Mounting pressure: Imran Khan’s speech forces PM to cancel visit

Prime minister to stay in town to monitor talks with Taliban.


Arshad Shaheen/rizwan Asif January 20, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to stay in town to monitor talks with Taliban. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: The cancellation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Switzerland within hours of a scathing speech by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s speech in Haripur, criticising the PM’s foreign visits is being considered as an indication of the growing pressure mounted by PTI on the government.

Lamenting the prime minister, PTI Secretary General, Jahangir Tarin said that the Nawaz Administration was functioning without a plan and PTI was the only political party playing the role of a real opposition in the country.

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Tarin said that Imran Khan is increasing pressure on the government by pressing for talks with the Taliban with a clear stance that the war in which thousands of civilians and armed personnel lost their lives is not Pakistan’s war. He accused the premier of having no set policy on the talks with Taliban.

While addressing a rally in Haripur, the PTI chief took a swipe at the number of foreign trips the prime minister had undertaken since assuming office, “The country is on fire and Nawaz is visiting foreign countries one after the other,” he said.

Imran said, “If I were in place of Nawaz Sharif, I would personally lead talks with Taliban, instead of assigning the task to a minister.”

Within hours of the fiery speech by PTI chief, the PM cancelled a scheduled visit to Switzerland announcing that he will monitor the talks with Taliban rather than giving this responsibility to Chaudhry Nisar.

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Endorsing the negotiations, Tarin said that PTI supports the talks with Taliban but at the same time it strongly condemns the killing of innocent people.

Apart from mounting pressure on the government, the PTI chief has also pinned the government on the issue of rigging during the May 11 general election, and his demand for the thumb impressions verification in the four consistencies has turned into a dilemma for the government.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2014.

COMMENTS (27)

Israr | 7 years ago | Reply

This is how it should be done. Opposition has to play their constructive role and the Government need to heed. There is absolutely no shame in it for anyone. It is about doing the right thing.

Dr. Shahid Rajput | 7 years ago | Reply

Fantastic on part of Imran Khan and good for Nawaz Sharif too. It appears that they are learning slowly but surely. This is a First step in the History of Pakistan that the opposition started playing its role the way it should have done decades ago and also the Prime minister is responding to the positive criticism in a positive manner.

Now we can see a ray of hope in the politics of the country in a positive direction. lets hope there are more positive step taken in the like manner.

Thing is the we are already very late, Nawaz's govt must take drastic steps for the welfare of the nation before it becomes a history like that of PPP govt. Enough is enough, we have had enough of the lolly pops from the politicians. when will the politicians learn that they are to safe guard the interest of the country which they are ruling through the votes of the public?

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