Federal minister Saad Rafique says Imran Khan should go for 'unconditional' talks as it's his need, not govt's
The federal government on Saturday responded to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's offer of talks between the Centre and opposition over his demand of snap polls, and said that "threats and talks don't go hand in hand."
Former prime minister Khan, who has been demanding elections since his ouster through a no-confidence motion in April, invited the PDM-led government to talk over the possibility of early polls and warned that around 66% of Pakistan would have to vote for by-polls if the government in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa dissolved the assemblies.
However, the government, in a joint presser of Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in Lahore ruled out the possibility of the ruling coalition sitting with PTI for talks on the latter's conditions.
"Imran Khan made an offer of talks with a threat but threatening and negotiations cannot go together, therefore [PTI] should go for unconditional parleys," Rafique said.
The railways minister said that the 2018 general election had been stolen and given to Imran Khan. He said that Khan ruled in the Centre for over three-and-a-half years, after which his regime came to an end as a result of a "constitutional and democratic change".
"Khan's conspiracies after his ouster were foiled one by one," Rafique said.
The minister further stated that the government's allies have serious concerns about holding talks with PTI. He said that the government had unofficial talks with PTI but the party was told that PDM will be the one to decide if they want a dialogue.
"Talks are his [Imran Khan] need not ours," Rafique said.
Meanwhile, the interior minister warned Imran Khan against offering talks with a threat as his behaviour hasn't been appropriate in the past.
"He [Khan] will not get anything due to his threatening behaviour," Sanaullah said
Earlier today, Sanaullah, while talking to the media had said that in politics, one has to work together because no progress can be made without talks and negotiations.
He, however, said that the ruling coalition has no backdoor links with Elahi and it will be publicised if there are any talks with the PML-Q leader.