ISLAMABAD - In response to the remarks passed by Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed the other day, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in a tit-for-tat manner, alleged on Monday that it was the PML-N which had links with banned and militant organisations.

PTI Central Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari said the government was politicising the anti-terrorism courts by getting non-bailable arrest warrants for politicians issued from them. She said if anti-terrorism laws were used for political purposes, they would lose their credibility and significance.

She made these remarks during a press conference in response to Sunday’s press briefing of Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed. The minister had accused PTI of collaborating with terrorist groups to create law and order situation at its November 30 rally. He had said the government had credible information that PTI had hired some terrorist groups to create lawlessness in the capital.

“Pervaiz Rasheed showed doctored videos. Today, I will also show you some videos showing PML-N’s links with former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and some banned organisations in the past,” Dr Mazari said.

Showing videos and photographs of some PML-N workers attacking the Supreme Court building and meetings of banned outfit Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat leader Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah, Dr Mazari urged the international community to take notice of it. “After 9/11, Pakistan is signatory to UN International Conventions against Terrorism which say that sympathisers of militant organisations would be considered as their supporters. I ask the international community to force PML-N to abide by these conventions,” she said.

Dr Mazari also mentioned a news story accusing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of paying $10 million to former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden to overthrow the PPP government during its first term. Referring to another news interview, she said, “Former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed had disclosed that Nawaz Sharif wanted to topple Benazir Bhutto’s government and was willing to pay Osama. Qazi had said Osama was a big supporter of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and Nawaz Sharif was its president at that time,” she said. The former JI chief had disclosed that Osama wanted to buy parliamentarians to topple the Benazir Bhutto government and bring Nawaz Sharif into power.

The PTI information secretary said Imran Khan had supported the operation Zarb-e-Azb and the fresh allegations of the federal information minister in this regard were wrong. “The government has made a mockery of anti-terrorism laws,” she said. “The government is getting arrest warrants for the politicians issued from the courts established to try terrorists,” she said, adding the government was bent upon damaging the image of these anti-terror courts. “The government is using state institutions politically and undermining anti-terrorism laws,” she said.

She rejected the allegation that PTI was involved in the Pakistan Television (PTV) attack case. She said Imran had not only condemned the attack on PTV but also announced from his container that anybody found involved in the attack on the state-owned television building would be no more in the party.

Showing another video, she said PML-N workers had attacked a police station in Islamabad in July 2011 and got PML-N MNA Anjum Aqil Khan released from the police custody. “We want to make it clear who introduced culture of attacking the state institutions,” she said and asked Pervaiz Rasheed to see who was sitting with the terrorists.

The PTI information secretary said that one of his workers injured in firing by PML-N men in Jhelum on Sunday had expired, adding a murder case would be got registered against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Later, some media reports said the injured worker was alive.

She rejected the allegation of the federal information minister that PTI was promoting culture of terrorism. Referring to the news stories and photographs, she said, “Now it should be clear to everyone who had links with the terrorists.”

While answering several questions, Dr Mazari said PTI was not responsible for any action of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). “PTI is a non-violent party and that has also been conveyed to Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and you will see the difference from his speeches next time,” she said. She said police were free to arrest Imran Khan as he was not hiding anywhere.

Dr Mazari also said that PTI would identify those media persons who got money as bribes from the government and did not generally level this allegation against all journalist community. She said if the government used violence to stop PTI workers from taking out the November 30 rally, they would not sit silent.