LAHORE - Imran Khan, whose PTI is leading Khyber Pakhtunkhwa coalition government, says they will block the Nato supply line if the US administration tried to disrupt talks process with Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) by using drone attacks.
Imran, who is chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), also said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) government will hold talks with TTP if the federal government would not, or if it failed to hold result-oriented dialogue. He issued this warning Thursday while addressing a press conference at Opposition Leader’s secretariat in Punjab Assembly.
The Nation on Tuesday reported that one of the coalition partners in the PTI-led KPK government had opened an informal channel with the TTP to get some breathing space in the province by convincing the Taliban that the provincial government would only support a meaningful dialogue. Some sources claimed that the KPK government had informally started preparing for Nato supplies blockage, in case the warning falls on deaf ears.
Imran questioned, “How can one expect ceasefire from Taliban when the government has failed to press the US administration to stop drone attacks.” Quoting TTP leadership, he said that they were ready for ceasefire if the drone attacks would be stopped.
The PTI chief said that KPK was bearing the brunt of undue delay in talks. He said he could not understand why the federal government had not yet start the dialogue despite getting support of all the political parties at an All Parties Conference (APC).
Imran also announced that his party would launch today (Friday) the first phase of protest demonstrations against the price-hike, as the ‘honeymoon period’ of the ruling party was over now. He said PTI would launch another barrage of its protests if local bodies’ polls would not be held in a fair and transparent manner.
Alleging the ruling party was preparing to steal the local elections, he warned that PTI would not accept the results if the polls would be rigged like the May 11 general elections. “We accepted the May 11 election results in the larger interest of the democracy but we will not do the same if the local bodies elections will be rigged.” He said that election authorities should ensure transparent polls even if they would be delayed for two months or so. He asked the ruling party when it would learn to play the match with ‘neutral umpire’.
About the statement of PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto, Imran said, “I want to tell Bilawal that there will be no shortcut in politics from now on.” To a query, he said PTI doesn’t need support of another party to bring a new Opposition Leader in National Assembly. Criticising Punjab government, he said there were 25 incidents of crimes against women in Chichawatani alone but the police has failed to arrest any culprit so far.