PTI supporters led by two MNAs from Karachi forcibly enter Sindh House in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters led by two MNAs from Karachi including Ataullah Khan Khattak and Faheem Khan on Friday forcibly entered the Sindh House in Islamabad after protesting outside for hours against dissident MNAs who are staying in the building.
Television footage showed PTI workers climbing over the walls of Sindh House with some of them later breaking down the doors to enter the building. They also carried lotas in protest against “turncoats”.
A sit-in was called by PTI workers outside Sindh House. The protest turned violent turn as demonstrators broke the gate and stormed inside the Sindh House.
PTI MNA from Karachi Faheem Khan who was also present in the protest outside the Sindh House said that the people voted them due to Imran Khan and the deserters were traitors.
He also hurled threats to the dissident members of the ruling PTI, who had been staying inside the Sindh House.
PTI MNA Attaullah Khan said that the disgruntled PTI members were elected due to Imran Khan and the workers of the ruling party will go after the potential deserters.
He said that the deserters should come back and apologise to the Prime Minister, adding that if they have any grievances they should tender resignation and contest election.
Later, police sprung into action and arrested two PTI MNAs including Attaullah Khan and Faheem Khan and several others.
Meanwhile, the PTI and Insaf Student Federation (ISF) workers in Faisalabad also protested against MNA Raja Riaz Ahmed Khan at the Zila Council Chowk. The protesters demanded Riaz resign from the party. As a result, a heavy contingent of police was deployed outside the MNA’s house for his security.
The demonstrators held placards and posters depicting the faces of the MNAs covered in black ink. A huge crowd blocked the road and chanted slogans against the MNAs. A similar protest also took place in Peshawar against MNA Noor Alam Khan.
Meanwhile PPP leader Sharjeel Inam Memon termed the storming a “failure” of Islamabad police and the interior ministry, saying “we consider the attack on Sindh House an attack on the Sindh province.”
The way PTI federal ministers had been questioning why policemen from Sindh were deployed at the building had received their answer now, he said. He claimed that two PTI MNAs — Faheem Khan and Ataullah — were also part of the group that stormed the Sindh House.
“When they were taking such actions, Islamabad police were silent. If Sindh police were not there today, PPP MNAs who were staying inside with their families would be in danger. Imran Khan has been defeated. Now he wants a clash.”
Sharjeel Memon appealed to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and the Supreme Court to “immediately” take notice of this “terrorist attack” inside the Red Zone and for a case to be registered against “federal ministers and MNAs who were involved”.
“We are peaceful now. We should not be forced to start such incidents as well which we are not in the mood for right now because we have been [restrained] by our leadership. Do not test our patience.”
He said all political matters should be taken to the parliament, warning that if such attacks happened again then “your houses will not remain safe either”.
“We have also seen Bani Gala and the Prime Minister House. Then we will see who saves you.”
Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani reacted in a similar manner to the incident, saying: “If PTI thugs don’t return, then we also know the way to the [Sindh] Governor House.” He said in a statement that PPP workers would surround the Governor House in Sindh if PTI workers would not leave the Sindh House in Islamabad.
Saeed Ghani added that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid would be responsible in case of any harm to a lawmaker.
Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry shared that PTI Secretary General Asad Umar has asked party workers to clear Sindh House and be “patient and tolerant”. “If Sindh House is turned into a new Changa Manga, [you] will have to face the public’s hatred. As soon as information about the incident was received, secretary general Asad Umar told workers to be patient and tolerant … stop playing with the public’s emotions and respect their mandate,” he tweeted.
Talking to a private TV channel, Fawad Chaudhry said PPP was “responsible” for the incident, adding that he believed the opposition should move the “turncoats” to another place. “They are not worthy of living in residential areas,” he said, adding that the common man was “displeased”.
“Those responsible [for the attack] are those who have kept them (PTI MNAs) there. Immoral things are happening [at Sindh House]. PPP is responsible. The Sindh chief minister has acted irresponsibly by bringing such people to a place where the chief justice of Pakistan lives and other people reside as well,” he added.
Separately, in a tweet, Fawad Chaudhry again asked that the “turncoats” be shifted to some other place as the Sindh house was located in a very sensitive area, warning that otherwise, “there will be [drama] throughout the month. How many people can be stopped?”
Meanwhile speaking to a private TV channel, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said police negligence was behind the “unfortunate” incident, adding that he has directed the Islamabad inspector general of police to arrest those who were involved.
Around 20 to 25 days were left till the no-confidence vote would take place, he said, questioning what would happen if the situation remained the same. “The country is going towards anarchy.”
Sheikh Rashid said the ministry has asked for 1,000 more Rangers personnel to be deployed in the capital and the army could also be called if the situation worsened.
The interior minister said an inquiry was being done as to how the workers entered the Sindh House. “This is a mistake and should not have happened.”
He expressed fears of what could happen later in the month when the ruling PTI and the opposition will both hold rallies in the capital, saying “it could get bigger”.
He said the PTI was not thinking about cancelling its rally — to be held at D-Chowk on March 27 — but efforts were being made for holding the PTI and the opposition’s rallies at different locations.
“I have asked the deputy commissioner to allow both (the government and the opposition’s rallies) to come to Islamabad via different routes. I have spoken to the prime minister and he has agreed.”
Meanwhile, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif said the “only option left [for the PTI] was thuggery” but it would go wrong as well.
In a tweet, Maryam Nawaz said the PTI “could not save its government”, advising it to save whatever was left of its honour. “You are not an elected government that you would [stay and fight]. This is why only the option of thuggery is left. But this also always goes wrong.”