I want to negotiate for Pakistan and not for myself, says former PM Imran

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I want to negotiate for Pakistan and not for myself, says former PM Imran

Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) founding chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan stated that any negotiations with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could result in the downfall of its government.
During an informal media chat after the hearing of the £190 million reference case inside the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, the incarcerated premier expressed his desire to negotiate for Pakistan’s benefit, not for personal or governmental interests. “I want to negotiate for Pakistan, not for myself or the government.”
Imran reiterated his willingness to step back if it benefits the country, saying, “Convince me it benefits the country, and I will step back.”
He criticised the current government for not reducing expenses and failing to create an investment-friendly environment. “The country is in crisis. The government has not reduced its expenses, which is troubling. The current government has failed to create an environment for investment.”
Khan argued that Pakistan needs a mandate-driven government for necessary reforms, pointing out that the current budget highlights the limitations of a non-mandated government. He condemned heavy taxation on professionals and the public, predicting severe impacts from the upcoming electricity bills.
He lamented the broken promises on load-shedding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), where power cuts are extensive. He slammed the ongoing issue of electricity theft in various regions, questioning where the public should turn for solutions. “Electricity theft is an old issue. It happens in Hyderabad, Sindh, and Quetta as well.”
Khan also complained about being barred from meeting KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, despite not refusing a meeting himself. He noted the lack of unity within political parties and scoffed at Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz for extravagant spending on self-promotion.
He announced plans to file cases against major and colonel officials in Adiala Jail, accusing Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal of contempt for suggesting the PTI founder be jailed for five years. He questioned the rule of law, disapproving recent judicial and administrative actions.
Khan rejected the amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws, alleging they were made to conceal corruption. “How can someone who conducted fraudulent elections deliver justice?”
He warned that further borrowing would be needed to pay off the national debt and urged the judiciary to support the weak rather than the powerful.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government on Friday imposed Section 144 across the province in light of “the prevailing law and order situation,” thereby banning protests and public gatherings.
The imposition of Section 144 across Punjab comes as PTI plans to carry out nationwide protests demanding the release of Imran Khan.

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