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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.— File Photo
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.— File Photo

ISLAMABAD: It may just be a coincidence, but Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan will be out of the country when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be hosting a meeting of the heads of political parties to formulate a national security policy.

The absence of Mr Khan from the meeting will surely be noticed because the PTI has emerged as a major political force after the general elections and the party has been stressing the need for a national counter-terrorism strategy.

The PTI will be represented at the meeting by its vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Parvez Khattak, who is also the party’s secretary general.

Dr Shireen Mazari, the spokesperson for the party, said Mr Khan’s visit to the UK was scheduled before the government announced its plans to convene the meeting in the parliament house.

“The PTI chairman has an appointment for medical check-up which can’t be deferred,” she said.

Mr Khan, who is recuperating from a back injury he suffered due to a fall from a lift during an election rally, will be staying in London till July 24 where after medical check-up he will be spending some time with his sons.

Ms Mazari said the absence of Mr Khan from the meeting would not make any difference because, according to her, the government had nothing concrete to discuss at the meeting. She said that like previous such events, the proposed meeting would prove to be a futile exercise.

Before the government announced its plans to convene a meeting on national security, the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had demanded of the federal government to organise a meeting with the army chief so that something tangible on security issues could be discussed.

Two previous such meetings organised before the general elections by the Awami National Party and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl were boycotted by the PTI.

Ms Mazari said the PTI representatives would attend the proposed meeting and gauge the government’s seriousness in addressing the issue of militancy. The PTI would give its suggestions and see how this initiative was taken forward by the government, she added.

INTERIOR MINISTER: Talking to media personnel in his office on Thursday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani would be invited to the proposed meeting.

He said participants of the meeting would include the four chief ministers and heads of all law-enforcement agencies.

The minister said unlike previous such meetings, the government would seriously consider recommendations to be made by politicians in finalising the national security policy.

PTI MEETING: A meeting of the central executive committee of the PTI discussed the future strategy of the party. The meeting was presided over by Mr Khan. According to a press release, Mr Khan stressed the need for making the party more active, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan. Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, President Javed Hashmi, General Secretary Parvez Khattak, Additional Secretary General Saifullah Khan Niazi and Central Information Secretary Dr Mazari attend the meeting.

Comments (35) Closed

Talha Jul 06, 2013 06:37am

@PTI Fans, Mr. Khan's check-up is much more needed than our national security?? Hell Yeah! National security seems to be an everyday topi drama and our orator so-called leader is for real. Thumbs up!!!

AJ Jul 06, 2013 07:06am

It shows lack of seriousness on PTI's part. Imran should prefer Pakistan related national issues more than his privat visits which can always be rearranged. There is nothing which could stop him from rearranging a meeting/check-up with the doctors in London.

Saeed Jul 06, 2013 08:40am

Just imagineif Zardari went foriegn country for medical treatment . It will become crime of century for PTI.

bilal habib Jul 06, 2013 09:21am

If Mr Khan is intentionally evading this meeting, then it is highly disappointing for us. Medical check-up could be delayed for national interest.

NK Ali Jul 06, 2013 09:42am

Imran Khan does have a vertebral problem and can be represented by Dr. Shireen Mazari. Dr. Mazari understands the nature of security versus terrorism better than most of the bucolic politicians who merely want to be photographed. A replacement for S M Qureshi can be Mr. Asad Umer. Salams

emad Jul 06, 2013 10:01am

Imran Khan will continue to lose his support in masses because of his own dreamland, which comprise of Norway, Sweden, Switzerland not realizing this is Pakistan, people here have different genes, security is provincial subject so PTI should stop army moment there and if it is a federal issue let them handle it. Also do remember bring up a new force of police not a single person from old wreckage of police with new police you will bring a new hope to change in kpk. otherwise same old story of failure.

imtiaz Jul 06, 2013 10:45am

Khan has his own hospital which he doesn't trust for his own medical. Makes real sense.

