PTI rules out talks amid ‘state efforts to crush’ party

(MANEND NEWS): A day after the civil and military leadership of the country stressed the need for a political dialogue over confrontation to resolve differences, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday said that there is “no possibility of negotiations in the presence of internal conflict and state efforts to crush the country’s largest political party by force”.

Reacting to the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting held on Tuesday, the PTI, however, said that it values the recommendation of the committee of a solution through negotiation in the light of democratic values instead of confronting political differences.

The party also stated that it emphasises the need to consider the issue of applying military laws against the civilian population of the country and staying within the limits of the constitution.

The NSC meeting was convened to discuss violent protests triggered after the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan on May 9. The protesters ransacked and vandalised military installations, including the Corps Commander’s residence in Lahore.

On Monday, Army Chief Gen Asim Munir chaired a corps commanders conference, which decided that perpetrators, planners and executors of such attacks would be tried under Pakistani laws, including the Army Act and the Official Secret Act.

The participants of the NSC meeting endorsed the decision of the corps commanders conference, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) after the NSC meeting.

In its statement released today, the former ruling party said that it views with great concern the dominance of a “specific political narrative on the declaration issued” after the meeting of the NSC.

“In our view, the serious internal crises facing the country are caused by the ruling class’ serious deviation from the Constitution, social ethics and values,” it added.

It maintained that possibilities of national development and stability lie only in the supremacy of the Constitution and the promotion of democratic values.

“The events of the last 13 months have proved that the priorities of the ruling political and military elite are inevitably the opposite.” The PTI said that in these months, human rights were violated, the voice of the people was suppressed through state coercion, and their role in national politics was suppressed.

The statement added that “instead of giving a positive response to our efforts, the powerful political and military elite pushed the country and the nation into the mire of lawlessness and worst fascism”.

It claimed that following the arrest of the party chief, organised groups of anarchists had been included in the ranks of citizens exercising their constitutional right to peaceful protest, adding that “as a result of the actions of these groups, there were certainly incidents that every citizen is saddened by.”

“No individual has two opinions about the suppression of elements involved in sedition and anarchy. There is a need to identify the planners of these incidents and the elements behind them through an empowered judicial commission,” the party urged.

The PTI further maintained that it “is futile to expect from the ruling group who is trying to uphold the Constitution and the ruling group that is actually invading the respected Supreme Court, in terms of the Constitution and the law”.

The statement added that “illegal censorship” has been imposed on PTI on national and social media, adding that propagation of a certain kind of narrative against the party is part of a well-thought-out plan.

“Under this guise, the ruling group wants to achieve shameful political results against the chairman and the PTI under the ‘London Plan’,” added the statement. “Therefore, the party strongly opposes the mixing of political differences in state affairs.”

‘Steps to pave way for mutual interest’

The party further laid down steps that the government should adopt to pave the way for mutual trust.

  • The government should identify the killers of civilians and the rioters involved in the peaceful protest of May 9
  • An empowered judicial commission consisting of judges of the Supreme Court should be made to take action against these anarchists
  • Thousands of citizens should be released whose cases are based on mere suspicion
  • Registration of cases against PTI should be linked to the results of investigations
  • The government should immediately end the ongoing crackdown against PTI across the country
  • The immediate release of the PTI central leaders, workers and citizens under custody should be ensured
  • False and misleading propaganda against PTI should be stopped
  • Bans imposed on media and social media should be removed and national media should be allowed to work freely
  • The process of censuring journalists who have an opinion/critical of the government should be stopped
  • The invasion against the judiciary at the government level should be stopped

The statement concluded that in the light of the Supreme Court order instead of delaying elections, the government should move towards immediate polls. “[The] PTI is ready to play its role without any fear or greed to get the country out of dire crisis.”

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