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Imran demands another APC on Taliban talks

18 January, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday demanded another all-parties conference for talks with the Taliban.

Imran said the government should explain as to why the dialogue process could not be initiated. Addressing a press conference at his residence, Imran questioned how could the dialogue fail even before starting. He deplored the attitude of the government, pointing out that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif does not even have time to hold a meeting with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, who has been trying to get an appointment with him for the past two months.

The PTI chief also accused the PML-N-led government of "fixing the match" over Taliban and asked Nawaz Sharif whether or not he had asked the US to stop drone strikes, which is a pre-condition set by the Taliban for entering into dialogue. Imran noted that the issue of drone strikes was supposed to be taken to the UN Security Council by the government, but unfortunately that did not happen. Commenting on the criticism of PTI for advocating talks with the Taliban, Imran said when talks haven't formally started, how could PTI be criticised.

Imran Khan expressed his unwillingness to hold peace talks with Taliban, saying he lacks authority. He said he cannot hold talks with the Taliban as neither his party is in power at the federal level nor has he any authority over the armed services. About the military operation in North Waziristan, the PTI chief said going by the briefing given in the APC held in September last year the success rate of the military operation in the area is just forty percent. Commenting on the resignation of ex-NADRA chief, Imran said Tariq Malik resigned under the government's pressure. He announced to move the court against the appointment of the new NADRA chief. Imran demanded the incumbent chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice over the matter. He said that Tariq Malik and his family had received threats, and accused the Interior Ministry of failing to address Malik's security concerns.

Voicing suspicion about the government's intention in replacing Tariq Malik, Imran said the new chief of NADRA has already hinted his lack of interest in vote verification, and accused the government of making efforts to hide alleged rigging in May 11, 2013 elections. Reacting to a report of WHO over poliovirus in Peshawar, Imran confirmed that a massive campaign was due to start against the virus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He, however, noted that Dr Shakil Afridi, who spied for the US and ran a fake campaign to trace out Osama Bin Laden, has marred people's trust, and they have become suspicious of such vaccination campaigns now. Imran said that polio is a very serious issue but the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is determined to eliminate it from the province.


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