Negotiations only if govt willing to dissolve assemblies now, says Imran

ISLAMABAD, April 28 : Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Friday that negotiations with the government will only go forward if they are willing to dissolve the National Assembly and hold elections forthwith.

The PTI chief made these remarks as he spoke informally with journalists ahead of his hearing at the Islamabad High Court (HC) where he was seeking protective bail in a sedition case.

A day earlier, after months of political bickering, the ruling coalition and PTI leaders sat across the table for talks — the first formal interaction since the removal of former prime minister Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence in April last year.

Notably, the talks rekindled hopes for breaking the ongoing political and constitutional impasse in the country.

Today, while sitting next to two of the three members representing the PTI in the negotiations, Fawad Chaudhry and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Imran said that, “I have told both of them to only go forward with the talks if the government is willing to dissolve the assembly immediately and hold elections.”

“If they bring up holding elections in September or October again, then there is no need for negotiations,” he said, maintaining that now “the ball is in the government’s court”.

“If they want to hold elections on the same date, then they should,” said Imran as he urged the government heed to the PTI’s demand for dissolving the assembly.

Imran also denied his party’s involvement in any attempts to sabotage the talks saying “there was no such statement from our side”.

When asked by a journalist if there was a chance the PTI might return to the national and provincial assemblies and end their boycott, Imran retorted if there even was a Constitution in place.

“They [the rival parties] want to break the Constitution but we stand by it,” he continued, “we are standing by rule of law and they are committing contempt of court”.

Imran stressed that “if elections are not held on May 14, then it would be a breach of the Constitution”, fearing that if that were to happen then “whoever is powerful will have their way”.

The PTI chief also censured former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa for having “imposed a band of thieves” on the country.

He also spoke of a controversy  initiated after a journalist made revelations concerning Gen Bajwa’s off-record claims of Pakistan’s unpreparedness in combat.

“I know more things than that, but this is a national security issue,” said Imran.

“I don’t want any international news to be made that would harm the country,” he added.

The IHC extended the PTI chief’s protective bail until May 3 in a case filed over charges of inciting mutiny.

Earlier today, Imran sought relief from the IHC, requesting the court to dismiss the case as he claimed that the allegations were politically motivated and part of an attempt to tarnish his image.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq presided over the proceedings where Advocate General Islamabad Jahangir Jadoon objected to the case being heard the same day as it was filed.

AGI Jadoon then requested the court to direct Imran to join the investigation, which was granted.

IHC CJ Farooq approved Imran’s bail until May 3 against the submission of surety bonds worth Rs100,000 and ordered him to become part of the investigation.

Simultaneously, notices were issued o the police and the federation seeking arguments on whether the IHC alone has the authority to grant permanent bail to Imran. The deadline for submitting their written responses is also May 3.

No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *