"Act Of Terrorism": Pak PM Slams Violent Protests By Imran Khan's Supporters
Mr Sharif also said that never in history the revengeful acts in politics rendered good results.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday condemned the protests by the supporters of former premier Imran Khan after his arrest in a corruption case and warned to deal with demonstrators with an iron fist.
The prime minister made a brief address to the nation after the country was rocked by violence during the last two days which saw attacks on military installations and state properties.
“Attack on public property is an act of terrorism and enmity towards the country,” the prime minister said, adding that those taking the law into their own hands would be dealt with an iron fist.
“They will be given an exemplary punishment,” he said.
The premier said the “protection of the State and ideology of Pakistan is more precious to us than our lives and we will not allow anyone to conspire against it” and vowed to defeat the "nefarious designs” of enemies.
He accused Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of causing severe damage to sensitive installations in the country.
“Such a scene had never been witnessed in 75 years. Many lives were endangered. Even ambulances were set on fire. Swat motorway was set on fire. Like the enemy, installations of armed forces were attacked," he said.
The prime minister alleged that families and relatives of political opponents were not spared when Khan was ruling the country, adding that the ministers of cricketer-turned-politician Khan used to air details of cases against political opponents and the former premier used to predict arrests.
“Not only political opponents but family and relatives were not forgiven too,” the PM said, adding that the political history of the country had been very bitter.
Shehbaz also said that never in history the revengeful acts in politics rendered good results.
He said that under the old accountability law, any person could be arrested for 90 days and getting bail was “impossible” but his government amended this law and reduced the remand period from 90 to 15 days.
Talking about the arrest of Khan, Shehbaz said that “all evidence” in the Al-Qadir Trust case against the PTI chairman was available and the cabinet was kept in the dark.
“How could it be the decision of the cabinet when the matter is about ₹ 60 billion of the national treasury?” he asked.
Violent clashes between Imran Khan's supporters and security forces have left at least seven people dead and nearly 300 injured across Pakistan as the army was deployed in the country's capital Islamabad, as well as in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces on Wednesday to maintain law and order.
Khan was taken into custody by the paramilitary Rangers on Tuesday on the orders of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from the premises of the Islamabad High Court where he came to attend a corruption case hearing.