Govt mocks PTI for meeting US envoy

Federal ministers quip Imran said ‘Absolutely not’ to deals in past

Our Correspondent May 10, 2024
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.—Photo: File


Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar on Thursday took a jibe at the PTI, saying that those who had said “Absolutely not” in the past – meaning they had ruled out reaching any agreement -- were now meeting the US ambassador.

They were referring to the recent parleys between PTI leaders Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, Asad Qaiser and Raoof Hasan with US Ambassador Donald Blome – all after the party’s founding chairman, Imran Khan, in the recent past held the Americans responsible for his ouster from power as well as ruled out striking any deal for his release from jail.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Asif said last year’s May 9 was the darkest day in the history of the country.

“Those responsible for the May 9 violence should be punished and held accountable,” he added.
“The nation should be aware of the facts as well.”

On May 9, 2023, the law enforcement agencies arrested Imran for the first time in connection with a corruption case, triggering violent protests in many parts of the county in which the military’s installations were attacked.

Denouncing these attacks, the minister pointed out that the armed forces as well as the civil law enforcement agencies were fighting a war for the country’s survival and rendering sacrifices every day in the ongoing battle with terrorism.

He added that an attempt was made to violate the honour and sanctity of an institution on May 9 as part of a nefarious plan.

Read JIT finds Imran ‘mastermind’ of May 9 riots

Asif continued that the PTI was involved in the events of May 9 last year.

“The May 9 conspiracy links back to 2014.”

Asif regretted that the rioters did even set ablaze the memorial of martyrs.

“Even India honoured Captain Sher Khan Shaheed.”

Asif accused the PTI for making the army chief's appointment controversial even though the move was the sole prerogative of the premier.

Asif further said today everyone in the PTI was sitting as a “chairman” in their own house.

He pointed out that Imran had orchestrated a new narrative of “Absolutely not” and “No to slavery".

However, he continued that PTI leaders were meeting with the US ambassador and hiring lobbyists to convince the Americans to give relief to the party.

Deriding the PTI slogan of "Khan Nahi to Pakistan Nahi" (No Pakistan without [Imran] Khan), the minister said the country was not hinging on the personality of an individual but was created after millions of people rendered sacrifices.

Responding to media queries, Asif said political parties must engage in a process of dialogue with each other. He added that a state institution had decided to stay away from politics then it should not be dragged into it by any party.

Speaking on the occasion, Tarar said the judiciary had been requested to take the May 9 cases to their logical conclusion.

 “Is there any reason why the courts should not continue to [do that]?” he asked, adding that there was enough evidence available in these cases.

"It’s even clear who entered various buildings and who stood outside giving instructions.”

The minister maintained that the three sisters of the PTI founding chairman were involved in the May 9 mayhem.

“Why didn’t anyone file a case against them?”

Replying to a query, he noted that the PML-N leaders were subjected to various atrocities during their time in jail during the PTI’s rule.

He added that in comparison, Imran had been provided with every possible facility in jail including an exercise cycle, walking gallery and chicken in meals.

(With input from APP)


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