Islamabad mall fire ‘case of political victimisation’ against AJK PM, claims minister

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister’s special assistant on Monday said that they fear the inferno in the popular Islamabad shopping mall, which is owned by AJK PM Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, is a case of “political victimisation”.

A fire broke out in the food court of a popular shopping mall in Islamabad Sunday, but was quickly brought “under control” out as authorities scrambled to rescue.

The building, under the orders of the deputy commissioner, was sealed after the completion of rescue operation, Islamabad police said. 

It added that the mall’s building would remain sealed until a probe into the matter has been carried out. Until then, entry into the building would remain prohibited to the public.

“It is feared that [federal government] is doing political victimisation in the light of the political situation,” the AJK PM’s aide said while referring to the conflict between the centre and PTI, which has government in the regional area.

He claimed that the federal government “wants to make it a bigger incident than Model Town fire”, accusing PM Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah of involvement in the mall fire.

Meanwhile, AJK Food Minister Ali Shan warned that they will stage a sit-in if the mall is not reopened.

“We don’t want to politicise the matter nor are we doing that,” the minister said that they have come to express solidarity with the AJK premier.