ISLAMABAD, Oct 27: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has decided to use its majority in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to put pressure on the federal government to initiate talks with Taliban.
In a closed-door meeting in Islamabad on Saturday, the PTI core committee asked KP Chief Minister Parvez Khattak to take a tough stand while seeking a time-frame from the federal government for talks with the militants, an insider told Dawn.
The meeting, presided over by Imran Khan, discussed several options for mounting pressure on the federal government for holding result-oriented talks with the Taliban as directed by the Sept 9 all-party conference. One of the options, which received majority support, was to table a resolution in the provincial assembly, urging the federal government to take concrete steps for holding the talks and also getting drone attacks stopped. In case of the government’s failure to do so, the resolution warned it of stopping Nato supplies to and from Afghanistan.
Mr Khattak said after the meeting on Saturday that the provincial government would cut Nato supply lines if the federal government did not get the drone attacks stopped and failed to initiate talks with the militants.
The PTI insider told Dawn that the decision to table the resolution had been taken because the provincial government had suffered a lot because of the federal government’s indecisiveness.
“The PTI and other political parties have given a clear mandate to the PML-N government for a peaceful resolution of the issue of militancy in tribal areas. Day in and day out people of KP are suffering because of inaction on the part of the federal government. We are accountable to our people who have voted us to power and we can’t keep watching their sufferings silently,” he said.
Besides scores of innocent people, he said, the PTI had lost its three lawmakers, including a provincial minister.
Since the APC, the PTI leadership has been pushing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to ensure implementation of its unanimous resolution. Other opposition parties, notably the PPP, have also criticised the government’s inaction.
In the 124-member KP assembly, the PTI leads with 46 members. Jamaat-i-Islami, which has eight members and is part of the coalition government, has supported Mr Khattak’s proposal of cutting Nato supply lines to pressurise the federal government and the US on the issue of drone attacks.
JI leader Munawar Hassan praised the PTI decision and said it would force the US to review its drones policy.
Pakistan cut off the supply routes for Nato troops in Afghanistan in Nov 2011 after the US forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at a boarder post. Later in July 2012, supply routes were reopened after the US authorities regretted the killings.
Meanwhile, the federal government has decided to take all political parties into confidence on the status of its reported off-the-record contacts with Taliban.