Awais Qureshi Jul 06, 2013 10:59am

Khan can just criticise and talk. when it comes for being practical , he lags behind.

Sultan Alvi Jul 06, 2013 11:29am

What is happening to Fauzia Kasuri, does anybody know?

Gohar sher Jul 06, 2013 11:29am

Imran khan should re organise the party with great leaders to be selected within party who may plan properly at each level .i did not see complete control of Imran khan on policy of PTI as in first speech in National Assembly by Javed Hashmi to accept nawaz sharif as his leader .what a stupid policy.imran khan himself is a great human being.

Abdul Mateen Jul 06, 2013 12:53pm

I fail to understand how can one justify making this a headline news. PTI is being represented by Javed Hashmi rather than Imran Khan. So what?

Syed Hussain Akbari Jul 06, 2013 01:48pm

Mr.Khan also prefers to get the medical check up done outside Pakistan when every facility is available in this country. All theory what he spoke in his speeches. In any case his absence will not be felt as he is not being seen since the time of his taking oath. Specially among the politicians who cares for Pakistan !

gangadin Jul 06, 2013 02:05pm

Before the election there were some claims made by Mr. Khan that he could end terrorism in the first three months. What happened with that? His party is in control in KP.

Muhammad Jul 06, 2013 05:40pm

So it is more important to visit UK than to attend a meeting to formulate national security policy!! PTI has got its priorities wrong. All appointments can be re-arranged therefore this excuse of a medical check up appointment is a farce at best.

Salim Akbani Jul 06, 2013 06:28pm

Actions count. Meetings don't.

Pak Jul 06, 2013 06:50pm

Why can't they just open video conferencing bridge.

Dr Khan Jul 06, 2013 07:05pm

But Imran khan was saying that he would not go abroad for treatment? He cannot deffer his routine medical check up. This clearly indicates how superficial and flawed his anti terrorism stance is.

Abullah K. Niazi Jul 06, 2013 07:34pm

Zardari excused himself , went to France when the whole country was sinking in the drastic flood,people were drowning. IK has a genuine excuse but his absence makes a headline ! Dawn publication certainly knows how to sensationalize a news

Amir Cheema Jul 06, 2013 08:02pm

Imran Khan should attend the meeting. It will prove that he and his party are sincere and serious in resolving the most important issue facing the country which is the security. PTI should bring positive attitude and recommendations to resolve the crisis and not prejudge that Nawaz Sharif government is not serious on this issue. It is not about party politics but people's lives and future of the country depend on the decisions taken by the goverment and opposition. I am an overseas PTI supporter and I am sure that the doctors in UK will reschedule his medical check up in the next few days upon Mr Khan's request.

muzammil ullah khan Jul 06, 2013 09:08pm

Politicians will never agree on a national agenda . They will bicker and try to score points at the cost of Pakistan's future . If they are sincere, which I doubt, they should agree to launch a full scale and sustained assault on TTP and its supporters and the terrorists should be tried by military courts as the civilian courts dont have the guts to punish these scoundrels .

Enaam E. Hanid Jul 06, 2013 11:01pm

Yes, one's own health is more important than the national security. Imran has not mentally ready to accept any other person as PM since before elections he considered himself to be PM.

S. A. M. Jul 07, 2013 10:06am

To shy away from such thorny issues as dealing with terrorism will further errode Imran's populairty. At the time when his presence is needed the most he is planning to go to london for medical check up and to spend quality time with his sons. what difference remains between him and zardari when he chose to attend his son's convocation in UK when more than half of Pakistan was under water.

m Jul 07, 2013 06:27pm

MAlik: IK always behave like child, he don't know the national affairs, only raising slogans and abusing others is not a big thing which he does.... you will see KPK govt soon.

NASAH (USA) Jul 07, 2013 07:33pm

Imran Khan is under Dr. Mazari's prolonged care -- prospects of Imran's rapid recovery enabling him to attend the Anti Terror moot are rather remote.

