Wednesday July 24, 2024

CM Gandapur 'wants to meet COAS, ISI chief'

PTI sets return of "stolen mandate," judicial probe into May 9 riots as conditions for holding political talks

By Web Desk
June 24, 2024
KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur in this undated photo. — APP/File
KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur in this undated photo. — APP/File

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur on Monday said that he wanted to hold a meeting with the incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, saying that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is ready to hold dialogue to end political instability in the country.

CM Gandapur, speaking to journalists in Rawalpindi after meeting incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan in Adiala Jail, said that the former prime minister has always remained open to holding talks with this rivals. 

He expressed sorrow that nobody responded to Khan’s call for talks, adding no talks were held with the institutions or the federal government so far.

Reiterating the PTI’s conditions for political talks, the KP chief executive said that terms and conditions would be unchanged for the dialogues. He detailed that the former ruling party sought restoration of its stolen mandate and the formation of a probe commission on the May 9 riots.

“I want to meet the army chief and the DG ISI,” CM Gandapur said, adding that he met the top military personalities at different events, clarifying that there was no one-on-one meeting held between them.

Criticising the federal government on the newly launched anti-terrorism operation — Azm-e-Istehkam, he claimed that there was no mention of any kind of [military] operation in the last apex committee meeting.

He admitted that law and order situation and "distribution of prizes" came under discussion that was labelled as "Azm-e-Istehkam" in the top huddle.

CM Gandapur said he comment on whether the operation should be held or not following the issuance of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) policy on the matter.

He, however, gave credit to the PTI government for improving law and order situation as the former administration strengthened all law enforcement agencies, including the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

Recalling the past developments during the PTI government, he said that former PM Khan visited Afghanistan and held talks with then-president Ashraf Ghani.

He added that then-ISI chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid remained in contact with the Afghanistan administration during the three-year tenure of the PTI government. However, then-army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa removed ISI chief Hamid.

He urged that it was necessary to take all provinces and stakeholders in confidence on major decisions.

Commenting on the rise in terrorism incidents, he was of the view that the menace of terrorism was increasing for finding a solution via dialogues. He offered the PTI’s support to the federal government "if it is willing to hold talks with Afghanistan".

To a question regarding the KP government’s stance on electricity-related issues, CM Gandapur said that his province should not be blamed for the massive line losses. He also blamed the Centre for not disbursing dues of the KP government worth Rs1,510 billion.

He defended his decisions to take a tough stance against the federal government over loadshedding issues in KP. The chief minister warned the federal authorities, again, that they would give a strong “reaction” if their demands were not met.