Interior Minister warns of rise in terror incidents

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has warned of a surge in terrorist activities in the country in the coming months “Terrorism is expected to rise in the country in the next two months,” Rasheed said in an interview with the British media. He, however, said that Pakistan has a much better system to fight terrorists and gathering information and this wave of terrorism will be dealt with accordingly.
The minister said that Afghan Taliban are unable to force the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan into anything.
“However, they [Afghan Taliban] are playing a positive role and have been a mediator in Pakistan’s negotiations with the TTP,” he said.
He said that the Afghan Taliban are playing the role of a bridge and trying to keep the TTP from engaging in terrorist activities.
‘TTP closed doors to peace talks’
Rasheed, who had advocated for peace talks with the TTP, said that the ceasefire violation by the group closed the doors to further negotiations.
“TTP ended the accord themselves. [The government] engaged in talks [with the group] a couple of times but no results,” he said, adding that the other side’s conditions were not acceptable.
He revealed that TTP was demanding the release of prisoners who are serving their sentences in Pakistan but freeing such “dangerous” prisoners is impossible.
“We offered TTP to lay their arms and join the national mainstream but they violated the ceasefire.”
‘PM Imran Khan, establishment on same page’
In his comments over the rumoured rift between the establishment and Imran Khan-led government, the minister said that the country’s advantage lies in the fact that the establishment and PM Imran Khan are on the same page.
He asserted that there are no differences between PM Imran Khan and the military leadership and the former has decided to stand by the elected government.
He said there could be a difference of opinion between the government and the establishment, but saying that the two are not on the same page would be wrong.
‘Govt seeking deal to bring Nawaz Sharif back’
The minister, while taking about the return of Nawaz Sharif, said that the government is trying to bring PML-N supremo back to Pakistan under a “deal”.
“Efforts for a deal are being made to bring all the accused and convicts residing in Britain,” Rasheed said.
“We sent Nawaz Sharif ourselves, it is our own fault,” he added.
Rasheed said that Nawaz Sharif managed to “throw dust on everyone’s eyes and walked out of the country” but the government is trying to bring back those who are wanted in cases under trial in court.
He, however, admitted that the government hasn’t been able to make any progress in making Ishaq Dar’s return possible.
Sharing his views on Shahzad Akbar’s resignation from the post of PM’s adviser on on accountability and interior, Rasheed said: “The reason behind the resignation is not only PM Imran Khan’s ire over failure in bringing Nawaz Sharif back but also our failure in recovering the [country’s] money.”
He said that billions of rupees have been corrupted and money amounting to “Rs4 billion” have been found in each of the employees’ accounts.
“Shahbaz Sharif is accused of laundering Rs16 billion but we couldn’t bring the money back,” he added.
The minister said that there is always room for improvement everywhere in the accountability process but the government needs to prepare well for the cases and have good lawyers.
He said that PM Imran Khan doesn’t lack of determination and he believed giving NRO would be a treason.
While speaking about corruption cases against the former leaders, Rasheed said that it appears that the government did not prepare well for the proceedings in court.
“PM Imran Khan bagged the votes to bring thieves, robbers, corrupt, dishonest people under the law since accountability was Imran Khan’s key slogan,” he said.
However, he admitted that the PTI did not get the success it should have had. –Agencies