Imran ‘open to talks’ with PDM if polls announced

Published August 13, 2022
PTI chief Imran Khan speaks during the ‘Independence Diamond Jubilee Special’ session on Zoom on Friday.  — Photo courtesy PTI Twitter
PTI chief Imran Khan speaks during the ‘Independence Diamond Jubilee Special’ session on Zoom on Friday. — Photo courtesy PTI Twitter

ISLAMABAD: In a dep­a­r­ture from his traditional stance that he would never negotiate with the ‘crooks and looters’ currently in power, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Friday the doors of negotiations were always open, even with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

“We are ready to talk to PDM on everything after they announce the date for the fresh elections,” he said, claiming that the PDM leadership was “confused” as due to their falling popularity they didn’t want snap polls.

Amid speculations that he may be disqualified for life under Article 62 (1)(f) in light of the Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases against him, ostensibly to pave the way for the return of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif to national politics, the former prime minister said he would not cut any deals to this effect.

He made these remarks on Friday during the ‘Independence Diamond Jubilee Special’ session on Zoom, which was attended by journalists and celebrities among others.

PTI chief admits Gill made ‘objectionable’ statement, deplores ban on news channel

In response to a question, Mr Khan said efforts were underway for a “technical knockout” and added that references in the Tosha­khana case and prohibited funding case were part of a ‘Plan C’ to remove him from the political scene.

According to Mr Khan, these cases will be dismissed in courts as they contained “nothing substantial”.

“However, the Sword of Damocles is hanging over my head,” he added.

“They are trying that after the propaganda which may result in a ban [on Imran from politics] they will offer a deal that if the ban on Imran Khan is to be removed, then similar treatment should be extended to Nawaz Sharif as well. It is a bargain like that,” Mr Khan told the participants of the Zoom session.

He said that his cases and Nawaz’s cases were not similar, but a deal was still being sought. “I have not made a deal, nor will I cut one,” the PTI chief said, terming the rumoured deal an ‘NRO-2’ for Mr Sharif. He added that the “conspiracy” to sideline him will eventually harm the country.

In response to a question regarding another extension to the chief of army staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Imran Khan said that appointments in the military, including that of the military chief, should be made on merit. “We should strive for merit in the army so that best officers could rise through the ranks,” he added.

The PTI chief, while talking about a ban on ARY News, said the tv channel was banned not because of the comments made by his chief of staff Shahbaz Gill, but because it was an attempt to stifle the voices supporting him. He admitted that a sentence uttered by Mr Gill during the TV show was “absolutely objectionable” but banning the news outlet over the PTI leader’s remarks still did not make sense.

About the resurgence of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, Mr Khan feared it looked like a plan to “destabilise” his party’s government in the province. He, however, warned about the fallout of the move.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
Updated 25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

Dar will now be expected by his party to conjure up fiscal space for the govt to start spending ahead of the next elections.
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...
Post-flood economy
Updated 24 Sep, 2022

Post-flood economy

WITH a third of the country — especially Sindh and Balochistan — under water, over 33m people displaced, and...
Panadol shortage
24 Sep, 2022

Panadol shortage

FROM headaches to fever to bodily pain — paracetamol is used ubiquitously in Pakistan as the go-to remedy for most...
Star-struck cops
24 Sep, 2022

Star-struck cops

IN this age of selfies and social media, it is easy to get carried away in the presence of famous people, even if ...