• Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Imran Khan gives green signal for talks with govt

The cricketer-turned-politician has been lodged at the high-security Adiala Jail at Rawalpindi since his arrest 10 months ago

FILE PHOTO: Imran Khan pauses as he speaks with Reuters during an interview, in Lahore, Pakistan March 17, 2023. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

By: Shajil Kumar

PAKISTAN’S jailed former prime minister Imran Khan has given a green signal for talks with the government and is “ready to forgive” what has happened to him, his party’s chairman Gohar Khan said on Tuesday.

“We told the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder that dialogue is necessary, as the distance is widening. He agreed with us (on this),” Gohar told the media outside the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

According to Gohar, Khan, 71, wants the avenues of dialogue to be opened. He told journalists that Khan is “ready to forgive what has happened to him for reconciliation.”

“The PTI founder has said many times that ‘I am ready to forgive what happened to me’,” Gohar was quoted as saying by Geo TV.

The cricketer-turned-politician has been lodged at the high-security Adiala Jail at Rawalpindi since his arrest 10 months ago for his involvement in multiple cases, some of which have resulted in conviction.

When asked if the negotiations will take place at the behest of the Supreme Court’s advice, Gohar said: “The option given by the apex court is also under consideration.”

However, he emphasised that it is PTI’s “own decision” to negotiate. “PTI founder did not write any letter to the SC for negotiation. The party will also respond to its negotiation option.”

Gohar said that the party will begin its negotiations after talking to Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai.

He said there is an alliance with Achakzai and other parties, and that his party will take them into confidence.

Gohar’s comment comes days after Khan decided to step back from his rigid stance, ordering his party leaders to establish contacts both inside and outside the Parliament to ease the ongoing political tension, sources told Geo News.

The sources said that the party’s leadership was directed to hold talks with various political parties outside the Parliament, while its lawmakers were also asked to enhance its relations with parties in the ruling coalition government.

Khan’s decision came after his interaction with Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa when he appeared for a hearing before the Supreme Court.

During the hearing on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law amendments, CJP Isa suggested that Khan should go to the Parliament to help resolve Pakistan’s problems “as the country needs to move forward”.

The former prime minister has given his party’s three-member committee the authority to establish contact with the establishment, sources said.

Last week, Khan said that dialogue would be held only with those who wield real power in the country. “We will talk with those who have power. They (parties in the government) do not have power,” he said. (PTI)

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