ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Friday declined to spare time for a farewell meeting with outgoing US Ambassador Cameron Munter, citing pressing engagements and a full calendar, The News has learnt.
According to sources, Imran was not happy about the statement made by the outgoing US envoy, who claimed in a recent interview that the PTI leader had pledged his full support to the United States. Following the report, Imran Khan immediately clarified his position and asserted that his party based its policies on Pakistani interests, which was why the PTI was opposed to the war on terror in the region and averse to the reopening of Nato supply routes.
When contacted, however, PTI Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood was unavailable to comment on the latest development.Earlier in the day, Imran Khan addressed reporters at the launching ceremony of the PTI Sports and Cultural Wing, and asserted that a fresh general election was the only way to save the current grim national scenario, while the incumbent rulers’ only concern was to save President Asif Ali Zardari’s Rs600 million securely deposited in foreign accounts.
Imran Khan told reporters that the rulers had agreed on an NRO arrangement, and had now enacted the contempt law simply to hide the president’s corruption. He also emphasised that instead of wasting time and energy in saving and ousting prime ministers, midterm elections ought to be held immediately.
“Whenever there is a talk of the rule of law and adherence to the Constitution, the corrupt rulers try to create fear of military rule imposition in Pakistan,” he opined. Referring to the recent speech made by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Imran Khan welcomed a statement in which the top judge had categorically declared that Pakistan could not afford to take any unconstitutional step. He castigated the politicians for their corrupt practices and said talented dacoits were on a rampage in the country, looting the poor and shifting their assets and castles abroad, therein referring to President Zardari’s “Surrey Mahal”.
In response to a question about increasing incidents of terrorism in the country, Imran Khan claimed it was the result of Pakistan’s support in the US war on terror: “In order to purge Pakistan and the region of terrorism, we will have to come out of this war,” he reiterated.
The PTI chief also criticised the PML-N for its pro-Zardari policies, and claimed that in reality both the president and Nawaz Sharif were brothers, even though they pretended to be rivals in public. Imran Khan observed that the PML-N was fond of befooling the masses by playing on both sides of the wicket as if it were a real opposition party.
The PTI leader concluded by saying that Pakistan was blessed with a youth population with an unmatchable talent, but added that this segment desperately needed direction.