Govt will not turn blind eye to protesters’ inciteful statements: Fawad


KARACHI: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday warned that the government would not turn a blind eye to, nor forget, the inciteful speeches made by religiopolitical leaders during protests against the acquittal of Asia Bibi last week.
While addressing a press conference in Karachi, Fawad Chaudhry said that no one should have the impression that the government will forgive this behaviour. “The impression that this government is weak will be removed as we take further action” he added.
“The way that our people’s property was damaged, the way that judges of the top court, the Pakistan Army and the government were ─ the kind of speeches that were made, the government will not ignore or forget them,” Chaudhry asserted.
“Although the issue was resolved via a strategy, we will not forget the people who were involved,” he said.
“This is not a matter of religion, it is related to rebellion. Should the state ignore mutiny? The credibility of a state that ignores rebellion is questionable. Therefore, we cannot turn a blind eye to it.”
“The way the Constitution, the people, the political leadership, the military and judiciary were held in contempt, it is unlikely that we will forgive it,” he added.
“We’ve seen that being in government has its challenges. Dealing with those challenges is our day-to-day responsibility. There are people who sit ‘outside’ [the government] who think they can give all the solutions, but the choices that are available to you are not so broad,” he explained.
“What was happening was before you: hundreds of people were shutting down streets. The government had two options: we could have used state powers, but there was a fear that damage would be incurred, and if that happened, then we would have been criticised and questioned as to why we did it. So we did ‘firefighting’,” he said, using a word he employed earlier to refer to damage control.
“This doesn’t mean that any Pakistani or the government can approve the conduct that was witnessed here. This was firefighting. We reopened the cities without any damage. But this is not a solution.”


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