Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal expressed concerns on Saturday that “some elements” are trying to create an atmosphere of instability which can throw into question the democratic process of the country as the general elections 2018 draw close.
Talking to reporters in Lahore, he questioned how is it that these “forces”, which he did not name, are asleep and speak nothing of accountability but raise a hue and cry about the matter right before elections.
“In 2013 as well, when elections were about to take place, there were slogans such as “pehle ehtisaab aur phhir intikhaab” (accountability before elections), “pehle riyaasat aur phhir intikhaab” (government before elections). They were promoted to sabotage the electoral and democratic processes,” he claimed.
“This was done because these forces are afraid of the democratic process,” he remarked, adding that “the elements are unsuccessful forces trying to create obstacles out of fear, seeking to play with people’s emotions and dupe them.”
“However, these tactics won’t work this time. People have wisened up and are politically aware. Even those deprived of education are now just as aware as the educated and they will not let these forces sabotage the democratic process,” he said, expressing confidence in the people of the country.
Referring to the security situation in Pakistan, he said that terrorism’s hold on Karachi had been broken and in a city where distribution of extortion chits was the norm, tickets to the PSL were now being sold.
“These are real, tangible changes that have taken place over the last five years,” he said.
“No one was willing to invest in the country just five years ago. Today, Pakistan has benefited from billions of dollars of investment due to CPEC, which has contributed heavily to our infrastructural development with projects such as dams, motorways and even universities and AI technology centres being made.”
He also expressed hope that the opposition will be in agreement with the government over the caretaker setup.
“There is also this conspiracy theory floating around, that these elements will try to prevent consensus on the caretaker prime minister so that a third force ends up bringing in a prime minister of their own. We will not let this happen,” he said with determination.
He invited the leader of the opposition to work with the prime minister to reach an agreement regarding the caretaker setup in a fair and transparent manner.