ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday advised Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to abandon its campaign of sit-ins and invited it to the negotiating table following the rejection of this brand of politics by an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis.
The remarks came during a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
According to sources, PM Nawaz said Imran’s party will have “to give up the dharna (sit-in) on the roads and come and sit across the negotiating table”.
“The container group’s plan C and plan D will also fail like A and B and die their own death,” the PM said during a discussion on the national political situation with his younger brother at their Jati Umra residence in Raiwind.
He claimed that some elements were hatching conspiracies against the elected government. But he said forces working on an anti- democracy and anti-constitution agenda have been exposed before the people, according to sources.
If PTI supporters are so concerned about the plight of the masses, they should raise these issues in parliament, the prime minister said.
During the meeting, issues relating to national politics, economy, PTI agitation and its impact, development schemes in Punjab and other matters of importance were discussed.
The Punjab chief minister said that the provincial government has eased the conditions for acquiring loans under the self-employment scheme and extended the last date for applications.
PM Nawaz lauding the Punjab government schemes said that provincial government should facilitate the masses with regard to a record cut in fuel prices.
According to a news channel, the premier and Punjab CM also decided to resume talks with PTI. Shahbaz Sharif said that agitations and sit-ins will have to end and the protesting parties will have to come to the negotiating table. “The country cannot bear any more agitation and confrontation,” he said.
Call of concern
“How can we resume talks in this aggressive environment?” asked Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid soon after the PTI chairman threatened to shut down all major cities if the government does not resolve the issue of polls fraud.
“Dialogue could not be resumed until [PTI chairman] Khan sahib gives up his anti-state conspiracy,” said the information minister.
“If PTI’s top leadership is really sincere about restarting negotiations, then first they will have to sit down in parliament,” he added.
“Imran Khan has consumed all options he is looking for a safe exit now,” he told The Express Tribune. Before coming to ‘Plan C’, the PTI should have to tell the people that ‘Plan A and B’ have been completely failed, argued the minister.
“How can the government allow Imran to shut down businesses in the major cities as the PTI has already paralysed business activities in Pakistan?” questioned the information minister. We cannot dictate the courts hearing PTI’s petition seeking probe into election fraud, he explained.
Interestingly, SAFRON Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch told the media that the government was considering writing to the Supreme Court about forming a judicial commission. As the proposed judicial commission probes the rigging charges, he voiced hope that the PTI would accept the judicial commission inquiry report and avoid humiliating the judiciary, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2014.