Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has said that after a spike in terrorist attacks, government has no other choice but to respond with power.
He was talking on SAMAA TV’s show Nadeem Malik LIVE.
“Terrorism and extremism are increasing, you can only respond with power. We tried to talk, but that was not successful,” he said
He said that the government is in talks with the Afghan Taliban to restrain the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
“We have asked Afghan Taliban to talk to them [TTP]. They have assured us that their soil will not be used against Pakistan. We are in contact with them over cross border terrorism.”
He said that the time is approaching to take a critical decision on combating terrorism.
“We are thinking, forces are thinking and everyone is thinking. Whatever we deicide it will be for the betterment of Pakistan.”
Army to stand with elected government
Rasheed said that the army has decided to stand with the elected government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
“Military leadership has decided that they will stand with the elected government,” said Rasheed when asked of any deal between the army and opposition parties.
He said that PM Imran Khan is blessed to have been faced with such a weak and inept opposition. They helped the government to complete four years and they will help it in the final year as well.
“They cannot bring no confidence motion. How would they? Did opposition manage to stop any legislation in the National Assembly and Senate?” asked Rasheed.
Opposition parties are just giving confidence to their people. If they do a “political suicide attack” in the final year then they will be doing us a favor, he added.
Every politician is in contact with the army
Rasheed said that he is not shy of admitting that he meets with the army and that there is no shame in meeting with Pakistan Army.
“Every politician is in contact with the army. I challenge anyone to say that they didn’t cross GHQ Gate Number 4”.
Imran Khan won’t back down from accountability
Rasheed said that accountability has been a slogan of Prime Minister Imran Khan and he will not back down from it.
“People voted us into power for accountability but we have been defeated by the courts,” Rasheed said on slow trial of corruption cases.
Rasheed said that it is his view that Shehbaz Sharif is more corrupt than Nawaz Sharif.
“There are serious cases against him [Shehbaz] and I am telling you that something will come out of cases against them.”
On money laundering cases against Asif Zardari, he said that Omni group did make some payments. When asked whether Asif Ali Zardari will be convicted, he refrained from commenting.
Imran Khan’s message was for opposition
On Prime Minister Imran Khan’s message that he will be more dangerous if out of government, Rasheed said that the message was for the opposition and not anyone else.
“The media created a storm on that statement. It was for the opposition and no one else,” he said.
He added that prime minister Imran Khan has struggled alone all his life and all those people who are with him are because he has kept them with him.
On poor performance of cabinet ministers, Rasheed said that the PM has no other options but these elected members.
“From where should he have chosen the ministers? These were elected people. He even added outsiders [to the cabinet]. But the result is in front of you.”