ISLAMABAD - PTI Chairman Imran Khan has rejected the offer of dialogue extended to him by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying that ‘now negotiations will only be held after August 14 march’.
Addressing the participants of National Security Conference on Saturday, the PM once again invited Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leadership to sit across the table to resolve the issues within the parameters of constitution.
In his address at the PM House to the participants of the moot he strongly rejected what he said country's march on road to progress and prosperity in the name of revolution. He said in the face of enormous challenges facing the country the political forces need to stand together to foil the internal and external conspiracies against the country.
The conference was attended by heads and representatives of almost all major political parties in the National Assembly and the military leadership. PTI leadership had boycotted the meeting and Imran Khan had also stopped Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Pervaiz Khattak from participating in the meeting.
Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif too could not attend the meeting because their plane could not take off from Lahore due to bad weather. One of the members in attendance of the meeting informed The Nation that Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah in a lighter vein pointed out the absence of Nisar and Shahbaz in this very important meeting.
Seeing no justification of 'Azadi March' just after his government's one year in power Premier Sharif once again extended invitation to PTI chief Imran Khan to sit across the table, saying that government would look for some way out for his demands including the recounting of votes in some 10 constituencies, which were conveyed to him through Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Sirajul Haq.
Without wasting any time over talks offer, Imran said Nawaz used the National Security Conference for political purpose and made a political statement. He said there would be no dialogue on any issue with the govt including recounting in 10 constituencies. He vowed that whatever the government would do, tsunami of PTI workers would flood Islamabad. He invited all the political parties to join the Azadi March asking them not to stand on both sides of the wicket.
Sending a strong message to PM Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan said that it was now a struggle for democracy and against monarchy. He said the Sharifs' attempts to stifle democracy and disrupt the whole country by closing major transportation arteries, petrol stations and means of public transport will not work. He said Nawaz Sharif's attempt to exploit an issue of national security for mere political purposes and photo op has proven that PTI's boycott of this farcical conference was absolutely correct.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz in address said, "It is time to leave behind the politics of vendetta and join hands to for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan." He invited the political leadership hoping that the opposition would act positively at a time when the country was passing through a critical juncture with operation Zarb-e-Azb going on in North Waziristan to eliminate extremist and the terrorists. He also recalled his meetings with the political leadership across the spectrum and said that they had all assured him support for the continuity of system and democracy.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting informed The Nation that mainly the conference was focused on security matters and in question-answer session no political question was made to Premier by any of the participants and most of the questions were related to the military operation in NWA. These sources further said that the conference was earlier scheduled for August 4 but was deferred due to the visit of Chief of Army Staff to Australia.
In his opening remarks Nawaz Sahrif also said Pakistan today was facing several challenges on all fronts and no conspiracies could be allowed at this stage. He said after year-long efforts, a turnaround in the economy was being witnessed, Moody's has changed the country's ratings from negative to stable, and lately it also upgraded the ratings of five national banks of Pakistan. He said China has approved, with loans, 14 power projects for immediate execution in Pakistan that would generate 10,400MW of electricity.
The PM said a new beginning has been made after the 2013 general election and his party accepted the mandate of all other parties with an open-heart, and had no objection when they desired to form their own govts in respective provinces. "We accepted their mandate. We have good working relationship with the provincial govts and are sincerely cooperating with them... Any political party that needs to survive must learn how to work together."
He was also appreciative of the role of opposition and said they also wanted the system to work, without any confrontation as the country was facing several challenges that need to be urgently addressed. The prime minister also recalled a previously held All Parties Conference with an almost identical agenda of strategizing the elimination of terrorism from the country.
IMRAN PREDICTS FRESH POLLS IN DECEMBER
Imran Khan has predicted that fresh general elections would be held in December this year.
Talking to a private TV channel, he said Nawaz Sharif has deceived him several times and this time he would not trust him. To a query, he said he would disclose all his demands at D-Chowk to be presented to the govt.
He asserted he himself would lead the Azadi March and sit with the common people. He said if anything happened to him, the PTI workers would not leave Sharif family and end their monarchy.
Imran said the political parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami, and the people should decide whether they want monarchy of Sharif family or democracy.
He said PTI would hold its core committee meeting on Sunday (today) and he would disclose the names of those involved in the May 2013 rigging at a press conference on Monday.
The PTI chairman said it would also be revealed at the press conference how the polls were rigged. He claimed the present government is not enjoying the masses’ mandate, adding they don’t accept the bogus mandate. That was the reason for PTI’s boycotting the National Security Council’s meeting.