- Rasheed says trying to clear “misunderstandings” between establishment, PTI.
- Ex-interior minister says PTI’s long march aimed at holding early election.
- Rasheed says he has informed army that he will stand by Khan till the end, come what may.
ISLAMABAD: Ex-interior minister Sheikh Rasheed said Monday that former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan was “ready to sit” with premier Shehbaz Sharif over talks of an early election.
In an interview with VOA, the ex-interior minister said he was making efforts to clear the “misunderstandings” between the establishment and the PTI.
Rasheed added that although he was in favour of “peace” with the armed forces, but in case of a “war”, he would stand by the PTI chairman.
The ex-interior minister said the PTI’s long march was not aimed at anything but the announcement of early general elections as Khan was not ready to accept the new government.
Khan repeatedly blamed the US for backing the no-confidence motion — that lead to his ouster last month — and has refused to accept the newly-elected premier, saying “there can’t be any bigger insult to this country”.
Rasheed’s message to army
Later, while speaking to Dawn News, the former interior minister had said that for the first time in his political career, he had informed the army that he has decided to side with Khan.
The veteran politician said that he also supports the army, adding that he considers the military an “essential part of Pakistan.”
Shedding light on the current political milieu of the country, Rasheed said that he is standing by Khan’s side.
“Imran Khan is not going to withdraw his demand for the elections. He is turning into a Bhutto-like figure,” he said. “While I have good relations with the army, I will still stand with Imran Khan as I cannot double-cross him.
He further said that he is foreseeing Imran Khan to be clean-sweeping the elections. “And if he works hard to win over the people of Sindh, this province will also support the PTI.”
Rasheed went on to say that he cannot go against the wishes of Imran Khan and only tendered his resignation because of him.
“Whether I win or lose, my loyalties will remain with Khan.”