Pakistan’s Imran Khan calls for immediate talks amidst stand-off with military

Islam: Before Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan on Friday called for immediate talks with state officials, as pressure mounts on him amid a crackdown on his top aides and supporters that has resulted in thousands of arrests. as well as many leaving his party.
Khan has been embroiled in a row with the military since he was ousted from power last year in a parliamentary vote he said was orchestrated by the country’s top generals. The military denies this.
Confrontation intensified when earlier this month Khan’s supporters engaged in violent protests following his arrest on May 9.
“I want to call for negotiations, because what is happening now is not a solution,” Khan said in a live talk broadcast live on YouTube, warning that the country heading towards chaos.
Political unrest worsened as Pakistan faced its worst economic crisis in decades. Inflation is at record highs, economic growth is weak and there are concerns that the country could default on its foreign debt unless the International Monetary Fund disburses delayed disbursements.
Party resigns
Most of Khan’s top aides were arrested shortly after his supporters stormed in and set fire to several military installations around the country. Many were released and shortly thereafter announced their resignation from Khan’s party. Dozens of other mid-level leaders have also left.
Khan said they were forced to resign in order to weaken him and disband his party. He separated his team from attacks on military installations during the unrest after his arrest and reiterated calls for an investigation to determine who was involved.
Members of Khan’s party have said they left of their own accord. Many of them make excuses to worry about their families and their health.
However, the former prime minister struck a defiant tone, warning that his party’s support has only grown thanks to the crackdown and will still win an election whenever it is held. . He said he just wanted to talk to get the country out of the current crisis.
A national election is scheduled to be held in November and polls show Khan remains the country’s most popular leader.
Khan said earlier this week that he would form a committee to organize the talks.
He said that previous attempts to speak to the country’s powerful generals went unanswered. The civilian government, a coalition of his political opponents, has not shown that it is willing to talk as the crackdown on his party continues.
Court martial
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the call for talks came amid mounting pressure on his party and its supporters, 33 of whom have been handed over to the army to stand trial. Alleged attacks on armed forces facilities.
The 33 defendants are among thousands of people detained since Khan’s arrest on May 9, sparking violent protests across Pakistan.
Khan was arrested on corruption charges, which he denied, and was later released on bail.
“The defendants being assigned to the army are the ones who have trespassed and infiltrated very sensitive defense facilities,” Sanaullah told a news conference in Islamabad.
He said only those involved in violations of off-limits areas would be tried under military law, and indicated there would be no mass trials in military courts.
But in response to a question, he also suggested that Khan could also be tried in a military court, saying: “in my own judgment and the evidence we have… the man… This guy is the architect of all this mess and planning, so yeah, he’s in this category.”
Human rights groups have expressed concern about military trials against civilians, saying they cannot guarantee a fair trial. Such courts are closed to outsiders and the media.
The minister said that after the decision from the military court, the defendant will have the right to appeal to the high court and then the Supreme Court.


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