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Imran blames PM Nawaz for Bannu attack

20 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan blamed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the attack on security forces in Bannu.

Imran, who is an ardent supporter of talks with the TTP, also expressed shock at the use of a private vehicle for transporting the soldiers without proper security checks. He said such a move exposed the movement of troops in advance - in itself a breach of security.

Imran stated that such terror attacks by TTP, along with the federal government's continuing inability to formulate a comprehensive counter-terror policy, has made it difficult to actually commence a formal dialogue and give peace a chance.

In the absence of political ownership and a political dimension of counter-terrorism, involving negotiation and dialogue backed by state power, even military operations are not yielding success, Imran said. "This is reflected in the daily killings going on unabated in Karachi, while the Rangers' operation is ongoing."

The PTI chief demanded the government must either make clear its policy for fully implementing the APC's mandate or call an APC to develop a new national consensus. "This has become even more critical in the wake of the shameful new conditionalities the US has set for Pakistan for aid," he said. Imran said it was time to finally reject such conditionalities and aid, and extricate ourselves from America's so-called war on terror.

Imran Khan emphasised that he is a supporter of Pakistan, and not a Taliban sympathiser and held Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responsible for the Bannu bomb attack. He said that in May last year he had asked Nawaz Sharif to accord priority to peace, but the premier remained busy in foreign tours. Imran said he is a Pakistani, not a spokesman or supporter of Taliban as blamed by some political rival. He said he speaks for the nation and accused the ruling party of economic mismanagement which has led to high inflation. Imran said his party was pro-Pakistan and not pro-Taliban.

"Had I been Nawaz, I would have given top priority to terrorism instead of foreign tours. I would have made my own delegation to trigger efforts to shun extremism," the PTI chief added. Imran said he was clueless as to how the government was planning to hold peace talks.

He said that the government should hand over the control of PESCO and power distribution in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the provincial government led by his party which, he said, will lower the prices of electricity and incidents of power theft.


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