LAHORE - Advocating for his proposal of allowing Pakistani Taliban to open their office in Pakistan for peace talks, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has said that it would bring no harm to the county.
“If (Afghan) Taliban can be facilitated to open their office in Qatar with US blessing then why not (Pakistani) Taliban could be allowed to open an office in Pakistan, he remarked while talking to the media at party office on Thursday.Imran said, “Taliban had been allowed by Qatar to open office to initiate dialogue under the US proposal and he foresees no harm or danger in allowing the TTP to open office in Pakistan for the same purpose.” The PTI chief said, “Dialogue with Taliban should be held within the ambit of the constitution and we should immediately announce ceasefire if we are serious about starting a meaningful dialogue.” Imran said, “No military operation had succeeded in bringing peace. We should decide once and for all if we desire to restore peace through dialogue or military operation.” He said that dialogue with Taliban leader Nek Muhammad had been initiated in the past but the talks and peace agreements were sabotaged by the US with drone attacks, which killed Nek and many of his colleagues. PTI chairman said, now that all the political parties at the APC have given their nod to hold talks with the Taliban it was the responsibility of the government to start the process at the earliest for restoring peace. He proposed that government should also seek the help of tribal elders and notables for this purpose, as they also played a major role in previous engagement with Taliban during Musharraf regime. Commenting over nomination of Hamza Shabaz Shairf for looking after the administrative affairs of the province, he said that masses should decide whether they would support family politics or the party which set an example of holding intra-party polls. Earlier chairing a party meeting on local bodies’ polls, Imran directed the party leaders to refrain from indulging in group politics and he snubbed the Lahore chapter leadership over promoting sectorial politics in the party. According to party sources, party chairman said that they had already faced serious setbacks in this year’s general elections due to the group politics and he accused the city leadership of the party of a major role in introduction and promotion of divisions within the PTI.
Imran directed all the opposing groups to accommodate the old and new members who are aspiring for contesting the local bodies’ polls and settle their differences for the greater good of the party, informed the party sources. He also directed PTI Lahore leadership for preparing lists of candidates comprising members from their opposite group in the party for local elections and he told them that he wanted good results in the local bodies’ polls.
The sources maintained that party chairman would personally review the lists of party candidates for local elections in the provincial capital in an effort to stop the City leaders from a foul play. PTI chairman using his special powers also nominated Bakhtiar Mehmood Kasuri as party’s central vice president on this occasion.