Imran Khan's arrest would cause severe public backlash, says President Alvi

President encourages both sides to engage in dialogue, says Imran not averse to talks

Our Correspondent January 26, 2023
President Arif Alvi pictured during his interview. SCREENGRAB


President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said that the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan would lead to a severe public reaction.

The president’s statement comes after reports that the former premier may be arrested, following which, crowds of PTI workers reached his residence to protect him.

Talking to the media, President Alvi stated that the ongoing situation would worsen with Imran's arrest, and the move should be avoided because severe public backlash would follow. Alvi maintained that the “minus-one formula” had never succeeded in Pakistan.

The president stated that the PTI had not discussed the matter of party leader Fawad Chaudhry’s arrest with him, and added that relevant authorities should be ashamed of how Fawad was handcuffed.

President Alvi furthered that in the realm of political cooperation, no progress was made by the incumbent government in negotiations in the past month and a half.

“There are no negotiations at any level at this time,” he said, adding that Imran Khan was not averse to talks. Alvi maintained that he held the government responsible for the lack of negotiations.

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The president also stated that he had no contact with the establishment and that the army had said it did not want to interfere in politics.

Alvi stressed that currently, Pakistan needed its politicians to conduct dialogue and fill gaps themselves and that the two sides could at least talk about general elections, if not early polls.

He furthered that the statements of Fawad and other PTI leaders evidently showed that talks should be held.

Commenting on the potential vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Alvi said that he did not believe that the current premier would lose a vote of confidence in the National Assembly.

He also detailed that he held talks with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar but not the prime minister.

Additionally, the president claimed that Pakistan would not default.


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