Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has called on the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to postpone their scheduled march to Islamabad, citing terrorism-related concerns.
“Both Prime Minister Imran Khan and I love this country as much you do, but remember there is a terrorism threat on March 23,” the minister told the Opposition, referring to the day PDM has scheduled its demonstration.
Mentioning Benazir Bhutto, Sheik Rashid reminded the Senate the she too had been warned of terrorist threats on the fateful day of her assassination.
“She went ahead with it despite the warnings,” he said.
As Pakistan Day also falls on March 23, Sheikh Rashid questioned whether it would not be more effective for their protest be rescheduled for March 17 or March 27, as many political dignitaries, including foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries will be attending the Pakistan Day parade and “half of Islamabad will under be the control of [the government] and jammers will be installed there.”
“How will the Opposition [mark its influence] under such circumstances?” the minister implored.
The PDM is an alliance of various opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F).
Rashid further commented that the government was abiding a zero tolerance policy on terrorism, and acknowledged that the government should form a united front against militant attacks.
“We want one narrative against terrorism,” he said.
Last week, two separate deadly terrorist attacks occurred in two of the country’s major cities; a blast in Lahore’s Anarkali Market on Thursday left 3 dead and 30 wounded, while on Monday, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants attacked a police check-post in Islamabad.