ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has wished for a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani before holding the All Parties Conference (APC) to know about Pakistan’s understanding with the United States on the issue of drone strikes and counter-terrorism.
“I again want to put forward my request for a closed door meeting (with Sharif and Kayani) to ascertain all the facts before a more public APC is held to formulate a holistic counter terror policy premised on facts, and not mere political rhetoric once again,” Khan said in a statement on Thursday.
Khan said that it was imperative for the present government to inform the political leaders about the nature of their understanding with the US.
“Is the IMF package part of the understanding with Pakistan in the War on Terror?” Khan asked.
He said that the people also wanted to know whether the military was on the same page as the civilian leadership, because no dialogue on counter terrorism can proceed successfully without this clarification.
“It is essential to know why the Interior Minister was 'shocked' to make this discovery. I therefore request for a closed door meeting to precede any APC,” Khan said.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali stated last month that the entire security apparatus along with security agencies had failed to curb terrorism in Balochistan.
The reason for the requested meeting was to simply get to the truth about the government and the military’s prevailing commitment with the US on its war on terror and drone attacks and the position of Intelligence Agencies on sectarian terrorism, Khan added.
“I realised that perhaps the facts cannot be stated in a large open forum like an APC because of national security, but at the same time it is essential for the political leaders to be apprised of these facts regarding the extent of the commitments still given to the US as well as the reasons behind the continuing sectarian terrorism.”
He said that the government has been refusing to take political leaders into confidence and have out rightly lied to the people.
This leads to truth coming out in leaked bits of news, either through Wikileaks and books written by US authors, as happened in the case of President Zardari’s covert assent to drones; or in statements like the one from Asfandyar Wali stating the US did not want the Awami National Party (ANP) to have a peace deal with the Swat Taliban, after the Swat military operation, he said.
On failure of the government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he said that the province was bearing the brunt of the terror attacks.
He said that the provincial government could not effectively deal with the law and order situation and terrorism unless all major stakeholders were on board, he said.
The PTI Chairman said that three APCs had already taken place but since the previous government had continuously lied to Parliament and the people on the understanding with the US, nothing had been achieved beyond rhetoric encompassed resolutions that were discarded almost as soon as they were written.
The PTI Chairman had previously asked for a meeting between Premier Sharif and General Kayani two months ago.