Imran slams Nawaz for 'lying' about army mediation request

Updated August 29, 2014


Imran Khan addresses supporters during an anti-government protest in front of the Parliament in Islamabad on August 27, 2014. — Photo by AFP
Imran Khan addresses supporters during an anti-government protest in front of the Parliament in Islamabad on August 27, 2014. — Photo by AFP
PAT chief Tahirul Qadri — AFP File Photo
PAT chief Tahirul Qadri — AFP File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Echoing Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said his party had not asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to involve the Army to broker a settlement with the government.

In multiple speeches today, Imran said the premier had lied to parliament. He pointed to DG ISPR Asim Bajwa's Twitter update as proof.

The PTI chief categorically rejected the premier's speech in the National Assembly while addressing his supporters. He said the party had told the army chief that it did not repose any trust in the premier.

"How can a judicial commission be successful if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is in power," Khan questioned, while referring to the commission that will be formed to investigate irregularities in the May 2013 elections.

The PTI chief said that Nawaz Sharif had, without any remorse or fear, destroyed the country. Khan maintained that Nawaz will have to step down at any cost.

Khan said those sitting in the Parliament were trying to protect poll rigging from coming to the forefront.

Qadri again extends deadline on ‘PTI’s appeal’

Following a speech by PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in which he urged PAT sit-inners to show restraint and extend their deadline to the government by a day, Dr Tahirul Qadri extended by at least a day the deadline he had given to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government.

He vowed not to end their anti-government movement without achieving desired results.

“Leadership of both PTI and PAT is answerable to their marchers … and we have to show our supporters what we achieved through these protests,” he said.

Terming the government’s initiative of calling Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to mediate between the two sides its failure, the fiery cleric said it was likely that the desired outcome is achieved by tomorrow (Saturday) evening.

After asking his supporters to decide for themselves whether they want to revolt against the government straightaway or to wait for one more day, Qadri announced that the people’s parliament has decided to stay put for now.

He then ended his fourth speech of the day by asking the protesters to wait for his next directions.

Imran announces protest demonstrations in major cities

Speaking to participants of PTI’s anti-government sit-in at Constitution Avenue for the third time today, Imran Khan announced to hold protest demonstration in all major cities of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan on Saturday.

He also said that a future course of action with regard to his party’s ongoing protest movement would be announced tomorrow as well.

'Lying to the whole nation'

Speaking shortly after the National Assembly session where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said they have involved the army at the behest of protesting parties, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri said the government had “lied to the whole nation”. Later, speaking to his supporters, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan also denied that the PTI had invoked the army's help to mediate with the government.

“I am not well, but I heard them and came out immediately. They have deceived the nation; they lied on the floor of the national assembly. It is pitiful that this is Pakistan Parliament,” said the PAT chief today.

He addressed Nawaz as the “so-called prime minister who has come with a fake mandate” and said he wants to clarify the incorrect information given by both PML-N leaders.

“The government and PM say they did not request the army to act as mediator in this crisis. This is a lie,” he said.

"They requested it. We do not know when they met. But the request to the army chief and army to resolve this issue as mediator came from the prime minister and incumbent government."

The PAT chief said he came to know about the role of the army in negotiations through the media.

Rejecting the statements of the prime minister and Nisar that PAT approached the army to find a solution to the crisis, he said, “I have never spoken to the army chief before in my life. I saw him for the first time [last night].”

Shedding light on his meeting with the army chief, Qadri said that Imran Khan met with the chief separately, and then the he and Imran met with him together for a brief period.

"Our [PAT's] agenda was comprehensive... PM resigning, dissolution of govt and that is why our meeting took more than three hours."

He said that he found the army chief a ‘man of word and commitment’. "He befits his job."