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Pakistan’s ruling coalition refuses Imran Khan’s offer of talks

Pakistan’s ruling coalition refuses Imran Khan’s offer of talks


Islamabad: Pakistan’s ruling coalition has rejected former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer of dialogue, saying talks were held with politicians and not terrorists, a news outlet reported on Sunday.

The government also said that Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader was himself seeking a National Reconciliation Order (NRO), the Express Tribune newspaper reported.

The development came as Khan assembled a seven-member team to hold talks with the government – to develop consensus on a date for the general election – amid a massive crackdown on his party.

The crackdown launched after the violent May 9 protests plunged the PTI into a deep existential crisis with dozens of key party leaders jumping ship every day.

Prominent leaders who have left the party include general secretary Asad Umar, senior leader Fawad Chaudhry and former minister Shireen Mazari.

On May 9, violent protests erupted after paramilitary Rangers arrested Khan at the High Court premises in Islamabad. Members of his party vandalized a dozen military installations, including the corps commander’s house in Lahore, Mianwali air base and the ISI building in Faisalabad in response to Khan’s arrest.

The crowd also stormed the Army Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi for the first time.

Thousands of Khan’s supporters have been arrested following the violence that the mighty military has called a dark day in the country’s history.

Responding to the offer of talks, the supreme leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Nawaz Sharif, took to Twitter to say talks were only held with politicians. .

“There will be no talks with a group of terrorists and saboteurs who are burning the martyrs’ memorials and setting the country on fire,” he said.

In a statement, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said: Those who attack the state are punished; they are not negotiated with them.

She claimed that Khan’s call for talks is a call for a National Reconciliation Order (NRO).

While in power, Khan has often said that former military leader Pervez Musharraf ended criminal charges against leaders of various parties, including the PML-N and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), through of the NRO, but that he would not give any NRO to the looters.

Marriyum said holding talks with those who desecrated the martyrs’ memorials is a “desecration of the martyrs”.

She said Khan wanted talks after burning down ambulances, hospitals and schools and poisoning the minds of young people, adding there would be no talks with him.

“Imran called for talks as his party leaders abandoned him en masse,” he said.

She reminded Khan that he had not spoken with the opposition on the economy, Kashmir, national security issues, Covid-19 and the FATF issue, but he is now calling for talks.

Declaring himself a foreign agent and thief of Toshakhana, the Minister of Information said that negotiations were not taking place with those who allegedly looted Rs 60 billion because such a person is brought before the court and not at the negotiating table.

Poverty Alleviation Minister Shazia Marri, who belongs to the PPP, said Khan was responsible for the situation that arose after May 9. She said talking about talks now was nothing but eyewash.

The minister said mobs attacked Jinnah House in Lahore and GHQ in Rawalpindi on Khan’s orders. He keeps his children in the safety of London but incites the nation’s children to commit anti-state acts, she said.

Marri recalled that the PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the country’s foreign minister, tried to bring the political parties to the negotiating table and put together a team of senior leaders for the negotiations with the political parties. Imran, however, sabotaged Bilawal’s efforts.

She said Khan’s arrogance led to his downfall, regretting that the former prime minister did not allow the PTI to become a political party.

“Talking about negotiations after everything has been done is pretentious,” she says.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) spokesman Hafiz Hamdullah also called Khan the mastermind behind the May 9 attacks. He said targeting military installations was tantamount to waging war against the state.

A rebel, he says, is not negotiated but deserves severe punishment.

Hamdullah, while predicting prison will be Khan Khan’s destination, said it was time for him to be held accountable. “Khan’s call for talks is nothing but a joke,” he added.





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