Wants to meet army,ISI chiefs: KP CM “There was no mention of any kind of [military] operation in last apex committee meeting,” claims KP chief executive

Wants to meet army,ISI chiefs: KP CM

Shamim Shahid

Peshawar: After Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) signaled to hold dialogues on multiple occasions to end political stability, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur expressed wishes to hold a meeting with the incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief.

CM Gandapur, speaking to journalists in Rawalpindi after meeting incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan in Adiala Jail on Monday, said that the former prime minister has always offered dialogues.

He expressed sorrow that nobody responded to Khan’s call for talks, adding that dialogues were not held with the institutions or the federal government so far.

Reiterating the PTI’s conditions for political talks, the KP chief executive said that terms and conditions would be unchanged for the dialogues. He detailed that the former ruling party sought restoration of its stolen mandate and the formation of a probe commission on the May 9 riots.

“I want to meet the army chief and the DG ISI,” CM Gandapur said, adding that he met the top military personalities at different events, clarifying that there was no one-on-one meeting held between them.

Criticising the federal government on the newly launched anti-terrorism operation — Azm-e-Istehkam, he claimed that there was no mention of any kind of [military] operation in the last apex committee meeting.

He admitted that law and order situation and “distribution of prizes” came under discussion and was labelled as “Azm-e-Istehkam” in the top huddle.

CM Gandapur said that he would talk about Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) policies on another occasion whether the operation would be held or not.

He, however, gave credit to the PTI government for improving law and order situation as the former administration strengthened all law enforcement agencies, including the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

Recalling the past developments during the PTI government, he said that former PM Khan visited Afghanistan and held talks with then-president Ashraf Ghani.

He added that then-ISI chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid remained in contact with the Afghanistan administration during the three-year tenure of the PTI government. However, then-army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa removed ISI chief Hamid.

He urged that it was necessary to take all provinces and stakeholders in confidence on major decisions.

Commenting on the rise in terrorism incidents, he was of the view that the menace of terrorism was increasing for finding a solution via dialogues. He offered the PTI’s support to the federal government “if it is willing to hold talks with Afghanistan”.

To a question regarding the KP government’s stance on electricity-related issues, CM Gandapur said that his province should not be blamed for the massive line losses. He also blamed the Centre for not disbursing dues of the KP government worth Rs1,510 billion.

He defended his decisions to take a tough stance against the federal government over loadshedding issues in KP. The chief minister warned the federal authorities, again, that they would give a strong “reaction” if their demands were not met.