Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon has said that half of the members of a committee recently constituted by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan for talks with the government have been hiding after documentary evidence came to the fore proving their involvement in the May 9 violent incidents in the country.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, the information minister recalled that it was earlier the stance of the PTI chairman that the talks with the present rulers could only take place over his dead body.
He said the PTI chairman was now keen on holding talks with the present government. He added that former president Asif Ali Zardari had rightly asked the PTI chairman to first apologise for the excesses committed during his regime as a pre-condition for holding talks with him.
Memon was of the view that Khan had caused much harm to Pakistan and it was pointless to hold negotiations with him. He mentioned that the rioters who two years back had violently invaded the US Congress building had been imprisoned for up to 18 years. He claimed that crimes of the PTI chairman were more heinous in nature than that of the violent protestors in the US who attacked the Capitol Hill.
The information minister demanded that Khan be imprisoned for inciting people to commit violence in the country. He said the involvement of the PTI chariman in the Al-Qader Trust case and May 9 violent incidents constituted open-and-shut cases.
Memon recalled that the government had shown utmost constraint on May 9 and kept the anti-riot police at bay from the protestors to avoid bloodshed. He lamented that a blanket relief was still available to the PTI chairman for his protection against any lawful action against him on account of his wrongdoings.
Answering a question about the persons who had recently left the PTI, Memon said there would be no objection to such politicians against whom no criminal cases had been pending joining other political parties.
Clarifying a recent statement of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who had said the water tanker service was used to provide water to the Bilawal House in Karachi, Memon said that by giving such a statement, Bilawal highlighted the fact that the provincial government did not receive the due share of development funds and water from the federal government.
Responding to recent statements of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Mustafa Kamal against the Sindh chief minister, the information minister maintained that the CM had fought very well the census case of the province and he wanted to ensure that the population of the major urban centres of the province was properly counted.
He recalled that once Bilawal had even threatened to leave the present coalition government in the Centre if the relevant federal authorities failed to transparently hold the census in Sindh. He reminded Kamal that Karachi had the best public health facilities compared to any other part of the country.