ISLAMABAD: PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday said the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan could not be eliminated without the backing of Afghanistan government.
He said the issue of terrorism cannot be solved without stable diplomatic ties with the government in Afghanistan. He made these remarks while addressing a press conference alongside other PTI leaders, including Hammad Azhar, Shahbaz Gill and Ali Nawaz Awan.
“Only using [military] force would further complicate the issue,” he said, adding that terrorists carry out attacks in Pakistan and then escape to Afghanistan.
He also claimed there was no terrorism during his party’s government from 2018 to 2022 because former prime minister Imran Khan believed in non-military solution to the Afghanistan issue.
Mr Chaudhry, who serves as PTI vice president, said at a time when the country was grieving the victims of Peshawar blast, the government was busy taking revenge from the opposition. He referred to the case made against former PTI MNA Shandana Gulzar and the arrests of ex-interior minister Sheikh Rashid and journalist Imran Riaz Khan.
Mr Chaudhry said the PTI government had succeeded in curbing terrorism effectively and no major terrorist attack took place.
This was despite the fact that the region was passing through a major transitional period as the US troops were withdrawing from Afghanistan, added Mr Chaudhry.
He added that ex-PM Khan knew the leadership of Afghanistan and was cognisant to the fact that war was not the solution. “So, he launched an initiative which was widely welcomed and peace was restored in the country.”
“We brought the country back to tourism from terrorism within nine months,” he added.
Commenting on the polls to be held for Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, Mr Chaudhry warned the caretaker setups in the two provinces to refrain from delaying tactics.
He said the two governors must hold polls within three months. He warned the Punjab and KP governors of action under Article 6 on the Constitution if polls were delayed.
He said if elections were not held within 90 days, there would be no government and martial law would be enforced automatically.
Mr Azhar said the IMF team was currently in Pakistan and ceding to the lender’s demand would result in hyperinflation.
“The country needs stability at this time because political stability is directly proportional to the economic stability,” said Mr Azhar, who briefly served as the finance minster during the previous government.
Talking about the return of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, Mr Gill stated she returned to dent the PTI but instead cracks have emerged within her own party.
He claimed PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has resigned from his position as senior vice president of the party and Miftah Ismail would soon follow the suit.
Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2023
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