Policy against ‘resurgence of terrorism’ be made with national consensus: Imran Khan
Says if govt doesn’t show seriousness; anarchy will further grip the country
Warns the federal govt against making dangerous & careless statements about attacking Afghanistan
CM KPK Mahmood Khan protests for not being invited in NSC meeting on law & order situation
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Former prime minister and Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Tuesday warned the federal government against making dangerous and careless statements about attacking Afghanistan.
Imran Khan said this during a seminar on the ‘resurgence of terrorism’ organized jointly by the PTI and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. He said that the policy against resurgence of terrorism should be made with national consensus and added if the government didn’t show seriousness in this regard; the situation will further exacerbate.
He also urged the Centre to immediately begin debate regarding the recent uptick in terror activities in Pakistan and include the KPK government in the talks.
He said that the chief minister of KPK, the province most affected by terrorism, was not present at the last meeting of the federal government. He emphasised that the Centre should have constant meetings, with KPK’s input, regarding the second biggest problem facing the country.
He maintained that the most casualties will be in the province and if the federal government did not focus their attention on this problem then Pakistan would revert back to past scenarios.
“Terrorism is a very important matter right now and if it is not addressed properly then the consequences can be exacerbated at a time when our economic situation cannot bear them,” he stated, adding that when Pakistan was part of the war on terror, the international coalition funding covered a fraction of the cost of being involved.
He emphasized the importance of staying neutral and that he also called for neutrality during the war on terror. “When dirty water is allowed to stand still, mosquitoes collect over it. We should have remained neutral,” he said.
Imran Khan claimed that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced jihad against Pakistan because it believed the country to be a collaborator of the United States during the war on terror.
“Had we remained neutral these attacks would not have occurred. Their [the TTP] narrative was that Pakistan was helping America, and thus, suicide bombings in Pakistan were jihad,” he stated.
Imran furthered that people called him Taliban Khan because they did not understand the situation the way he did after having traveled the tribal northern regions that border Afghanistan.
The PTI chairman went on to say that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was a golden opportunity for Pakistan because, for the first time, there was a pro-Pakistan government at the helm of Afghanistan. He added that the Taliban government was pro-Pakistan because Islamabad had facilitated talks between the Afghan Taliban and the US, as well as the Taliban and the “pro-India Ghani government”.
Imran Khan furthered that during this golden opportunity Islamabad could negotiate with the Taliban government and reach a settlement regarding the return of TTP members to Pakistan. He stated that his government had regular meetings about this matter.
According to the former premier, during the FATA merger, all political parties from all provinces decided to give 3% of their National Finance Commission (NFC) award to FATA to help uplift the region.
“However, after 2018 only the KPK and Punjab governments gave the funds, despite everyone agreeing to the merger,” he said, adding that when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power, they stopped the funds because they did not understand that they would have to focus on the TTP’s resettlement into Pakistan.
He stated that his government, during its National Security Council (NSC) meetings would focus on spending the money on TTP resettlement, but that the current government only aimed to end its own corruption cases.
“Pakistan is facing the worst economy in its history, as well as increased terrorism,” he reiterated, once again highlighting that KPK bore the brunt of the danger that came with terrorism.
He warned the government to not mislead the populace with propaganda about peace talks with the banned outfit and instead urged all stakeholders to sit together and talk about resettlement. “Military operations can only be a fraction of the whole peace agreement, but it is never successful. Military operations have their own adverse effects,” he remarked.
Imran Khan also regretted the dangerous and careless statements about attacking Afghanistan made by unintelligent ministers with no knowledge of the entire situation. “If the Afghan government stops cooperating with us then the war on terror will not stop,” he said.
The PTI chief said the coalition government was not focusing on talks with its Afghan counterpart and that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s first foreign trip should have been to the war-torn neighbouring country.
The former prime minister said military operations “never” bear fruit and they are part of peace agreements, as he reiterated that the government should engage with the Taliban to avoid terror activities on Pakistani soil.
“We had a golden opportunity when America left Afghanistan; we tried to better our ties with the Ashraf Ghani government as best as we could and decided not to intervene in Afghan affairs,” he said.
But once the Taliban took over, Imran Khan also kept engaging with them, and he said that “Pakistan helped evacuate foreigners from Afghanistan”.
Slamming the “imported government” for the rising terror incidents, he said that during his tenure, the National Security Committee (NSC) had divided to support the tribal areas, but the current regime did not focus on them.
“These people [current rulers] are focusing on ending their corruption cases. They have not focused on the economy,” he said, claiming that due to the government’s policies, there has been a rise in terrorism.
The PTI chief said that controlling the borders is the federal government’s responsibility and noted that “I had already said that when you can’t control your economy, you cannot control terrorism”.
Ex-PM Khan added that the police do not stand a chance against the terrorists due to their weapons. “Terrorists are equipped with modern weapons that the US left behind.”
Talking about the Pakistan’s role in the US War, Imran Khan said, “I used to say that Pakistan needed to show neutrality in the US War. We took part in the US War for 20 years.” Underscoring the situation of the farmers in the PTI’s government, Imran Khan said, “In our time, in the field of agriculture, the farmers were pleased.”
Imran Khan said the incumbent government’s rulers were now busy begging after their [PTI s] government was toppled by a foreign plot.
He warned the government to not mislead the populace with “propaganda” about peace talks with the banned outfit and instead urged all stakeholders to sit together and talk about resettlement.
Military operations can only be a fraction of the whole peace agreement, but it is never successful. Military operations have their own adverse effects,” he remarked.
Imran Khan also “regretted” the dangerous and careless statements about “attacking Afghanistan” made by “unintelligent ministers with no knowledge of the entire situation”.
“If the Afghan government stops cooperating with us then the war on terror will not stop,” he said.
The PTI chief also questioned why the incumbent foreign minister was not visiting Afghanistan and suggested that ruined relations with the neighbouring country would be a torment.
He furthered that the current “crime minister” (a negative spin on prime minister) criticised Imran when the former premier had said “absolutely not” to allow US bases in Pakistan.
Imran recalled the “more than 400” drone attacks by the US during the previous war on terror, which he stated were carried out during Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chief Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N supremo Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s tenure. “The people whose loved ones died would take revenge on us,” he cautioned.
Addressing the seminar, Chief Minister KPK Mahmood Khan protested for not being invited in the National Security Committee meeting on law and order situation and added the imported government unluckily stopped the funds for the tribal areas.
He furthered if the federal government didn’t show seriousness in connection with its policy against terrorism, no-one in the country would remain safe from the curse of terrorism. He added that KPK must be given its justified right. Former communication minister Murad Saeed and several other experts also addressed the seminar.