Pakistan Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Ayaz Sadiq accused former prime minister Imran Khan of the resurgence of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and said that the dialogue initiated with the banned outfit by the previous Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has “emboldened” the Taliban as they increased their footprint and activities in the country, the Dawn reported.
While referring to rise in terror attacks and the dialogue with the banned outfit initiated by the PTI government last year, the PML-N leader said the nation had seen the result of Imran Khan’s strategy of opening talks with the Taliban.
“Imran Khan (while in power) did not curb terrorism. Rather he allowed negotiations with those who had martyred children at the Army Public School (in Peshawar). And now a new wave of terrorism has begun because of those negotiations,” the Dawn reported.
A document prepared by the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) presented to the Senate Standing Committee on Interior blamed the ‘peace talks’ with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for an increase in terror attacks across the country.
“TTP, during peace talks process gained considerable ground; increased its footprint and magnitude of activities,” the Nacta document said. It added the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan “gave impetus to TTP activities with its base [still] intact in Afghanistan”.
In an allusion to the resurgence of the terror outfit in Swat and adjoining areas, the report said the “presence [of TTP men] in Swat can be attributed to their efforts to gain pulse of locals and response by the state”. The document termed the Malakand division “vulnerable” to terrorism due to its “central location and access to settled areas”.
The former Speaker also urged former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa to reveal his “role” in the 2018 general election in “ensuring” the victory of the PTI. He said the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) representatives said they were under pressure in 2018 to join the PTI.
He said the support extended by Bajwa to Imran Khan when he was prime minister had never been given to any other premier in the past. But, the PTI chairman is “ungrateful to his benefactors” as he was now maligning the ex-COAS. He said Khan did the same thing to Aleem Khan and Jahangir Khan Tareen.
He advised Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi to remain “vigilant” while doing favours to Imran Khan since his “characteristics cannot change as I know him since the 1960s”.
Sadiq further attacked Imran Khan for using the religious card in politics, abusing and victimising rivals, as well as preferring his personal interest over national interest.
“The one who had been talking of the state of Madina committed corruption by taking away gifts from Toshakhana worth Rs6 billion, declaring one of them (in his tax statement) and devouring the rest. The claimants of the Madina state would neither steal nor conceal (one’s wealth),” he added.
He lamented that Imran Khan always foul-mouthed PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, who always addressed the PTI chairman decently. He alleged that Khan got spying cameras installed even in the bathrooms of the jail where Maryam Nawaz Sharif was imprisoned.
The PML-N leader said those who brought Imran Khan to power were responsible for the financial damage caused to the country during the around four-year rule of PTI as the national debt doubled in the PTI regime, which took USD 44 billion in loans.
In reply to a question, he said while listening to the conversation between Parvez Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi one “gets the impression that the PML-Q got just 20 seats” in return for a promise to dissolve the Punjab Assembly at the directives of Imran Khan.
He, however, cautioned the ‘Q’ leadership that the crutches available during the 2018 polls would be missing in the next general elections and they as well as the PTI would have to stand on their own legs.
In response to a question, the minister said if the PTI chairman intended to dissolve the Punjab and KP assemblies he would have done so at once after the announcement during a Pindi rally in November.
He said that local government elections would be held in the month of April, while the general election would be held after Aug 15, 2023, when the assemblies would complete their five-year constitutional terms.
As per the Nacta document, in August 2022, TTP militants held LEAs hostage in Swat’s tehsil Matta and released them after 12 hours. In September 2022, militants fired on police in Swat. TTP also claimed responsibility for an IED attack on a vehicle in which a member of the Peace Committee and two policemen were martyred, the Dawn reported.
The militants also abducted seven staffers of a cellular company and demanded at least Rs10 million in ransom.(ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.