ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday urged the government to hold a closed-door meeting with Army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani prior to holding an all parties conference (APC) to formulate a counter-terrorism policy.
Khan, who is the chief of the ruling party in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said it was imperative to get facts on the table regarding the government and military’s understanding with the US on war on terror and drone attacks and the position of the intelligence organisations on sectarian terrorism.
Khan said the closed-door session between himself, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Army chief should precede a public forum such as the APC
“Facts cannot be stated in a large open forum like an APC because of national security, but at the same time, it is essential for the political leaders to be apprised of these facts,” said the PTI chief.
The PTI chief said it was important to first bring the military on board as the Pakistani Taliban have also stated that dialogue would only be worthwhile if the military was also on the same page.
He also said that it was imperative that the government explain the nature of its understanding with the US.
“Is the IMF package part of the understanding on Pakistan remaining in the war on terror, for instance? We also need to know whether the military is on the same page as the civilian leadership, because without this clarity no dialogue or any other kind of agreement on counter terrorism can proceed successfully.”
He said Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, which is bearing the brunt of the terror attacks, cannot effectively deal with the law and order situation unless all the major Pakistani stakeholders are on board.
The closed-door meeting is important “to ascertain all the facts before a more public APC is held to formulate a holistic counter terror policy premised on facts on the ground, not mere political rhetoric once again,” he said in the statement issued by the PTI secretariat.
“Until talks are not held on the basis of truth, peace cannot be established in the country,” he added.