Imran ready for talks, but not to step down

Imran ready for talks, but not to step down


The embattled Imran Khan Government has refused to ive in to JUI-F Maulan Fazlur Rahman who gave the Prime Minister a  two-day ultimatum of Friday to step down or else prepare for the consequences.

The Defence Minister,Mr.  Pervez Khattak, who heads the government’s negotiating committee, said that the Prime Minister’s 'resignation is out of the question' and warned of suing the JUI-F chief for inciting his followers.

Addressing his so-called ‘Azadi March’ on Friday, Maulana Fazl demanded that the Prime Minister resign in two days or else 'we will announce our next strategy'.

Mr. Khattak told reporters, after chairing a meeting of the government’s negotiating team on Saturday that the resignation demand was off the table. 'The government will not succumb to the opposition’s threats and pressure tactics. No one should even think about it [the Prime Minister’s resignation].'

The ‘Azadi March’, led by Maulana Fazl, is the first concerted opposition campaign against Mr.  Imran Khan since he won elections in July last year. The march started from Karachi on October 27 and entered the federal capital on Friday.

The Defence Minister stressed that there was a signed agreement between the opposition’s Rahbar Committee and the government’s negotiation team, expressing hope that the ‘Azadi March’ leaders would abide by it. He warned of strict action if the opposition reneged.

'Our doors are open for talks but we will not allow any attempt to create chaos,' Mr. Khattak, flanked by Education Minister,Mr.  Shafqat Mahmood,  and former finance minister, Mr  Asad Umar, told the news conference.

'If they violate the agreement, the administration will take action. Make no mistake. If the opposition resorts to violence or causes any damage to public or private property, they will be held responsible.'