ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah said on Friday that it was time PTI chief Imran Khan became a politician.
“We invite you to come to sit with PDM,” Sanaullah said, adding, “Khan Sahib, give up on it [politics of dissent]. You have failed.”
He said if Khan wanted to meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the latter would not refuse, adding even PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif would not.
“Khan is only a political rival, not an enemy. All I have done is point out the flaws in the PTI chairman’s political doctrines.”
It was regrettable that Khan had closed all the channels of communication with the government and said he would rather die than talk with his political rivals. “Deadlocks can only be broken through negotiations. Imran Khan should return to parliament.”
To a question, Sanaullah said there was no link between the army chief’s appointment and Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan.
He advised PTI Chairman Imran Khan to postpone his “meaningless” long march for the sake of his own and his supporters’ safety as all the intelligence agencies had issued red alerts, citing possible threats of terrorism at the PTI rally in Rawalpindi.
“Not only this, but they have also warned of dangers to Imran Khan’s life,” he said while addressing a press conference, as he asked the PTI chief to hold a dialogue with the government and not threaten it. “When politicians sit and talk, the ice breaks and decisions change. In the last 7-8 months, I have seen this myself. Some decisions were taken and my leaders changed them.”
The minister said if Khan continues to behave in a similar manner, the country could not move forward as a deadlock between the government and PTI would persist.
The interior minister told PTI Chairman Imran Khan that the establishment would not get him a date for the general elections — and that his march has now become pointless. “If anyone would have been blackmailed by everything that you have stated and the extent to which you have gone, then maybe you could have got the election date,” the minister said.
He said that neither the establishment nor the government would come under his pressure. “The establishment, as an institution, has vowed not to drift away from its constitutional role.” The minister told Khan to become a “politician” and then negotiate with the government. “The opposition leader and the leader of the house are two important offices, democracy cannot run without it — and it happened during your government, which could not complete its tenure.”
Meanwhile, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry demanded that the government act “seriously” and agree to the party’s demands of holding election.
“Institutions should not be made a part of political decisions. The political parties should decide the framework themselves,” the former federal minister said in a tweet.
He pleaded that the people should be considered stakeholders in the decisions and that the rulers should always accept the nation’s decisions. “If the country is to progress, we will have to revive democracy.”
PTI leader Faisal Javed Khan urged the courts to take notice of the government’s “cheap tactics” against the party’s “peaceful march”.
Taking to Twitter, Faisal said that the roads are being blocked and the government is being overwhelmed by a record number of families participating in the march. “They are putting Imran Khan’s life in danger by not allowing them to land his helicopter at the Parade Ground,” he added.
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