Pakistan Govt Turns Down Imran Khan's Talks Offer

(MENAFN- IANS) Islamabad, May 28 (IANS) Pakistan's ruling parties have rejected beleaguered former prime Minister Imran Khan's offer for talks, stating that talks were held with politicians not "terrorists", local media reported.
The development came as the PTI chief constituted a seven-member negotiating team to hold talks with the government - for developing consensus on a date for general elections - amid a massive crackdown, The Express Tribune reported.
This crackdown - which has thrown the PTI into a deep existential crisis with dozens of key party leaders jumping ship every day - was launched after the party leaders and workers allegedly vandalised and set afire state and army properties in the wake of Khan's arrest on May 9, The Express Tribune reported.
Responding to the offer, the supreme leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Nawaz Sharif took to Twitter to state that talks are held only with politicians. "There will be no talks with a group of terrorists and saboteurs who burn memorials of martyrs and set the country on fire," he said.
In a statement, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said: "Those who attack the state are punished; they are not negotiated with," The Express Tribune reported.
When in power, Khan often said former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf ended criminal cases against the leaders of various parties including the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) through the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) but that he would not give "looters" any NRO.
She said holding talks with those who desecrated the memorials of martyrs is a desecration of martyrs. She said Khan wants talks after burning ambulances, hospitals, schools and poisoning youths' minds, adding there will be no talks with him.
She said parties that are not political disintegrate in the same way the PTI has. "Imran has called for talks when his party leaders have abandoned him in flocks."
She reminded Khan that he had not talked with the opposition on economy, Kashmir, national security issues, Covid-19 and the FATF issue but he is now urging for talks, The Express Tribune reported.



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