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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
16 Muharram 1446  

Achakzai believes Imran Khan’s release will help lower ‘political temperature’

PkMAP chief calls for convening all-parties conference; says establishment must be told ‘enough is enough’
Exclusive interview of Mahmood Khan Achakzai - Rubaroo - July 07, 2024 - Aaj News

Incarcerated former prime minister Imran Khan’s release would help lower the “political temperature”, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai has said.

“Imran Khan is not one man. He is the leader of Parliament’s biggest party. Release him. He won’t run away and come to Parliament. The temperature will go down when he comes out,” he said while appearing on Rubaroo aired on Aaj News on Sunday.

He was responding to a question related to Khan’s arrest. Achakzai mentioned that a United Nations panel has expressed concerns over the PTI founding chairman’s imprisonment.

Last week, the Geneva-based UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said Khan’s detention is arbitrary and in violation of international law.

The “appropriate remedy would be to release Mr. Khan immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law,” it said in an opinion.

Following this, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also called for “positive development” in the former prime minister’s imprisonment.

According to Achakzai, Khan’s release should not be conditional as getting free was his right. He added that a prisoner cannot have negotiations. “Let him be a free man.”

APC to discuss issues

He added that an all-parties conference should be called despite some political parties’ differences. Experts, traders, journalists and if needed the establishment should also be present in it, the PkMAP chief said.

While explaining his statement that political parties should sit despite their arguments, he said that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, and JUI-Hind sat together for elections during the British before partition.

“Sometimes you have to sit with those who are worst enemies,” Achakzai said while speaking about the political rivalry between Khan and Nawaz Sharif.

“For the last three years, I have been calling for a three-day conference to discuss Pakistan’s issues. Pakistan will be on its feet if we can take a decision and decide on a course. We will have to tell the establishment that enough is enough and for God’s sake stay in your domain as per the Constitution.”

He added that the National Accountability Bureau should be abolished.

At one point, the PkMAP chief stated that the PML-N supremo was “punished” for his way of democracy.

IMF deal ‘difficult’ after US House resolution on elections: Achakzai

Achakzai said that Pakistan’s new deal with the International Monetary Fund could be ‘difficult’ after a resolution by the US House of Representatives calling for a probe into the February elections.

“When a country like the US says that elections here [Pakistan] are questionable and investigations should be conducted into it then the IMF will back off [from the deal],” he said.

When asked whether he foresees it, Achakzai replied in the affirmative. He wondered why the Fund would give a loan to Pakistan when the US Congress and Parliament cast doubts on the country’s elections.

On June 26, the United States House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favour of an impartial investigation into claims of election manipulation in Pakistan following the February 8 national polls.

The resolution HR901, which was passed with a vote of 368-7, emphasises the need for people’s participation in the democratic process in the South Asian country.

In a tit-for-tat for move, the federal government countered the US motion regarding democracy in Pakistan when the National Assembly passed a resolution to condemn the Congress resolution.

When asked about the government’s opinion on this being an ‘internal matter’, Achakzai said it is known that this is a ‘form 47’ government.

He also called for a three-day conference including all political parties and the establishment to solve the country’s problems.

Achakzai added that all forces in the country would have to agree on a unified plan of action for Pakistan to be saved. He added that fresh elections must be held in the country.

Read more:

Pakistan decides to respond to US demands for probe into election irregularities

US House resolution carries no understanding of Pak’s political realities: Zahra

Sherry Rehman dismisses US house resolution

Tehreek Tahafuz Ayeen-i-Pakistan goal

Achakzai is also the leader of a countrywide movement for the rule of law, Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-e-Aayen-Pakistan (TTAP), led by a coalition of six opposition parties.

“Whoever loves Pakistan should understand it as a SOS message of a sinking ship,” he said while describing the country’s situation.

The purpose of the movement is to ensure that the Constitution remains supreme which would lead to people’s power in electing leaders and making policies.

He added that two opposition parties JUI-F and Jamaat-e-Islami were also of the same view.

While speaking about Afghanistan, he said that the neighbouring country also wanted assurances from Pakistan on security matters just like the latter wanted from the former.

He suggested the UN secretary general should convene a conference of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to discuss concerns related to the country.

Pakistan would be out of the IMF agreements if ties with Afghanistan were better since the country has abundant resources to help neighbouring states, he said.

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