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Monday April 22, 2024

Imran on a wild goose chase

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
May 28, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan is engaged in an utterly futile exercise of appointing a committee for talks with the government as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) Quaid Nawaz Sharif has categorically and contemptuously discarded any possibility of negotiations with the PTI.

Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have already ruled out the possibility of any talks with the PTI.

Nawaz Sharif, in a tweet, maintained that no talks will be held with “the group of terrorists and saboteurs who burn the memorials of martyrs and set the country on fire”.

He was apparently referring to the May 9-10 rioters who, he deemed, are terrorists and obviously hinted at the PTI.

Nawaz reminded that discussions are only held with politicians.

The PTI chairman designated Saturday a seven-member negotiation team for formulation “a plan of action” in relation to the elections and engaging with the government. Political observers have termed the move as a ridiculous act since four of the seven nominated members are underground and police are after them. The police are searching for Murad Saeed, Hammad Azhar, Haleem Adil Sheikh and Asad Qaisar since they are directly implicated in the May 9-10 acts of terror and subversion of sensitive installations. At least two of these would be tried in military courts.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who led the PTI in erstwhile inconclusive and failed talks, is already in confinement while Asad Umar would not be interested in joining any such team.

He has already quit the offices of the party. Asad is reportedly more interested in proceeding abroad, the sources said.

Ironically, the PTI chairman has also laid down agenda for the negotiations. The government has outright rejected the scope of any talks with the PTI. Four federal ministers have come out with rejection of proposal for talks from Imran.

Maryam Nawaz Sharif, in her address at Vehari on Friday evening, also discarded the idea of negotiations with the PTI.

The sources said that Imran has to come to terms with realities on the ground. Without making an assessment of the situation on the ground, he is still living under illusion. The PTI nominated the team, comprising Qureshi, Pervez Khattak, Asad Qaiser, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Aun Abbas, Murad Saeed and Hammad Azhar, for formulating a plan of action on elections and engaging with the government.

The wording of the release issued by the PTI is also confusing. The polls are not being discussed at any level and the actions being taken by the administration have already been declared as “non-negotiable.”

The sources have termed the talks offer by the PTI as a trick to stay alive in the media.