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Saturday, February 24, 2024  
13 Shaban 1445  

Caretaker setup cannot extend, says Sanaullah

Interior minister sees ‘nothing unusual’ in protection provided to PTI faction
Exclusive interview of Rana Sanaullah - Spot Light with Munizae Jahangir - Aaj News

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that the caretaker government tenure cannot extend as it was “not possible”. He described such perceptions as part of media talk shows.

“This [caretaker government] cannot run more. It is not possible,” he said when asked about the possibility that the International Monetary Fund stops the second tranche of the $3 billion worth of funds if the interim setup extends.

The interior minister was speaking on Aaj News show Spot Light. He answered queries from general elections, MQM’s reservations, PML-N, the emergence of the PTI faction, terrorist group attacks, and the cases after May 9.

He explained that the government signed the IMF has sought assurances from the government on the conditions. But according to him, the lender was the one to be blamed for making it worse over the last four to five months.

MQM and last day of assembly

When asked about the reservations of the MQM, he said that elections would be held on the basis of the current census and that the delimitation would only have an effect on the number of seats. He supported his argument by saying that a constitutional amendment was required for updating the voter list. “Right now the assembly cannot do this. This press conference is just a press conference.”

He added the census was not even acceptable to the people of Balochistan. He stressed the need for using modern techniques for the census, which is acceptable to everyone.

According to Sanaullah, August 13 or 14 would be the last day of assemblies. The ECP would have 60 days to hold polls if assemblies were dissolved a day earlier otherwise 90. He added that the prime minister would take into view the need of the ECP chief election commissioner.

He clarified that the country’s top electoral authority could hold polls within 90 days and expressed hope that the schedule would hopefully be issued after seven to 10 days after the assembly was dissolved.

‘Nothing unusual in protection provided to PTI faction’

The emergence of the Khattak-led PTI faction was also discussed on the show and host Munizae Jahangir wondered why the media was banned to cover the event. Sanaullah replied that the answers might be known to the party.

But he claimed that as per the information available to him, big names were part of the PTI Parliamentarians. When asked about the protection provided to them, the interior minister said there was nothing unusual in it as this has happened in the past. “Is tarah k kamoon mein tou is tarah hota hai [This happens in these types of works].”

He related it to the formation of the former ruling party, PTI.

The interior minister said that the PTI chairman should contest the next elections, but added that a person should be punished if he has committed any crime. He was apparently making a reference to events of May 9.

He reiterated that those who have damaged army installations and trespassed sensitive areas were being tried under the Army Act.

When asked for a comment about police claims that the KP governor receive a ransom call, he did not give a clear reply. But said: “I want to assure you that whether it is KP or Balochistan, not a single street or space is there where their terrorists can maintain their writ.”

Attacks ‘from Afghanistan’

He rubbished the Afghan Taliban’s claim that cross-border attacks were Pakistan’s own problem. Sanaullah reiterated that terrorists had safe havens in Afghanistan

He shared that the former spymaster and army chief had briefed Parliament about the Afghan Taliban proposal of shifting members outlawed away from the borders of Pakistan over attacks.

“I think there is a capacity problem,” he said while answering a question about whether the interim Afghanistan rulers cannot control the group or they don’t want to.

Sanaullah stressed the need for sitting together on the matter of missing persons to have a legislation while speaking about the threats and past reports.

More to follow…

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