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Govt rejects PTI claim of three shooters

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah (centre) flanked by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi (left) and Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakoor addresses a presser. — Radio Pakistan.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah (centre) flanked by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi (left) and Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakoor addresses a presser. — Radio Pakistan.  

Rubbishing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry’s claim, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Thursday that confessional statement of Naveed Meher — key suspect in the assassination attempt on the life of former prime minister Imran Khan — was 100% correct.

Addressing a press conference along with Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakoor and PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi in Islamabad, Sanaullah insisted that only one shooter — Naveed — who was also a “religious fanatic” was involved in the attempted assassination on the PTI chief.

A day earlier, Fawad claimed that the attempted assassination on the former prime minister was carried out by three attackers, all of whom struck him from three different sides.

“Naveed’s [confessional] statement is 100% correct. No second or third person was involved in the attack,” he added.

“It is an incident of single firing and Naveed was religiously motivated,” the security czar said, adding that Moazzam, a participant in the PTI’s rally, was killed by the bullet of Khan’s guard. He added that the guard must be arrested and interrogated.

Without naming Khan, Sanaullah said: “A fraudster had claimed that four bullets were recovered from his clothes.”

Taking a jibe at PTI leaders, the interior minister said that only seven to eight bullets were fired on the occasion and “interestingly they received 30-35 bullets”.

Khan has been staging drama for the past almost two months, he said, adding that it does not take more than two weeks’ time to recover if he had received bullet injuries on his leg.

Sanaullah also accused Khan of running a campaign for the country’s default for the past two months, adding that the “fitna” should be tackled by the power of people’s vote.

‘Talks should be held with Afghan govt instead of TTP’

The federal minister admitted that the outcomes of talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were not good. He further said they should now hold talks with the Afghan government instead of the TTP leadership who has taken refuge in the war-torn country.

A day earlier, Sanaullah said that the government could reengage in negotiations with the TTP if the proscribed militant group won’t challenge the state’s writ.

“If the TTP decides to come under the ambit of the Constitution, then we can hold talks with them,” he had told journalists during a press conference in Islamabad, a similar demand that the previous government put forth before the outlawed organisation.

The security czar had also said the recent National Security Committee (NSC) underlined that no form of militancy would be tolerated and a “zero-tolerance” policy has been adopted against terrorism. “There will no distinction between good and bad terrorists.”

In light of the rising terror incidents, the NSC had decided earlier this week that no country would be allowed to provide sanctuaries and facilitation to terrorists and Pakistan reserves all rights to safeguard its people.

Govt to compile authentic copy of Holy Quran’s translation

Sanaullah also said that the government has decided to compile an authentic copy of the Holy Quran with respect to its Arabic text and translation in consultation with provincial Quran Boards to prevent any kind of distortion.

He went on to say that prints of this authentic copy of the Holy Quran will be further distributed at district and tehsil levels. The interior minister said the federal and all the provincial governments will ensure that there should be authentic copies of the Quran’s Arabic text as well as its translation.

He said action will be taken against any attempt to distort the Quran’s text. The interior minister further said the cyber wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) will be responsible for checking negative propaganda on social media.

Additional input from Radio Pakistan.

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