News Analysis |
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary while addressing at a press conference at PID office on Monday said that government is preparing a strategy to tackle violent protests and hate speech on sensitive issues pertaining to religious matters, without being intimidating by threats of their leadership.
“We want to resolve issues and will have to end sit-ins as it is not acceptable that two to three thousand people shut down a city,” he said. “The interior ministry has been assigned the task to devise a proactive strategy to make sure no violent protest takes place and lives and properties of the public are protected,” he added.
Mr. Chaudhary while appreciating the maturity of opposition parties in the wake of TLP-led protest against Asia Bibi’s acquittal in a blasphemy case said that the issue would be tackled as a part of national security with consultation of opposition parties.
The Interior Ministry have issued a WhatsApp number for citizens to share evidence against demonstrators with the authorities on 0331 5480011.
As a matter of fact, sources say that PM Khan, who just has returned from her visit to China, has already summoned a meeting of the National Security Council today (Tuesday) to review the peace and security situation in the country; the meeting will discuss the prevailing security situation in the country following a Supreme Court verdict acquitting Asia Bibi, along with other agendas.
Mr. Chaudhary further told the reporters that damage caused to common people’s properties will be compensated by all provincial governments and the federal government would assist provincial governments for that.
The Interior Ministry have issued a WhatsApp number for citizens to share evidence against demonstrators with the authorities on 0331 5480011. As much as 1800 rioters so far has been arrested across the country for being allegedly involved in vandalism during the protest.
About curbing the hate material on social media sites, Me. Chaudhary said that government had no intention to block freedom of speech and that PTI government was accepting criticism wholeheartedly. He, however, stressed that social networking site Twitter, like Facebook, should also devise a mechanism to block sectarianism fanning posts, considering the religious sensitivity involved in such posts.
Mr. Chaudhary while appreciating the maturity of opposition parties in the wake of TLP-led protest against Asia Bibi’s acquittal.
Responding to Mr. Chaudhary’s anti-TLP assertions, the TLP leadership said they reserved the legal right to take Mr. Chaudhry to court on the issue.
In a video message on Monday, TLP’s patron-in-chief Pir Mohammad Afzal Qadri warned the government of retaliation, if the violations of party-government agreement don’t stop immediately. He was referring to the registration of FIR’s and arrests of workers.
Read more: Was PML-N secretly supporting TLP?
The TLP will be again on the roads as our leadership and workers are not afraid of anybody. All workers should start holding meetings as they can be told any moment to hit the roads,” said Mr. Qadri. Sources say that TLP claimed later that they were in talk with Punjab government over the arrest of their workers.
The government had faced criticism over signing the agreement with TLP protestors. However, analysts believe that given the sensitivity of the issue, it was a very wise move. Furthermore, the arrest of miscreants now has nothing but ascertained that ‘better strategy’ instead of ‘use of force’ is the policy of the government.