State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry said that the recent episode of Faizabad protest was not a matter of ‘Khatam-e-Nabuwwat’ but a matter of ‘Khatam-e-Hukumat’.
Expressing reservations on military officials being part of an agreement between the government and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) to end the Faizabad sit-in, Talal said, “A uniformed officer should not have become part of a political agreement between the government and TLYR because doing so creates doubts about the impartiality of the institutions and threat of them becoming disputed creates,” BBC Urdu quoted him as saying.
When asked about Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officer Major General Faiz Hameed’s signature on the agreement, Talal said in an interview that it was acceptable for the purpose of ending the sit-in but its long-term impact on institutions will not be good. “You have to surrender sometimes, and on others, you need to have a dialogue with the party, in such cases presence of uniformed persons can trigger speculations on the impartiality of the institutions,” he added.
He also stated that all uniformed institutions – regardless of the colour of it – should remain impartial and avoid conflicts. “Only then can they work efficiently,” he added.
“In political issues or wherever there is a risk of their becoming disputed, they [uniformed personnel] should act according to law. When a role is played other than the legal requirement, there is a threat of dispute and conflict,” the PML-N leader said. He added that the sit-in by the religious parties had the same purpose as Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification campaign.
He suggested that the sit-in aimed to pressurise the government to hold early elections and reduce PML-N’s popularity. “The next part of the plan is to create hatred for PML-N among the voters from the Barelvi school of thought. But this move will also fail,” he added.
The minister also hinted that he thought there was a common enemy behind the protest, “The same thought process is behind the sit-in which was behind Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification. They want a leader who is not a real leader. These are people who think if a real leader becomes prime minister, their willfulness on internal security and foreign policy will not be successful.”
He said, however, this move will also fail as people have become more aware because of the media. “People can assess that those who use abusive language, cannot be religious leaders,” Talal said.