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Pakistan’s ruling coalition blasts Imran Khan’s party for wanting to hold talks only with Army

The remarks from leaders of the coalition government came after Shehryar Afridi, a senior leader claimed that the party would have talks, but not with the PPP or the ruling PML-N.

Imran KhanLAHORE: Leaders of Pakistan’s coalition government have criticised former prime minister Imran Khan’s party for wanting to engage in dialogue with the powerful military only, saying it should not cry for civil supremacy if it wants to involve the Army in the politics.

The remarks from leaders of the coalition government came after Shehryar Afridi, a senior leader of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), on Friday claimed that the party would have talks, but not with the Bilawal Bhutto-Zardai-led Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) or the ruling PML-N after their recent overtures.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Khawaja Saad Rafiq said that 71-year-old Khan’s PTI should not cry for civil supremacy when it wished to hold negotiations with the military leadership, Geo News reported.

Asserting that the PTI leader’s comments on negotiations had spilt the beans, Rafique said, “Imran Khan’s traditional behaviour pattern is that his one hand is on their neck and the other on their feet”.

“He cries outside that he is the flag bearer of freedom and begs for negotiations behind the door,” Rafique said, adding that the politicians would have to communicate with each other anytime later, if not sooner.

Meanwhile, during an appearance on a Geo News show, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said that the PTI party’s mindset was not political as it aimed to seize power via the establishment.

“They [PTI] say they will negotiate with them [the establishment], but when it comes to blaming, they mud sling on us [the government] for everything,” Sanaullah was quoted as saying.

PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi also alleged that the PTI was “inviting the military to interfere in politics”, according to the report.

He said that the political party was of the view that it would not hold talks with politicians and would only talk to the Army chief and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general.

“The Sunni Ittehad Council and the PTI are inviting the Army to step into politics. The PPP has always been against the military’s involvement in politics,” he said.

He said the PTI should realise that they had to hold talks with the political opponents instead of expecting a missed call from somewhere else, referring to the military establishment.

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