ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Monday slammed Rangers after it took control of the federal judicial complex on the hearing of former premier Nawaz Sharif and denied entry to ministers, lawyers and media.

The former premier along with ministers and supporters today reached the court to attend the hearing of three references filed by the NAB.

Ahead of the hearing, strict measures have been taken for the security and a heavy contingent was deployed around the judicial complex. Later, the Rangers suddenly took control of the complex and only allowed Nawaz Sharif and his lawyers to go inside the court.

After Rangers barred its administrative head, the Interior Minister, from entering the court, Iqbal lost his temper and said that closed trials are only conducted during the days of martial law, adding that courts are open spaces where supporters and lawyers of parties could enter.

Talking to media, the minister said that civil administration had not given any directions regarding the deployment of Rangers, adding that the chief commissioner informed him that Rangers troops have taken control of the court suddenly.

He clarified that a “state within state” will not be acceptable adding that Rangers are bound to follow the instruction of the civil administration.

Saying “I cannot be a puppet interior minister,” he added that stern action will be taken against the persons involved in it.

He also threatened to resign from his post.

Scolding an assistant commissioner, the interior minister said: “It is a constitutional republic not a banana republic”.