rashid said online visa facility has been provided to 192 countries and 200,000 applications were received in 24 hours for online visas.

He said 100,000 identity cards are issued daily and the first identity card will be issued in 15 days. Rashid said the NADRA office in Rawalpindi issues 1,500 cards every day.

The federal minister maintained that 50 NADRA centres will be made operational 24 hours a day.

Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police on Saturday raided the house of JUI-f leader Mufti Kafayatullah in Mansehra and arrested his brother, sons and brother-in-law. The raid came after the KP government registered a case against Mufti Kafayatullah who was not present in the house when the police party came.

Police said that search and raids were underway in various areas for arresting of Mufti Kafayaullah. (Agencies)