Expressing concerns over the deteriorating law and order situation in the federal capital, PTI chairman Imran Khan and Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq insisted that instead of launching an armed operation the government should have tried to reach a solution through dialogue.
On Saturday police and Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel conducted an operation against the protesters camped out on Faizabad Interchange for the past three weeks.
The cricketer-turned-politician said the matter of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) finality was a sensitive issue for every Muslim. However, he urged the participants of the protest to remain peaceful.
Explore the chain of events that led up to Faizabad riots
He also criticised the government for failing to release the contents of the investigation report that was prepared by a probe team headed by Raja Zafarul Haq to identify those responsible for the introduction of a controversial amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat declaration for electoral candidates.
“Why wasn’t Raja Zafar-ul-Haq Committee’s report made public despite admitting the mistake,” he said.
Moreover, PTI leader Jahangir Tareen held Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal responsible for the law and order situation and said that the minister should accept failure and tender his resignation.
Dialogue instead of force
Sirajul Haq expressed his disapproval over the use of force against the protesters. “The government’s decision to use force against the sit-in has complicated the situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, MQM leader Farooq Sattar claimed that the operation against Faizabad protesters was “inevitable”. The government should have taken all parties into confidence before initiating it, he added.
Pakistan People’s Party has not issued an official statement yet; however, party leader Nafisa Shah in a tweet criticised the authorities for blocking news channels and social media networks across the country and urged the government to “focus” on “establishing its writ”.
Awami National Party (ANP) leader Afrasiab Khattak apparently criticised the army chief’s suggestion to the prime minister telling him to avoid “violence from both sides”.
Without naming the army chief, Khattak claimed that treating “fanatic rioters” that were deemed terrorists by the Islamabad High Court as a “legitimate party” would lead to “fragmentation of state” and give more power to “terrorists”.