Lashing out at PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, Interior Minister Sh Rashid Thursday cautioned opposition leaders for uttering ‘irresponsible’ statements against state institutions. A day ago, Maryam Nawaz had held a fiery press conference prior to the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as the new chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence. Sh Rashid said that by giving such blistering, irresponsible statements, the opposition is only adding to its difficulties. He said transfers, promotions and postings in the armed forces are a routine occurrence and ‘targeting sensitive department is the height of irresponsibility’. “People represent departments and you do not become a corps commander in a day. You have to spend a lifetime performing duties [in tough situations] in mountains, rivers, and deserts,” he maintained. Reacting to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s earlier statement on reconciling with the PML-N’s opponents for maintaining the rule of law in the country, the interior minister said the “ship has sailed”. Speaking about the NAB ordinance approved by the prime minister, he said it was a “legal step taken to remove objections raised by people and the business community.” He said it was a “calculated step” by the government, reiterating that it had been taken to facilitate people. When asked why he was kept out of the loop on the government’s discussions with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Sh Rashid said it was Pakistan’s wish that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for subversive activities. “No talks, as per my knowledge, have taken place yet [between the government and the TTP],” he stated. Speaking about the General Elections 2023, he said only two years are left in the government’s constitutional tenure, adding it plans to spend the six months of its rule in electioneering. However, he predicted that a ‘new alignment between the PPP and the PML-N’ would emerge for the next elections. “I am Imran Khan’s companion; I came with him and will also go with him,” he added. In response to a question, Sh Rashid said it has been proven that India had a hand in New Zealand’s last-minute withdrawal from Pakistan. “I am saying this to you after a thorough verification. The security personnel that we deployed for the New Zealand team were more in number than the soldiers in their army.” He said 8,000 security personnel were deployed to keep the New Zealand team safe while “they [New Zealand Army] are only 7,800 in number”. Sheikh Rashid said Pakistan would continue aid to Afghanistan, without caving under any pressure from the rest of the world. “They (Afghans) are our brothers, and they are our neighbours,” Ahmed said, adding that as had been clarified by Prime Minister Imran Khan, once the world moves towards making a decision on Afghanistan, Pakistan would follow suit. Sheikh Rashid said that an inquiry would be conducted against all those mentioned in the Pandora Papers, and stern action would be taken against those found guilty of any wrongdoing, under the orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan.