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GDA’s Fehmida Mirza censures govt for crackdown on PTI members

She said the government should restrain from aggression in dealing with the protesters, adding that it was PTI’s democratic right to be allowed to hold the march.

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Leader of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) Dr. Fehmida Mirza on Tuesday censured the government for its crackdown on PTI members ahead of today’s Azadi march towards the capital.

Mirza, who was a minister in the cabinet of Imran Khan, lashed out at the government for not allowing him to lead the march.

She said the government should restrain from aggression in dealing with the protesters, adding that it was PTI’s democratic right to be allowed to hold the march.

The GDA member said the government had already made the PTI march successful through its actions.

She stated it was under the PML-N government that PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari had to spend 11 years in jail.

Mirza said the present coalition government is responsible for the current state of affairs in the country.

In response, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif defended the government’s decision to halt the march, alleging that the PTI had planned an “armed invasion” of the capital.

Read more: Azadi March: Supreme Court orders Islamabad administration to make arrangements

Khawaja Asif blamed the GDA member for showing double standards in criticising police stations. He said the police raided the house of PTI dissident Noor Alam, entered Parliament Lodges, and picked up MNAs during the no-confidence motion against former PM Imran Khan. He said those wailing over the raids should also have spoken then.

The Minister warned PTI workers against attacking institutions and creating anarchy. He said, “We will not let Pakistan be blackmailed. If anyone tries to challenge the state for the sake of an individual’s ego and personal rule, then the state will show its constitutional face.”

“One should have no misconception. If there will be an armed invasion on the city, which is a symbol of the federation, and if there will be an invasion on Pakistan’s security and federation, it will be dealt with full force.”

He also criticised former interior minister Sheikh Rashid for calling it a ‘bloody march,’ alleging that PTI members martyred the policeman in Lahore.

He criticised Mirza’s husband, Zulfiqar Mirza for disclosing the “secrets” about Zardari after he developed some differences with him. He also took Mirza to task over her rivalry with PPP, adding that the party had given her respect by nominating her the National Assembly speaker.

However, Asif condemned the police raid on the residence of retired Justice Nasira Javed Iqbal and apologised to her.