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Tuesday July 23, 2024

PM Shahbaz says Imran Khan contacted govt to hold negotiations

“Khan wanted to resolve two issues — early elections date and appointment of chief of army staff — by holding dialogue,” PM Shahbaz says

By Web Desk
October 29, 2022
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressing the passing out ceremony of 48th STP of PSP at National Police Academy in Islamabad on October 28, 2022. — Twitter/@PakPMO
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressing the passing out ceremony of 48th STP of PSP at National Police Academy in Islamabad on October 28, 2022. — Twitter/@PakPMO

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif Saturday admitted PTI Chairman Imran Khan tried to contact the coalition government one month back via a mutual business friend to hold negotiations.

“Khan wanted to resolve two issues — early elections date and appointment of chief of army staff — by holding dialogue,” PM Shahbaz said during a conversation with the vloggers.

The premier revealed that he refused to talk on these issues with the PTI chief; however, “I offered to have a meeting on Charter of Democracy and Charter of Economy.”

He further added that the former prime minister said he wanted to nominate three names while three names could be suggested by the current premier after which the two can mutually take a decision.

“I declined his offer by thanking him,” PM Shahbaz said, adding that he also sent a message informing him that the army chief’s appointment is a constitutional matter and the responsibility lies on the incumbent prime minister’s shoulder.

It is pertinent to note that the extended term of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa is ending on November 29 and the government has announced that the appointment of his successor will be made in due course and in line with the Constitution.

Regarding the recently-held explosive press conference by the Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, the premier clarified that the spy agency chief asked for his permission before addressing his first-ever presser.

On October 27, the military spokesperson, along with the intelligence chief of the country, exposed the PTI chairman's conspiracy narrative against the Pakistan Army as well as the country, saying that Khan had offered General Bajwa an extension for an indefinite period of time for helping him fail the opposition parties’ no-confidence motion against him.

Meanwhile, Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lieutenant-General Babar Iftikhar shared that the military's media wing has informed PM Shahbaz Sharif about the press conference.

Lt Gen Iftikhar said that the press conference was being done at a time when it was "important to present the facts correctly" so "fact, fiction and opinion" can be differentiated. 

"Institutions, leadership and even the chief of army staff have been accused without a reason to create an extraordinarily chaotic situation," said the DG ISPR.