Military establishment has ‘exhausted all smaller options’, must speak to Imran: Raoof Hasan

PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan has stated that the military establishment, having used up its lesser options, is left with no choice but to engage in discussions with ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan on May 9 in the Al-Qadir Trust case led to widespread unrest and attacks on key military sites, prompting the state to severely clamp down on his party, causing further arrests and defections.

Despite criticizing the military, Imran has repeatedly shown a readiness to negotiate.

During his long march in October 2022, he mentioned ongoing dialogues with authorities to resolve the national political turmoil.

In March 2023, Imran expressed his readiness to discuss with army chief General Asim Munir and later stated his openness to dialogue with “anyone”. In May, he proposed forming a committee for discussions with the authorities.

Speaking at Adiala Jail on Saturday, Imran indicated ongoing communications between some PTI leaders and the establishment, signifying his openness to dialogue for national interest.

Raoof made these comment on Sunday, during an interview with a private news TV channel. Hasan mentioned, “Prior to his arrest, Imran had already formed a committee to negotiate with the establishment, a stance that remains unchanged.

Hasan emphasized the inevitability of dialogue with Imran, describing him as a significant figure and Pakistan’s most influential political leader, even from jail.

Hasan reiterated the necessity of discussions with Imran, who he said “captures the nation’s heart.”

On PTI’s unified stance towards negotiations with the military, Hasan affirmed the party’s openness, highlighting Imran’s consistent willingness for dialogue.

Addressing internal party disputes over Senate ticket allocations and Shehryar Afridi’s comments about internal dissent, Hasan underscored that all decisions align with Imran’s intentions.

“PTI is synonymous with Imran Khan. His influence is pivotal for the party’s vote bank. All decisions echo his intent,” Hasan stressed.

He also noted the challenges party leaders face in meeting Imran at Adiala Jail, mentioning a significant recent meeting as the first in seven months.

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