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PTI chairman Imran Khan.—Online Photo
PTI chairman Imran Khan.—Online Photo

ISLAMABAD: Worried over militant attacks on its lawmakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PTI-led provincial government has decided to have a meeting with the army chief to work out a national strategy on terrorism.

At a gathering also attended by KP Chief Minister Parvez Khattak here on Sunday, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said the provincial government would write to the army chief through the Prime Minister’s Office in a day or two to seek a meeting with General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Mr Khan called for “all national forces” to sit together to hammer out a strategy to deal with terrorism.

Over the last three weeks the PTI has lost its two members of the KP Assembly to attacks claimed by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

“On its own, the KP can do nothing against terrorism. This is a national issue which demands a national-level response. Hence we are seeking a meeting with the prime minister and the chief of the army staff to discuss a national strategy on terrorism,” said Mr Khan at the convention of his party’s Punjab chapter. The entire leadership of the PTI and its office-bearers from 36 districts of Punjab attended the convention.

In his first public speech after his May 7 fall off a forklift during an election rally in Lahore, the PTI chairman – who still needs a month or so to become fully fit – reiterated his call for reaching a “political settlement” with the Taliban.

Referring to a statement of General Nick Carter, deputy commander of Nato-led coalition in Afghanistan, in which he said that the West should have entered into talks with the Afghan Taliban 10 years ago, Mr Khan said: “This is what I have been calling for the past nine to ten years.”

He said while a political settlement was required to end violence in Fata and other tribal areas, a different strategy was needed to control the law and order problem in Karachi and sectarian attacks.

The PTI would give its input to the federal government and the army during the proposed meeting, he said.

When contacted, a staff member of the Prime Minister’s Office said a response to the KP government’s letter would be given after it was delivered to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The federal government, he added, had already declared its intention to hammer out a national security policy and sought input from all political parties.

About the local government elections, which the PTI in its campaign had announced would be its top priority, Mr Khan said the poll process had been delayed because of his injury and reiterated that KP would soon have local governments in place. The provincial government, he added, had decided to use biometric system in the local bodies elections.

Mr Khan asked the PTI workers from Punjab to get ready for a similar exercise in their province because after installation of local governments in KP, other provincial governments would have no option but to follow suit.

He announced a raft of measures the KP government would take in coming days to improve governance. For example, he said, the provincial government would promulgate a 'right to services act’ under which if a department failed to facilitate the masses within a certain period of time, it would be fined, while on providing timely service the employees would be paid bonuses.

ELECTRICITY CRISIS: The PTI chief was hopeful that after completion of new projects in five years, KP would not only be able to meet its own electricity needs but would also supply power to other provinces.

In a few months, he said, people would know about the PTI’s plans to tap new resources to produce electricity. “We will…[be] such a model to other provincial governments…of governance that people throughout the country will vote for us in next elections,” Mr Khan announced amid cheers.

He said the party had filed a petition with the Supreme Court for a thorough investigation into the poll rigging in four constituencies for which the PTI would press after Ramazan and even launch a protest campaign if needed.

Mr Khan said the PTI had accepted election results but wanted to know how the polls (in certain constituencies) had been rigged, adding the party had enough evidence to substantiate its claim in the court.

Admitting that the PTI was not fully prepared to go into elections because of its intra-party polls which instead of the three months as planned had extended to 11 months, he said that next time “we will go into elections with complete preparation”.

Mr Khan also admitted mistakes in awarding party tickets and picking candidates for seats reserved for women and said such mistakes would not be repeated.

Comments (8) Closed

jg Jul 01, 2013 07:17am

stop blaming US for your follies.accept TTP as enemy of the state and probably then army would think of wasting their precious time with you. till the time you act as spokemen of TTP, no security apparatus would like to sit with PTI.

shakeel Jul 01, 2013 08:08am

i dont know why nawaz sharif is still silent on this issue, i think we are now used to this terrorism,its a shame, how difficult it is for a prime minister to conduct a meeting on such an important issue? i think we must chose our direction now before it gets too late, we are already late, imran is right, we have been failing in this battle cause we never fought it like our own battle. just declare TTP publicly Terrorists. we only say it in news papers. its the duty of nawaz sharif to address the nation in national assembly and declare TTP terrorist. and who ever will support them in any way in any part of Pakistan will also be declared as terrorist.

G.A. Jul 01, 2013 08:18am

All the parties and the army need to join forces against these militants. That is only way to defeat them. Hunt them down throughout Pakistan and burn all the poppy farms to kill their income.

malick Jul 01, 2013 08:43am

COAS should grant a time up to Sepetember 2013 to federal, KPK and Balochistan govts including JUIF to hold dialogue with TTP as PM, IK and JUIF leaders insist for this. If some positive result are achieved and terrorism is controlled more time can be given. In case these dialogue failed and no hope of controlling terrorism than military should take the control of KPK and Balochistan, without listening these politicians.

Dawar Naqvi Jul 01, 2013 09:18am

Shame on You, Imran Khan You always said no army action against extremists or Taliban and today when your own government is in danger you want Army involvement. Member of Assembly were killed by Taliban all over the country, especially in Karachi but your support always for Taliban. You said Table Talk, Table Talk, Table Talk, where are your table now? Is it SOLD?

malole Jul 01, 2013 09:38am

And the new strategy will be ' It is not our war. it is amricas war. Stop drones. Let terrorists do whatever they please'.

nadeem khan Jul 01, 2013 09:52am

Imran khan should negotiate and surrender kp.

athar Jul 01, 2013 03:52pm

What a shame to Imran the PTI leader. He says that political dialogue with Taliban but for Karachi situation it should be different strategy. Can you (Imran) describe about your strategy? Pl stop this discrimination against the Karachi. Karachities are feeding the whole nation & the hate rate towards Karachi is unacceptable to this city residents. Every political leader, the whole media weather is it generalist, column writers or TV Anchors all have negative attitude towards the Karachi and the reason for this because they do not exists politically in Karachi.