On warpath: PML-N inviting martial law, says Imran

PTI chairm­an hits out at govt minist­ers for their statem­ents agains­t the milita­ry and judici­ary



PESHAWAR: The ruling PML-N’s leadership and ministers’ statements are inviting martial law. This was the opinion of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Friday when asked for his opinion on the current political situation.

Khan said he doesn’t believe the military intend to do any such thing, but the PML-N’s constant attacks on institutions such as the army and judiciary may force its hand.

He also referred to the interior minister’s statement in light of the bubbling interior ministry-Rangers feud statement on the paramilitary deployment at courts in Islamabad. Ahsan Iqbal had said “a state within state couldn’t be tolerated”.

About attacking the judiciary, he said the same judiciary which was praised by the PML-N following the disqualification of Yousaf Raza Gilani, is now being attacked by the party when Nawaz Sharif himself has been disqualified.

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Earlier, PTI Chairman Khan said that the federal government was wasting a good opportunity to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and demanded that the merger should take place immediately to help in institutional reforms.

At a press conference at Chief Minister House in Peshawar, Khan said that the people of Fata were facing several problems including the military operations against insurgents and the drone attacks that have left hundreds displaced.

The infrastructure, he added, had also been damaged and many people had lost their businesses, but the federal government was now delaying the merger.

About institutional corruptions in Fata, the PTI chief alleged that region’s secretariat had become a bastion of corruption and embezzlement, and even the developmental funds had not been spent on the people.

“Millions of rupees are taken for appointment of political agents in Fata,” he said, adding that the tribal region needed to have its own government representatives in K-P Assembly so that problems of the area could be raised and resolved.

The K-P government, he maintained, was administratively and economically prepared to accept the merger, but the federal government was reluctant to give a go-ahead before the general election next year.

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“The PML-N government has stopped its entire merger plan at the behest of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mehmood Khan Achakzai who are least interested in the region,” he said, adding that Achakzai mostly stressed on the interests of Afghanistan.

Khan suggested that his party wanted to have a local government setup in K-P which should be extended to Fata so that powers should be devolved to the grass-roots level but few elements including the Fata secretariat and political agent did not want to end status quo in the region.

Speaking about importance of merger, he said language and culture of tribal people were similar to those in K-P and there would not be an issue in the reforms. “Administrative systems are different but will be streamlined with the passage of time,” he added.

Criticising the PML-N government’s recent law, he said it never happened in the world’s history that a government had passed a bill to allow a disqualified person to chair a political party.