ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) abstained from the multi-party meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired in Karachi on the law and order situation obtaining there.
A press statement issued by the party’s central media secretariat in Islamabad quoted Imran Khan as saying:
“PTI was unable to participate in the meeting on Karachi’s security chaired by the prime minister because the leadership was not informed directly which would have enabled the party to send proper representation.”
However, PTI stood committed to working for peace and order in Karachi with all forces committed to achieving this, it added.
No further explanation was given in the statement whether PTI leadership wasn’t at all invited to the meeting or a message had been sent to some low-level party office-bearer.
It’s strange that the PTI, which has four members in the Sindh assembly, was missing from the meeting to which everybody who matters in Karachi was invited to give his or her input.
The information secretary of the party, Dr Shireen Mazari, wasn’t available for comments. Talking to a private TV channel, a spokesman for the PTI from Karachi, said the party wasn’t invited in an ‘honourable way’. He too failed to justify his party’s absence from the huddle.
Later, however, it emerged that organisers of the meeting from the PML-N’s Sindh chapter did forward an invitation to the PTI leadership in Karachi, but the invitation was only for the party’s elected members of the Sindh assembly, or Dr Arif Alvi, its lone member of the National Assembly from Karachi city.
None of them was present in the city. That’s why PTI’s Sindh chapter offered to send somebody else, but the move couldn’t be materialised in the end. As a result PTI, despite being part of the Sindh assembly, couldn’t give its suggestions which the prime minister was seeking from a cross-section of politico-religious parties of the city on his government’s proposed plan to rid the metropolis of criminal elements.
Meanwhile, the PTI spin doctors used the occasion to highlight how the party chief viewed the Karachi situation.
Quoting Mr Khan, a statement said he expressed grave concerns over the problems confronting the city of lights. Mr Khan said: “The successive governments have failed because they neither had the capability nor the political will to tackle and resolve these issues.”
According to the PTI chairman, the time has come to address the problems through a fresh and revolutionary approach. The PTI is prepared to give substantive proposals in this regard provided the government is willing to muster a resolute political will, leaving aside ‘political compulsions’ and tackling the problems with determination.
Amongst the proposals PTI has included: Depoliticisation of the police and de-weaponisation of city plus an immediate end to the militant wings of the political parties. This will include the implementation of the SC judgment calling for the same. All this requires strict implementation of the rule of law.