ISLAMABAD: People who speak against the Pakistan Army "should have their tongues ripped out from their throats", Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said Sunday.
Speaking at an event here in Islamabad, Sheikh Rasheed said those who spoke against the Pakistan Army "cannot be associated with the Muslim League".
The federal minister stressed that the media in the UK and the US is not as free as it is in Pakistan, reiterating the same stance that Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken in his meeting when he stated that "Pakistan has one of the freest presses in the world".
"Those who were against Pakistan are now spreading chaos. The lure of money destroys a person."
India 'conspiring' to divide Pakistan from within
The minister observed that Pakistan's economy "is moving towards improvement today", adding that the country largely escaped from the coronavirus pandemic as "there is a special grace of God".
However, the coronavirus pandemic has devastated India's industry, he remarked. "Today, the memory of Quaid-e-Azam haunts the Muslims of India.
"India is conspiring to divide the country from within. India knows it cannot fight us. In Pakistan's politics, the same people are spreading chaos in the country today who were against the creation of Pakistan.
"These people are landmines in Pakistan's politics," he said.
No 'halwa' for Fazlur Rehman
The interior minister also took back his 'halwa' invitation to the chief of the anti-government coalition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, citing the behaviour of the Opposition parties.
Rasheed said the "weather has changed" and that the Opposition parties were asking for votes from the same Assembly that they usually curse.
"I tell the PDM that there will be no obstacle for them if they march here within the ambit of law. They can come 10 times if they wish," he said, adding that the Opposition parties "have to go back anyway" and warning them against violating the law.
"If the PDM breaks the law in Islamabad, it will be face obstructions at each step.
"The weather has changed now and the PDM should think about its own issues. I withdraw my 'halwa' offer to Maulana Fazlur Rehman as the weather has changed.
PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his father, Asif Ali Zardari, "understand me", he added, noting that the former president's son "is close to my heart".
'Principled people stand by their word'
Speaking of the upcoming Senate elections, Rasheed said those who sell themselves will be sold off eventually regardless of whether the polls were open or secret.
"Those who sell themselves and those who bow down belong to the same class, while the principled people stand by their word. Even if someone has one less vote, it won't be the Doomsday. There are 64 votes on one side of the wall and 44 votes on the other."
The minister also warned those who engaged in corruption, saying people who spent three years in the embassies and were involved in corruption, "I will summon them back in three months".
"Any employee of the embassy who has obtained the citizenship of another country should report within a month; otherwise, do not come back to Pakistan," he added, vowing to deal with those who robbed Pakistan's poor people.
'Tested' tear gas at Islamabad protesters
Referring to the use of tear gas at protesters in Islamabad earlier this week, due to which a police officer also died, Rasheed said: "We have provided a 25% increase in the salaries and used some tear gas as well and it was necessary.
"Because, by using the tear gas, it can be tested, it was stashed uselessly. We tested it a little bit, not a lot. We have a lot more stored safely."
With regard to the projects under the PTI government, the interior minister explained that he would soon remove the last three checkpoints of Islamabad, inaugurate a park every month, increase the validity of passport from five to 10 years, bring public transport to Islamabad, and connect the expressway to the airport.
With new educational institutes, "Rawalpindi will be the only city with three universities", he added.