PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) nominated chief minister for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Pervaiz Khattak on Friday said his party will hold negotiations with the Taliban in a bid to restore peace and stability in the region.
“We have no fight with the Taliban nor are we against anyone,” Khattak said while addressing a press conference accompanied by PTI Provincial President Asad Qaiser at the Officers Mess.
Adhering to the party’s anti-corruption rhetoric, Khattak pledged to eradicate corruption and bring the bureaucracy under strict scrutiny. “Corruption is a curse and we will not tolerate it in our government. Reforms in the existing system will be carried out within the next three months.”
He also announced a community police system would be introduced in the province to manage law and order and create a favourable relation between the police and the masses. Talking about “unnecessary” police checkpoints in the city, Khattak said he would seek a report from the police department regarding the performance of these checkpoints over the past year.
He claimed the PTI would make an exemplary government in K-P where justice would be served to all without any discrimination.
Brushing aside Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) claims of setting up a coalition government in K-P, Khattak said: “There is no truth in Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s statements. The public has given the mandate to PTI. Our coalition partners along with independent candidates are on the same page and will foil any attempts aimed at ruining the public’s mandate.” He added PTI currently enjoys the support of 65 MPAs.
In response to a question about a consensus regarding allocation of ministries and portfolios among coalition partners, Khattak said PTI had no concerns about grabbing high slots, it just intended to serve the public.
He promised the PTI-led government will take all possible measures for the establishment of sustainable peace and introduce developmental measures in education, health and social sectors. “Efforts would be taken to revive the war-shattered economy and to promote industrialisation in K-P,” stressed Khattak, adding the PTI would work tirelessly to fulfil the expectations of its voters.
Showing support for the PTI’s policies, independent candidate from PK-61 Kohistan-I Abdul Haq Khan formally announced he would be joining PTI.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2013.