Islamabad, June 20:
The news of the US contacts with the Taliban to ultimately ‘broker a peace deal’ with them is a clear vindication of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf position that it has consistently taken over the last seven years, said Imran Khan, Chairman, PTI.
In a statement released from the Central Media Cell in Islamabad, Imran Khan reiterated that PTI was the party that took a stand seven years ago that war was not the solution to the crisis confronting Pakistan. We had predicted then that the country was heading for a disaster and our prediction has come true. The policy of continuing military action in the tribal belt has only bred more violence and terrorism, causing immense pain and misery to hundreds of thousands of people in the region.
Chairman PTI referred to the recently released Pakistan Economic Survey 2010-2011 according to which Pakistan had never witnessed “such devastating social and economic upheaval in its industry, even after dismemberment of the country by direct war”. , $20 billion has been received in aid from the US while $67.93 billion have been lost to the national economy because of the so-called ‘war on terror’. This is reflected in increased poverty in the country with more than 50% falling below the poverty line.
35,000 people, most of them innocent civilians and 3,500 security personnel had lost their lives to this war. There were over one million IDPs in the tribal areas while six million people had been devastated in the war-ravaged belt. This had resulted in increased radicalisation, polarisation and extremism in the society which was teetering on the brink of total collapse.
Money had been diverted from the health and education sectors to sustain the military operation in a country that had the lowest human development index in the world and one of the lowest education-to-GDP ratios.
There was total lawlessness in the country as the police and security forces were engaged in protecting the VVIPs and themselves while the ordinary people had been forsaken at the mercy of the criminal mafias patronised by the ruling elite.
The institution of the armed forces had been severely damaged as a consequence of launching the military operation. That’s why Pakistan’s enemies were calling it a ‘failed state’ and demanding the initiation of radical steps for securing its strategic assets. Additionally, the army and the intelligence agencies were being assaulted nationally and internationally by elements that wanted to damage the national institutions to serve their nefarious designs.
Imran Khan wondered why was this corrupt government on a suicidal mission that has created grave economic destabilization and subjected the army and intelligence agencies to be targeted internally and from external forces that want to destabilise Pakistan. Imran feared that a continuation of this madness would endanger and imperil the federation.
Imran Khan stated that, two years ago, he had offered to mediate between the militants and the government of Pakistan with an objective to bring peace to this war-torn area, but the stooges in Islamabad did not get an NOC from their US masters. This puppet government has no credibility in the eyes of the people. That’s why no one is willing to talk to them. He again offered to mediate between the militants and the government if the ruling clique exhibited its seriousness in the matter.
Imran Khan warned that Pakistan had been put on a suicidal course that can only lead to destruction. He felt that the government needed to change its course immediately before the predictions of our adversaries would be proved right.
Central Media Cell