ISLAMABAD: Reiterating his party’s stance on peace talks with militants, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday said that an offensive in North Waziristan would unite militant forces against the Pakistani state.
"Conducting such a military operation when most of the groups in NWA want talks is suicidal," Imran said in a statement, adding that most groups in North Waziristan desire peace talks with the government.
He also criticised the US Congress' move to link aid to a military offensive in North Waziristan, terming the move as an effort by the US to “purchase” the government’s favour to carry out a military operation in the tribal region.
“The government must reject this US move and inform the national political leadership of the status of the dialogue mandated by the APC,” urged the PTI chief.
“The government must ensure that those seeking dialogue are separated from those continuing to carry out acts of terror and to isolate the latter so action can be taken against them,” he added.
Khan said that if a military operation is to be conducted, the government “must first explain what happened to the dialogue”.
“It must also ensure that all civilians are evacuated from the area of the operation,” said the PTI chairman.
Earlier, PTI leader Shireen Mazari condemned the recent US drone strikes in North Waziristan that killed a key Haqqani network commander along with members of the Afghan Taliban.