Anarchists, arsonists do not qualify for dialogue: PM Shehbaz

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday ruled out talks with those involved in violence while wearing the garb of politicians, saying they should be punished. 

The anarchists and arsonists, who wore the garb of politicians and attacked the symbols of the state, did not qualify for a dialogue, he said in a tweet. 

In an apparent reference to the recent sentencing of former US president Donald Trump's supporters involved in the Capitol Hill attack, Shehbaz added, “They should rather be held to account for their militant actions. This is the prevalent practice even in developed democracies.” 

However, he noted that dialogue was an essential part of democracy. “Dialogue is deeply embedded in the political process,” he said and noted that it helped democracy mature and evolve. 

According to Shehbaz, many political and constitutional breakthroughs were achieved when political leaders sat across the table to craft a consensus, but the case is different when it comes to anarchists and arsonists.

Last week, former premier Nawaz Sharif had expressed similar views, making it clear that dialogue was possible only with politicians. No talks would be held with the terrorists torching the martyrs’ monuments and setting the country on fire, he remarked.

It was clearly a message to PTI Chairman Imran Khan who had on the same day had expressed his readiness to hold talks while saying that he wasn’t able to get a positive response despite his efforts. 

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