Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday informed the government negotiating committee that he will not accept any unconstitutional and undemocratic demands of the Rahbar Committee with regards to the Azadi March.
Khattak, who is in charge of the government committee for negotiations with the opposition’s Azadi March protesters, was addressing media in Islamabad alongside senior leaders Asad Umar, Shafqat Mehmood and Firdous Ashiq Awan.
The government’s negotiating team met Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the next steps regarding the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F-led Azadi March.
Meeting of the Pakistan Tehhreek-e-Insaaf core committee discussed the prevailing political situation in the country. The meeting included PTI leaders Asad Umar, Shafqat Mahmood, Shireen Mazari and Faisal Javed Khan.
The negotiating team, led by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, will also contact the Rahbar Committee over JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s speech.
PM Imran advised the Khattak-led committee to continue negotiating with the Rahbar Committee and not to get blackmailed by the protesters. He added that negotiations should not happen if there were attempts to blackmail the government. The Prime Minister also instructed the interior ministry to be prepared for any untoward incident.
Pervez Khattak said that the federal government has decided to approach the court against Fazl’s threat of forcibly arresting the premier. “It amounts to mutiny and we will be submitting our plea in the court on Monday,” Khattak asserted.
Pervez Khattak warned the opposition against breaching the agreement under which the ongoing protest was allowed. He said that action will be taken against the protesters if the agreement was violated.
Pervez Khattak said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “resignation was out of the question” and warned the leaders of opposition parties that the government will not show leniency if they backtracked from the earlier agreement reached with the government.
When asked about a demand by the opposition to reverse the extension given to the army chief, the government’s negotiating team categorically denied that it was one of the demands by the protesting parties. He further clarified that the army is playing a “completely neutral” role.
“Maulana sahib has criticised the state institutions more rather than the government,” he said. “For the first time, all the state institutions are neutral. They will spring to action according to the Constitution if chaos spreads.”Earlier Saturday, at least eight activists of the anti-government protest in Islamabad were arrested after authorities said they were waving flags of foreign and banned outfits. According to reports, the activists have been moved to an undisclosed location.
Khattak stressed that there was a signed agreement between the opposition and the federal government and it stated that if it is not followed, action will be taken.
“They just want to create unrest,” he said. “They will not succeed.”
Meanwhile, a statement said, Prime Minister Imran Khan will neither resign nor will premature elections be held in the country, said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, on Saturday.
“If the opposition tries to blackmail, then negotiations must not be held with them,” the prime minister was quoted as saying. The core committee claimed that the opposition stood divided.
“Opposition can stage a sit-in protest for as long it wants to,” said Prime Minister Imran. “Demanding my resignation is foolishness. I will not cave in to unconstitutional demands,” he added.
“They’re using threatening language. When these opposition parties do that, it means that they won’t back up their claims,” he said.
“If they violate the agreement, then the administration will take action,” he said. “Make no mistake about it—if anything unfortunate happens, these people will be held responsible,” he said.
The defence minister said that if 30,000-40,000 people took to the streets and demanded the prime minister’s resignation, then the country could never see democracy thriving.
“These people have no demands except for just one—they want the prime minister to resign,” he said. “Political figures should think about their words a bit.” “The government doesn’t include me and Imran Khan only,” he said. “All other departments included under it are also the government.”