Govt Accuses Imran Khan Of Abandoning Dialogue After SC Directives

Govt Accuses Imran Khan Of Abandoning Dialogue After SC Directives
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has accused Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan of abandoning negotiations with the government.

In an interview with a private news channel, the minister said that the PTI was in contact with the government and that Parvez Khattak and Asad Qaiser, two senior leaders of the PTI, had agreed to hold talks. However, after the Supreme Court ordered both parties to meet and update the court by 4pm, they changed their minds, he added.

"Imran Khan also declared that he was open to speaking. Although PTI's position was flexible, things changed abruptly," he added.

A number of petitions, including one from PTI, regarding the postponement of the Punjab Assembly elections are being heard by a three-member court led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

However, following the break, the government notified the bench that they would hold parleys with PTI during the Eid vacations. The court had advised on April 20 that the rivals should hold discussions on elections and inform the court the same day.

Referring to the SC judgment, Sanaullah claimed that the PTI changed its position after the top court issued instructions.

He said that Asad Qaisaer and Parvez Khattak also assured that they would sit on April 26; however, Imran Khan revoked their mandate, he added.

The minister continued, "I have proof that Khawaja Saad Rafique and Ayaz Sadiq have contacted PTI leaders." Khan scuttled these efforts by asserting that they were not authorized and that Qureshi was charged with mediating on the PTI's behalf, he added.

When asked to comment on the SC hearing today, he remarked that attorney general Mansoor Usman Awan presented a very satisfactory response.

He said the coalition government has determined that negotiations should take place through parliament rather than being abandoned.

The Supreme Court would be made aware of the dialogue forum set up by the parliament," he continued.