LONDON, Dec 5: Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan called on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif here at the latter’s international secretariat on Tuesday amidst speculations that the former had brought a message from MMA President Qazi Hussain Ahmed for the PML(N) chief.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed perhaps wants Nawaz Sharif to join him in the planned agitation against the government and also go along with the religious parties on the issues of resignations from parliament and boycotting the general election.In what was described by observers here as their first-ever meeting since Imran’s entry into politics or at least since Mr Nawaz was exile from Pakistan in 2000, the two had two separate sessions — one in the presence of PML (N)’s central working committee (CWC) members who are here to finalise a strategy for sending the army back to the barracks for good and the other with only a couple of confidantes of Mr Nawaz, including Shahbaz Sharif, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Ghous Ali Shah.
After the first session, Imran Khan and Mr Nawaz faced the media. It appeared as if both were in agreement that the army should discontinue its role in politics, but were finding it difficult to agree on the definition of what Imran called the ‘genuine opposition’.
Imran Khan insisted that the time was ripe for launching a country-wide movement to force President Musharraf out, `but they are confused because of the diverse signals coming out of the opposition camp. They want to know what exactly does the opposition want, an election or an agitation’.
Mr Nawaz said that was why he had decided to call an All Parties Conference (APC) at any place of Imran’s and Qazi Sahib’s choice and at this APC `we should be able to come up with a one-point agenda of ousting the army from government’.
One gathered from the way the two answered journalists’ questions that while Imran wanted Nawaz to come out openly on the side of the MMA and also denounce President Musharraf’s subservience to the US, Mr Nawaz was seemingly caught up between his heart and mind on these issues __ with the heart ready to go with the religious parties while the mind cautioning him against.
Mr Nawaz said he did not wish to contest the election merely to return to power, but to oust the army from power: “In this election we can all contest for just one purpose — to send the Army back to the barracks and for this we can join hands as well as make seat adjustments and then we can hold another election after six months and transfer power to whichever party won those polls.”
Mr Nawaz, without saying it explicitly, appeared to be interested in bringing about a qualitative change in the country’s politics — a kind of revolution — as ousting the Army from governance would not be anything less.
Imran Khan told the media men while sitting beside Nawaz Sharif that presently people in Pakistan were quite confused as they did not know in what direction they were being led by the opposition parties. Imran said unfortunately every day the public heard contrasting statements from the opposition leaders, which was not a good sign, and it might not serve the purpose of opposition parties.
He also accused one major opposition party without naming it, which according to his understanding frustrated the efforts of opposition parties to announce a combined opposition against General Musharraf. He did not tell the name of the party despite being asked repeatedly although everybody understood it was the PPPP. Imran said people were confused about the strategy of political parties.
Source: The News