Islamabad: Pakistan’s government asked former Prime Minister Imran Khan to postpone his planned protest on Saturday, citing the threat of terror attacks.
“Anti-state elements like Al-Qaida/Daesh, TTP and radicalised youth of TLP can take advantage of soft targets like public gatherings to destabilize the country through suicide attacks, IEDs, etc.,” the Interior Ministry said in a letter to Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, referring to local branches of the Taliban and Daesh (ISIS) and a local radical religious party. “It is, therefore, once again requested that the security situation prevailing in the country may be kept in view and PTI leadership may consider the possibility of postponing public gatherings like the one planned in Rawalpindi on Nov. 26.”
The federal Interior Ministry on Wednesday shared with the media copies of the letter, in which it said it expects the provincial government to provide security for the rally in Rawalpindi. A representative for the PTI didn’t immediately reply to a call and text message seeking comment.
The Rawalpindi protest would be Khan’s first appearance at a public rally since he was shot in the leg when an assailant opened fire at a previous protest site. Khan has blamed - without providing proof - premier Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and an official from the country’s spy agency for the attempt on his life. They deny the charges.