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'We don't talk to anarchists, arsonists', Pak PM tells PTI

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | May 30, 2023 05:24 PM

Islamabad:Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday expressed unwillingness on behalf of his government for a dialogue with his predecessor Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) owing to the PTI-led nationwide riots and protests, media reports said.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister acknowledged that dialogue is deeply embedded in the political process, which helps democracy mature and evolve, The News reported.

"Many political and constitutional breakthroughs occurred when political leaders sat across the table to craft a consensus," the premier said.

But he also said that there is a major difference when it comes to the Khan-led party.

"The anarchists and arsonists who wear the garb of politicians and attack the symbols of the state do not qualify for a dialogue. They should rather be held to account for their militant actions," Sharif said, The News reported.

Deposed Prime Minister Khan -- who was removed from office via a vote of no confidence in April last year -- had said that he is ready to speak to "anyone who is in power" after his party's top leaders began jumping ship following the May 9 riots triggered by his arrest.

Khan had also said that he is forming a committee which will talk to "anyone who is in power" on two things.

"If it helps the country according to 'them', I will leave politics. Second, how is it beneficial for the country if elections are held in October," Khan had said about the objective of the committee, The News reported.

The PTI had last week announced the constitution of a seven-member team for negotiating with the incumbent government on the direction of its Chairman.


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