The federal government of Pakistan on Saturday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will not put down his resignation papers 'under any circumstances' amid the anti-government protest in Pakistan. This statement comes after the opposition parties called to "restore 'real' democracy in the country" and urged the Prime Minister to resign. Earlier, the opposition parties called off negotiations and vouched to go ahead with their 'Azadi March' to hold anti-government protests countrywide over the incumbent government's failure to fulfill any of its promises so far.
According to reports, the Express Tribune quoted Pakistan's Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, the head of the government committee formed to hold talks with the opposition parties, as saying at a news conference, "The prime minister (Imran Khan) will not resign under any circumstances."
"It is impossible to accept the opposition parties' demand [for the prime minister's resignation] and they only want to intimidate the government, but we will take action they stick to their stance," the Minister added. Khattak was accompanied by the Education Minister of Pakistan, Shafqat Mehmood, who is also a member of the committee formed by Imran Khan particularly with the aim to hold talks with the opposition parties.
The development comes after Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl's (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had refused to call off his October 31 anti-government march, backed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), until the prime minister's resignation, as per reports.
According to reports, Reiterating the government's offer to negotiate, Khattak said, "We have included Pakistan's National Assembly speaker (Asad Qaiser) and Pakistan's Punjab Assembly speaker (Pervaiz Elahi) in the negotiating committee. The opposition parties should sit down with us and speak to us about their demands, which will be examined."
Khattak also said that the Pak Government was serious about addressing the opposition's issues. "If they have any evidence of rigging in the 2018 general elections, they can present it to the parliamentary committee formed for this purpose," he proposed.
On October 18, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also called for the anti-government demonstrations and expressed support to JUI-F's 'Azadi March'. "We don't accept this artificial democracy... the democratic and socio-economic rights of the masses shall be restored... and for that Imran Khan has to resign," Bhutto had said in his address at a party rally in Karachi.
He said that all opposition parties had decided that the Imran Khan-led government must step down. "Our anti-government movement has started from Karachi," he said, as he announced his plan for further protests across the country.
He said that the PPP will protest in Thar on October 23, demonstrate in Pakistan occupied Kashmir on 26th whereas rallies in Pakistan's Punjab will begin from November 1. "We will tour the entire country (Pak) and when we return from Kashmir, you (Imran Khan) will have to go...We will expose your incompetence in every nook and corner of the country."
Khattak warned that there could be chaos in the country if the opposition remained stubborn and refused to opt for dialogue, as per reports. A few weeks ago, the JUI-F chief had termed the current government a result of the fake election and fake results.
(With ANI inputs)