Tuesday June 18, 2024

In maiden meeting with Imran Khan in jail, Arif Alvi tasked with 'important responsibility'

“The PTI founder is ready to render [more] sacrifices [for the country],” says ex-president

By Web Desk
May 09, 2024
PTI founder Imran Khan (right) and former president Dr Arif Alvi. — AFP/APP/File
PTI founder Imran Khan (right) and former president Dr Arif Alvi. — AFP/APP/File 

RAWALPINDI: Amid the prevailing political tensions in the country involving the May 9 violence, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan has assigned an “important responsibility” to former president Dr Arif Alvi, who has been making efforts to bridge the gap between the establishment and former ruling party, confirmed the party’s Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan on Thursday.

The development came a day after the PTI founding chairman turned down the military’s demand to apologise for the May 9 events and distanced his party from the violent protests that broke out in the country last year soon after his arrest.

Addressing a press conference flanked by Alvi outside the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, Ayub said: “The PTI founder has assigned important responsibility to Arif Alvi [during his maiden meeting with Khan after leaving the Presidency].”

For his part, the former president said: “The PTI founder is ready to render [more] sacrifices [for the country]”

Without disclosing the nature of the “importance responsibility” the PTI leader said: “I have received instructions from the PTI founder.”

Moving on to the police crackdown against the PTI leadership in the backdrop of the May 9 mayhem, Alvi said: “Some people of the PTI might be involved [in May 9 violence] but the entire party was crashed.”

The May 9 violence was triggered almost across the country after the deposed prime minister Khan’s arrest in the £190 million settlement case last year. Hundreds of PTI workers and leaders were put behind bars for their alleged involvement in violence and attacks on military installations.

Dozens of the PTI leaders parted ways with the party or quit politics after the incident.

During the protests, the miscreants targeted the civil and military installations including — the Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The military had termed May 9 “Black Day” and decided to try the protesters under the Army Act.

Alvi further said that their mandate was stolen in the February 8 general elections, adding that they had evidence about it.

The former ruling party believed that their mandate was stolen as PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan last week said: “We won the 180 seats in the [February 8] elections. Our seats were given to other parties through Form 47.”

The former president termed the PML-N-led coalition government a product of “Form 47”.

Responding to a question about the ISPR’s presser, Alvi said: “I also stated yesterday that the wrongdoer should ask for pardon, not the oppressed.”

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry Tuesday demanded "those involved in the May 9 violent protests to apologise" and shun politics of “anarchy” before holding any dialogue.

Commenting on the presser, Alvi while speaking to the media outside the Punjab Assembly, emphasised the need for an impartial investigation into the May 9 incidents. “The oppressor should seek forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only answer to all disputes."

“Those having real powers” should initiate the dialogue process, he had reiterated.

Referring to his party’s alleged popularity among the masses, the former president said that “a new logic of democracy is being presented” by saying that “70% people were wrong and a few people are right”.

Stressing the need for dialogues to steer the country out of political crisis Alvi said: “[The establish] will have to talk to the people [PTI] having 70% mandate.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Ali has been trying to bridge the gap between the establishment and the PTI for a long.

In his maiden presser after leaving the Aiwan-e-Sadr in March, Alvi said: “I tried to resolve things from every angle… Even now, I’m trying to resolve things.”

In January 2023 too, Alvi offered to mediate between the Shehbaz Sharif-led then government and PTI to lower the rising political temperature in the country.

“I have tried to end such misunderstandings,” Alvi had said

“Being the president, it is my responsibility to keep this federation together. Cooperation is better than discords for Pakistan and such is also my advice.”