Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has advised the PTI to form new negotiation team as two out of the seven-member team have “left”.
“I had said 5 days ago that Imran Khan should announce the change of name,” he wrote in a tweet in reply to his May 27 tweet. “The turn has come. Two members of the negotiation team have left. Now form a new team.”
He was commenting while reacting to PTI leader Pervez Khattak’s decision to step down from his party position, hours after reports that he was detained, along with Asad Qasier, in Islamabad on Thursday. They both are members of the negotiations committee.
Both the leaders had arrived in Islamabad from Peshawar where they were taken into custody, sources said. The development had come moments after the Anti-Corruption Establishment arrested PTI President Pervaiz Elahi in Lahore in a corruption case.
PTI chief Imran Khan formed a committee on May 27 to hold negotiations as the party leaders continued to be arrested by the government.
They also include Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Aon Abbas Buppi, Murad Saeed, and Hammad Azhar. Some of the leaders from the committee are either in jail, hiding from arrests, or being speculated about leaving the party amid PTI’s mass exodus.
“God forgives, the captain does not even have 11 players for the team,” Asif said and added that the PTI chief only wanted negotiations with the establishment. He used a cricket metaphor to say that no one wants to have talks with the former ruling party.