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Thursday, April 28, 2022

PM Imran Khan expected to take nation into confidence on deal with TLP

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Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an international conference on the future of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, organized by Pakistan and the UN Refugee Agency in Islamabad, Pakistan February 17, 2020. — Reuters/File
  • PM Imran Khan to speak to nation about current situation in country.
  • Prime minister meets coalition partners; takes them into confidence.
  • He instructs cabinet members to not speak on proscribed TLP.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to take the nation into confidence tomorrow (Wednesday) on the secretive deal that the government had struck with the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), sources told Geo News Tuesday.

The prime minister is expected to speak to the nation about the current economic, security, and political situation in the country, sources said.

Later in the day, addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said the premier would also take the nation into confidence about the government’s economic policies in his address tomorrow.

The information minister said the prime minister would announce a package for the masses in the address. A day earlier, Chaudhry had said PM Imran Khan would announce a “Mega Relief Package” soon amid rising inflation.

The development comes after the government started to implement a secretive agreement signed with the proscribed party as reports suggested more than 800 supporters of the group had been released across Punjab in line with the deal.

PM meets coalition partners

In a meeting with the government’s coalition partners today, the prime minister, according to sources, took the lawmakers into confidence over the agreement with the proscribed TLP.

From MQM-P, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Federal Minister for Information and Technology Aminul Haque, and Federal Minister for Law Farogh Naseem attended the meeting, while Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed represented Awami League, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Fehmida Mirza represented GDA, Federal Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi represented PML-Q.

The meeting’s participants deliberated upon calling a joint session of the parliament. The coalition partners also assured the premier that they would stand on the same page on important national issues, according to sources.

‘Only steering committee to overlook TLP matter’

Separately, in a cabinet meeting earlier in the day, PM Imran Khan ordered federal cabinet members to refrain from speaking about the proscribed TLP, sources informed Geo News.

The prime minister’s directions came during a federal cabinet meeting, where he told the members that a steering committee had been constituted to deal with the proscribed group — and only the committee would overlook the matter.

The prime minister told the cabinet members to back Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry and Federal Minister for Railways Azam Swati.

He told them to visit the election commission along with the ministers when they are summoned by the body.

Chaudhry and Swati had earlier levelled serious allegations against the constitutional body, following which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had served notices to both the federal ministers.

Senator seeks discussion on TLP deal

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan (JUIP) Senator Kamran Murtaza submitted a motion in the Senate, asking the government to take the parliament into confidence over the matter.

In the motion, the senator said there should be a discussion on the government’s deal with the proscribed TLP, as he sought the terms of the agreement.

“The government strikes deals but does not implement on them […] and due non-implementation, people bear the brunt,” the senator said.

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