Talks not possible: Imran

Sher Ali Khalti
Sunday, Dec 04, 2022

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan on Saturday retracted his talks offer to the coalition government in the Centre, saying his message was misunderstood and it [talks] could not happen. In his video-link address to his party’s parliamentary members from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he said, “I tried to explain to them [coalition government in Centre] yesterday but a wrong message was conveyed.

“They misunderstood my message. What will we talk to them about? It cannot happen,” Khan clarified.

“What was their purpose of assuming charge of the government? To have their theft forgiven! General Musharraf gave them an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance],” the PTI chief reiterated.

For certain reasons, Imran Khan cancelled his Peshawar visit and addressed the PTI parliamentarians from his Zaman Park, Lahore residence, through video-link. He announced that the Punjab and KP assemblies would be dissolved in December. “We will dissolve the provincial assemblies this month and move towards elections. Our members should prepare themselves for polls. We will soon announce dissolution of the assemblies,” he said. The former premier said elections were crucial for the country, and not his party [PTI]. Even “if there is a delay in polls, it will benefit the PTI”, he added.

About the coalition partner of the PTI in Punjab and Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PMLQ)) leader, Imran Khan said Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi had given him the authority to dissolve the assembly. He said the coalition government in the Centre was trying to delay the elections in fear of a defeat, and regretted that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was towing the federal government’s line.

“The facilitators, who brought them don’t know where the country is heading. It is my prediction that they [incumbent rulers] will flee the country after pushing the country to the brink of destruction. The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders will leave the country and go abroad,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, Imran Khan condemned the ‘vengeful’ manner in which Senator Azam Swati was being treated. He said everyone should protest for the senator. “Azam Swati was tortured just for criticising [an army general] in a tweet,” added Imran. “The entire nation is shocked at the vindictive cruelty meted out to Azam Swati for using intemperate language and asking questions, which is the right of anyone in a democracy,” added Imran Khan.

Imran warned “if something happens to Swati, we will go after everyone responsible for arresting him”. He said what happened to the PTI senator was the highest level of oppression. “He was first beaten up in front of his grandchildren and then, on orders of Dirty Harry, he was stripped naked and tortured,” the PTI chief claimed, saying that any person would become angry if such a treatment was meted out to him. “And this anger would only increase if an objectionable video of yours was leaked; then one would only think about taking revenge.”

Imran said he would have become a suicide bomber had he been meted out the treatment like that.

He said people who took Swati to Quetta had turned Pakistan’s justice system into a joke. “I am once again saying this with great respect to the judiciary, if you won’t protect the rights [of people], then who will?”

Imran instructed all his party members and supporters to come out in protest for Swati. “Come out because this can happen to anyone in the country,” he stressed.

The former PM said he hoped the new military leadership would have “immediately disassociated” itself from the eight months of the previous army chief’s “action against the PTI”. He said internationally, Pakistan and especially “our military is being perceived increasingly negatively because the present imported government is seen as a mere puppet government”.