ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), after a day’s hiatus, has announced to resume talks with the ruling PML-N, Imran Khan on Friday did not look ready to compromise on his prime demand of prime minister’s resignation.
“We are political people and would talk with the government but PM Nawaz Sharif, do whatever you want, we will go from here only after getting your resignation as we have to build a new Pakistan,” Khan said while addressing his protest sit-in in front of the Parliament House.
PTI chief’s remarks came after an important meeting of the PTI core committee was held on a sunny Friday afternoon at the container-cum stage installed at the D-Chowk of the capital and it decided to resume talks with the government.
According to an insider, the meeting chaired by Imran Khan had a consensus view that the party should hold talks with the government to end the deadlock. But Khan in the meeting again pressed for the demand of PM’s resignation.
PTI, the other day, had announced to suspend its ongoing talks with the government saying the government had placed containers around the protest venue to stop the entry of its workers in the Red Zone and had started a crackdown against them. Though nascent talks had ended on an impasse, the government through backdoor efforts succeeded in wooing back the PTI to the negotiation table.
The charged crowd of Azadi March in front of the Parliament House responded with the slogans of ‘Go Nawaz Go’ when PTI Vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi asked the marchers that he was going to meet the government team. “I am going to negotiate, I am going with preparation, I am going to represent you, what will be your message that I should convey,” Qureshi said and he got answer ‘Go Nawaz Go’.
On Friday early night, Khan addressing the crowd said he would not compromise on his demand of resignation of PM Nawaz Sharif and re-election come what may. He said that protests had started in other parts of the country and the people were watching this protest on big TV screen there.
PTI chief said as long as people would come in the assemblies through rigging, the country would not move ahead. “Our future lies in transparent election,” he said, adding they could prove how last elections were rigged. He said if the government was sure that elections were not rigged then why it was not ready for re-election.
He offered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to get Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly dissolved, asking him to get dissolved the National Assembly for re-election. He said if someone would say that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly elections were not transparent, he would ask CM Pervez Khattak to dissolve the assembly.
The government says if ‘our’ demands would be met then any crowd like this could demand re-election by crying rigging, chairman PTI said. He asked all the political parties including PML-N, PPP and ANP to gather a crowd in Peshawar and even if a fraction of that crowd would march towards Islamabad, he would be ready for re-election, as they were sure that they would get more seats in fresh elections. “You hold re-elections in the rest of Pakistan, I will hold re-elections in KP but empires should be neutral,” Imran said while addressing the prime minister.
He said the federal government was not ready for re-e-election because he had no business in KP, he had got no construction contracts, no recruitments were made there out of merit and no close relatives were appointed at high posts in KP. “And whenever they get power, their rule and business go together,” he said, adding that this was why they were afraid of giving up the rule. “They foresee ruination of their business and accountability.“
Khan claimed that they would bring reforms in police in ‘New Pakistan’ like that of KP police and bring the police and civil service out of political influence. “We have to provide health and education to the masses and end the culture of bribery and bring rule of law,” he said. He censured the government for blocking roads leading to the Red Zone and said; these containers will not deter this crowd.
Reading from a piece of paper, Imran gave details of various constituencies and the number of votes that turned out to be bogus. He alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had published fake ballot papers through private printing press. The PTI chief, who has been criticised by MPs during the ongoing National Assembly session for his abusive words particularly against the PM, justified the diction of his addresses saying the rulers deserved this due to their deeds.
He asked his supporters not to waste time and join his protest. “The real power rests with people as they decide the destiny of the nation and the nation that does not stand for its rights has no future,” he said, asking his follower to raise their voice against injustice and tyranny. He congratulated his crowd for what he said they have stood for justice.
He again asked his supporters not to pay utility bills and taxes as part of the civil disobedience movement. “We will not pay bills and taxes as long as you will not say farewell to us,” he told the PM. Late night, rain brought relief to the protesters who faced hot sun during previous two days.