LAHORE: Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal Saturday said that he can, but he would not seek criminal charges against PTI supporters who heckled him last night at a restaurant, as women and children were part of the group.

Iqbal, during a press conference in Lahore today, blamed PTI Chairman Imran Khan for introducing the “culture of hatred”.

On Friday night, the planning minister was heckled by some pro-PTI supporters at the restaurant. The visuals of the incident, circulating online, show women and teenagers chanting slogans against the government and hurling abuses at the minister.

During the press conference today, the planning minister said the “disease of extremism and hatred” in society was hollowing out Pakistan like “cancer”.

“Khan’s politics is promoting hatred and if we don’t discourage such acts, the situation will worsen,” he warned.

Addressing PTI supporters, he urged them to carefully consider if their leader was as sincere to them as they were to him. “Imran has a track record of using people and throwing them away like tissue paper,” he claimed.

“Since over a decade, Khan has been running his ‘chor’ campaign, however, he could not even prove a single allegation during the four years he was in power,” he said, adding that it is the responsibility of a politician to train their workers; however, Khan has failed to do so.

“I think Khan needs a psychologist,” he asserted.

Last night, the planning minister took to his Twitter handle and condemned the incident that took place with him at the famous fast food joint.

He wrote: “Today, a family — who apparently considered themselves elites and supported PTI — clashed with me.”

“Instead of holding a dialogue with me they started chanting slogans,” he wrote, adding that as a counter-attack, other people present at the restaurant also started chanting slogans against the PTI.

Criticising Khan for instilling hatred among people, Iqbal wrote: “Just like their ignorant and lunatic leader, his supporters are following suit.”

Retweeting a condemnation tweet, the planning minister further added: “These people, who claim to be literates, are actually ignorant and fascist just like the followers of Hitler.”

“We are neither going to get intimidated by them nor we would surrender because of them,” he wrote, adding that such people are the moving proof of PTI’s “mental bankruptcy”.

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