Pak minister threatens opposition parties with Taliban attacks; Oppn demands his resignation
Pakistan Opposition has sought the interior minister Brigadier (retired) Ijaz Shah’s resignation after he threatened the opposition parties of attacks by the Taliban.
At a recent ceremony at his hometown Nankana Sahib, the interior minister had said the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had, in reaction to the Awami National Party’s (ANP) policies on terrorism, attacked the party leadership and killed many of its leaders, including Bashir Bilour and the son of Mian Iftikhar.
“Today, I pray for the safety of those following the N-League’s narrative and wish for them to get divine’s guidance,” Brig Shah had tweeted.
Pakistani Opposition parties such as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and ANP, have formed a new alliance for restoring democracy in the country, along with Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The Opposition has reacted strongly to the remarks. While the PPP sought an apology from the interior minister over his remarks, the ANP called for his “immediate resignation”.
Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, the spokesman for PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, termed the minister’s statement a violation of the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism and asked the latter to apologize to the entire nation and the political parties whose workers who were killed by terrorists.
“These kinds of irresponsible statements by the federal ministers have already caused a difficult situation for Pakistan in Financial Action Task Force,” he said, adding that the ministers through such statements were in fact “validating” the allegations being levelled against Pakistan by the world.
Shah, a former Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operator is often criticized for policies and support for terrorists.
Khokhar said it was proved that former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was right when she named Shah in a letter as someone who should be investigated if she was assassinated.
ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan said the interior minister’s “irresponsible” and “foolish” diatribe had hurt the sentiments of the party leaders and workers who had sacrificed so much for the restoration of peace in the country.