Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan on Tuesday cast doubts over the mechanism for appointing an interim prime minister and reignited fears that the ruling party and the opposition were working out an underhand agreement on the issue.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, PTI Chairman Imran Khan asked the government to take all political parties into confidence before finalising the final name for the interim prime minister. “All political actors should be consulted for caretaker arrangements for holding free and fair elections in the country,” said PTI chairman.
“I’m afraid the PPP and the PML-N will cut an underhand deal on this important matter,” he said. According to the PTI leader, both the rival parties were close to clinching a deal on an interim set-up without consulting other political players.
He also expressed serious concerns over the government’s apparent attempts to delay general elections in the country. “We strongly oppose any attempt to delay or suspend general elections in the country,” the PTI chief said. In response to a question, Imran said the ruling regime is afraid of PTI’s rising popularity among the masses and hence wants to go to the elections through special arrangements.
Waziristan peace march
Imran Khan announced that he would hold the much-hyped PTI peace march to South Waziristan on October 6. The march is seen as the first-ever practical step by a political party to engage the war-hit tribal people in dialogue. According to him, it is the only viable solution to give an end to the ongoing “US waged” war on terror. “We have only one option…that is to engage tribal people in negotiations,” Imran said.
He also strongly opposed the proposed army operation in North Waziristan and said that any new adventure in the region would undermine the country’s security at large. PTI would broker “peace treaties” with the local people to restore peace in the region, he added.
Comprehending the humming of some “internationally hatched conspiracy” behind the recent killings of Shia community in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, Imran Khan said apparently there were no divisions among various Muslim sects living in the area but some “foreign hands” were involved in the unrest.
It has also bolstered sectarian divides in the country that is resulting in ever-increasing incidents of targeted killings of Shias. “During my visit to Gilgit-Baltistan, I found a sense of insecurity among Shia Muslims. They are afraid. And the same is the case with Balochistan,” Imran remarked.
Legal notice to PML-N leader Khawaja Asif
Imran Khan said his party has served notice to PML-N leader Khawaja Asif for baseless allegations of corruption in Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.