No talks, govt tells Imran

Sunday, May 28, 2023

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s talks offer to the coalition government was strongly rejected by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) supremo Nawaz Sharif, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, PPP Minister for Poverty Alleviation Shazia Marri and others on Saturday.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) ruling coalition leaders said in their separate statements that talks could never be held with a foreign agent, who robbed the nation of its hard-earned money of Rs60 billion, and who stole all gifts from Toshakhana.

PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif said no talks would be held with “the group of terrorists and saboteurs who burnt the memorials of martyrs and set the country on fire.” He was apparently referring to May 9 rioters, who he deemed terrorists. The former premier said discussions are held only with politicians.

Marriyum Aurangzeb outright ruled out any talks with the former premier, saying that talks could not be held with those who attacked the state institutions. In a statement issued here, she said Imran Khan was not appealing for negotiations but, in fact, seeking an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] deal for himself.

Taking a jibe at the PTI chief, she said the foreign agent, who committed a robbery of Rs60 billion, would be brought to justice. She said talks could not be held with those who attacked sensitive installations and buildings and desecrated the memorials of martyrs and Ghazis.

How talks could be held with those who damaged symbols of national pride including General Headquarters, those who attacked ambulances, hospitals and schools and were involved in vandalism.

Marriyum said talks could not be held with those who poisoned the minds of the youth. She said that negotiations could not be held with the leaders of criminals and terrorists. She said while his party crumbled like a castle of sand, Imran was pleading for talks, recalling how electables were brought in planes to join the PTI in the past.

Marriyum said the parties not formed on any political ideology were disintegrated like the PTI. The entire leadership of the PMLN, including Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, and Maryam Nawaz, spent hundreds of days in jails and detention centres, she said adding that they faced false cases but stood firm and finally emerged victorious.

She said Imran Khan had refused to negotiate with his political opponents on the economy, Kashmir and security issues. Imran was not ready to sit with the opposition parties on critical issues like the coronavirus pandemic and the FATF issue, she recalled.

She added that dialogue could not be held with those who set the country on fire, create chaos and anarchy, fills the minds of masses with hatred, and harbour armed groups.

Also, Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Security and PPP Information Secretary Shazia Marri termed the PTI chairman’s offer for talks “gimmick and drama”. In a statement, she said it was pretentious to talk about negotiations after everything had been done on May 9.

“Undemocratic thinking and dictatorial behaviour have pushed Imran Niazi to a dead end, and on his instructions, miscreants attacked the GHQ and Jinnah House. Imran Niazi himself is responsible for today’s situation,” she added.

Marri said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was trying to hold talks between political parties and had formed a team of senior leaders for the purpose. She said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had himself visited Maulana Fazlur Rahman. But Imran Khan sabotaged the efforts of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto for dialogue among political parties.

She said the events of May 9 had shown that Imran Khan had been drowned by arrogance and had not allowed the PTI to become a political party. Imran Khan kept his children safe in London while inciting the children of the nation to anti-Pakistan activities, she added.