Imran rules out talks with Pak govt, says open for dialog with military

Islamabad: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruled out talks with the Shehbaz Sharif-led federal government but appeared eager to initiate a dialogue with the military establishment, calling them the “real” decision-makers in the country.

Talking to reporters recently after his appearance at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in connection with multiple cases, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chairman said that politicians, including the incumbent rulers, were “powerless” and they have no authority to conduct the dialogue.

Responding to a question whether he was ready to hold talks with politicians on the charter of economy, Khan claimed the establishment is the “real decision maker and power is concentrated” within the military, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Pakistan Army chief Gen Asim Munir has vowed to bring to justice all those “responsible for bringing shame to the nation on May 9” and said that such “orchestrated tragic incidents” would never be allowed again at any cost.

The PTI chief also accused former Army Chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa of “backstabbing” him and said that he could have sacked Bajwa on at least three different occasions but exercised restraint, the report said.

The former cricketer-turned-politician also said he did not believe in “vengeance and will strive for the rule of law” if he came to power again.

Khan said he was more concerned for the economy. He said that the debt servicing exceeded the federal budget, the economy was on the verge of default, and industry had almost collapsed and added that all the economic indicators declined in just one year.

In a military-backed crackdown on the PTI over the May 9 violence following Khan’s arrest by paramilitary Rangers in Islamabad in a corruption case, over 100 main party leaders and former lawmakers have so far defected and joined the Istekham Pakistan Party (IPP), led by another PTI deserter, Jahangir Khan Tareen.

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