KARACHI: Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui said that the sit-ins by Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) have not only brought economic loss to the country but the country’s image has also been tarnished internationally.
Speaking at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday, Siddiqui said that both the leaders, Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri, have encouraged political polarisation in the country. “They are spreading hatred. They have divided even the media groups,” he said.
He said that the country has lost $6 billion because of the sit-ins in Islamabad going on for the last 40 days. “But the irreversible loss is our distorting image globally. What kind of change it meant?” he questioned.
Siddiqui, who was visiting KPC for the first time, said the government won’t use power against PTI and PAT, adding that the door of dialogue is always open for them.
He clarified that the reforms in the election commission will certainly take place. “Changes will come through the parliament not from Shahra-e-Dastoor.” He hoped that the next general elections will be fair and transparent after reforms.
Comparing the charter of democracy (CoD) with PTI and PAT top leadership’s meeting in London, PM’s special assistant declared the latter as charter of destruction. “Why the nation was not informed about the meeting? The CoD is the historical document in the history of Pakistan after 1973 Constitution.”
“What common agenda you both have?” he asked and said that both the leaders have different directions. “Can you tell the nation who is behind you? Can you dare to share the details of the meeting in London?” Siddiqui said that he along with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan held a meeting with Imran Khan at his residence in Islamabad on March 13. “We discussed different issues except rigging,” he claimed. “What happened after four months? Why you didn’t discuss it before?”
He complained that the government has continued dialogue process but the PTI and PAT leadership have not skipped public address even for a single day.
Siddiqui said that Qadri wants to make the reform committee as supreme, adding that the PAT leaders wanted separate budget for it. “It is the major reason of deadlock,” he disclosed.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2014.