August 14 faceoff: Too late for talks, Imran tells govt

PTI chief visits Bannu, assures IDPs that K-P government won’t abandon them.

Agencies July 28, 2014


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan ruled out negotiations with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz after acknowledging that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had accepted his party’s demands, saying the offer had come too late.

“Now we’ll meet on August 14,” he emphatically said, while speaking exclusively with Express News from Bannu on Monday, where he is celebrating Eidul Fitr with the displaced families.

“If the police or the army fire a bullet on any of the participants, the case will be registered against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” he added. The army should be impartial and it should not support the government, the PTI chief said. He was referring to PTI’s Azadi March to be held on Independence Day in Islamabad.

“Dr Tahirul Qadri can join us but we are not ready to accept his call for a revolution,” he said while referring to the Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief.

He criticised the government but added that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is the only person in the ruling PML-N who is not a ‘yes man’ and the doors of PTI are always open for him.

Meanwhile, Imran announced that he will challenge the government’s decision to invoke Article 245 of the Constitution and calling in the army to assist the police for the maintenance of law and order in the federal capital.

After meeting with the IDPs, he assured them that the PTI and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government will not abandon them during these trying times and will support them all the way. He also decried the decision of Punjab and Sindh governments of not allowing the IDPs in their provinces.

He promised the displaced families that he will do whatever is possible to facilitate them.

K-P Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak also wanted to celebrate Eidul Fitr with his party chief, Imran Khan, at the IDP camp in Bannu. However, Imran directed him to spend the Eid in Nowshera, which is his constituency. Imran said the PTI leadership should equally share the Eid festivities with the Waziristan IDPs and the people of K-P. The chief minister spent the first day of Eid at his hometown of Manki Sharif, in Nowshera. He will travel to Peshawar on Tuesday to spend the next two days of Eid there.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.

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