Babar Jul 07, 2013 08:57pm

How can IK miss this important meeting? Medical checkup is just a lame excuse and all Pakistani politician present this excuse. Pakistan has all facilities for his checkup and he is already fit( Lift episode was a topi drama to gain sympathies). So Mr. IK be serious and resolve issues of KPK and present your case in this important meeting.

Sohail Jul 08, 2013 03:51am

The state of security is such where people with good knowledge is needed to attend the conference - it shouldn't be a political drama where heads participate to do NOTHING. Imran if not attending, is sending two of his best guys (Khattak aware of ground reality and Qureshi with a bit decent chunk of foreign affairs exposure), which may be more productive. Keep in mind a leader's job is to best utilize his team and be available when decisions need to be made - its just a beginning and they are not there where Imran's presence could be mandatory - just saying !!!!!!!

Fayyaz ur Rehman Khan Jul 08, 2013 12:30pm

When IK's visit to London was planned before the announcement of this meeting by Government, why such fuss??? The present government in its initial 30 days have not been able to control the poor law & order situation, drone attacks etc rather they have increased the petrol prices, GST and have gone to IMF begging for money. Can they be trusted??? Daily tens of people are being killed in Karachi and elsewhere in Pakistan, yet Prime Minister is boasting of his maiden trip to China. Mr. PM, we dont want your visits, we want results and safety of the citizens should be the top most priority. How can you even sleep Mr. PM when so many innocent people are being killed on a daily, regular basis, yet the killers are roaming free. NS can only hold meetings, actionwise he is ZERO.

pakistani Jul 08, 2013 01:24pm

@S. A. M. : there is a much difference between khan and zardari. khan is injured and what will happen if he will sometime with his children. no matter if khan is not attending APC but it is the matter that his party is going to attend it. his vision means his party vision.

pakistani Jul 08, 2013 01:27pm

@imtiaz: The main purpose of him to go UK is to meet with his sons. And his hospital is a cancer hospital.

Malikpur Janderbari Abbottabad Jul 08, 2013 03:19pm

Imran khan is running away from core issues, he IK can only use odd language for opponents, main purpsoe of going abroad is to meet jamima khan to change oil nothing else.,

Malikpur Janderbari Abbottabad Jul 08, 2013 03:23pm

Malikpur janderbari: Nonsense comments by Mr. Fayazurrehman khan; i am surprise people like you sitting abroad only passing judgement about elected governement. Nawaz Sharif is the only hope who can change the fate of country and we are confident he will do.... he is not IK to start abusing others he is a man of principals and actions. PTI need to focus on KPK where Pervez Khattat is doing an examplary job.. like use of helicopters for friends, nomination of entire family for assemblies, taking huge money for transfer postings, etc. keep it up...

SK Jul 08, 2013 04:56pm

@S. A. M. : I don't think it is an issue of shying away. IK was set to leave for London for a medical check up and meet his children well before the APC conference was announced. If the government was any serious with national security issues it should have convened the meeting after his return that is if it was genuine in taking all stakeholders aboard at all. it appears cosmetic and nothing would emerge from it as past APC. It should be noted that his trip was not a holiday trip. The critics need to see issues in proper light denail for the sake of denail will get this nation no where.

AR Jul 08, 2013 04:56pm

It is against the ethics for such meetings to be decided by only one participant. Such meetings are usually decided by mutual consultations. How the Goverment just announced a date without consulting all participants for such an important event?

Arshad Khan Jul 08, 2013 08:07pm

@NK Ali: Oh! I thought he was invertebrate.

G.Nabi Jul 08, 2013 08:50pm

What if IK is not there, Sun will rise from the east & set in the west as usual. This type of conference is for PR, nothing comes out of it. What do you want to discuss with talibans ? Sharia laws, shutting down girls schools etc ? Even if Americans agree to stop drone attacks, talibans will not desist from terrorism.