Liaqat Baloch refutes PTI chairman’s claim


Jamaat-e-Islami leader Liaquat Baloch is seen speaking in this still from a video. — Jamaat-e-Islami
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Liaquat Baloch is seen speaking in this still from a video. — Jamaat-e-Islami
  • Gohar claims JI “under pressure” not to talk to PTI. 
  • Says JI leadership avoiding meeting with him.
  • JI says no room for misunderstanding among Opposition parties.

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Liaquat Baloch Friday refuted claims made by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan regarding his party being “under pressure” and their failed meeting plans in Islamabad for talks on government formation following the February 8 general elections.

After the polls, the two parties were reportedly mulling to unite with PTI’s successful independent candidates looking to join other parties in the parliament, so that they could jointly form a government in the provinces and Centre where they could have possessed a majority number of parliamentarians.

Gohar, however, claimed that the JI was “under pressure” not to talk to PTI on the said matter and the party’s leadership was avoiding meetings with him.

The PTI lawmaker’s comment came during his appearance in Geo News programme ‘Capital Talk’ in which he said that the JI leaders did not attend a meeting that was decided to take place between him, Liaquat Baloch and other leaders of both parties.

However, in a video released by JI, Baloch said: “There was no pressure on us and JI doesn’t take decisions under pressure.”

In the wake of his several failed attempts to meet with Gohar and PTI’s plans to only talk regarding a government formation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the JI veteran maintained that his party’s central majlis-e-shura considered it right to welcome whatever decision the PTI made, as there was divisiveness amongst its leadership on matters.

The politician added that JI unconditionally wanted to facilitate PTI across the country and that the party would again hold consultations on the new proposal shared by PTI.

Despite Gohar’s claim, the senior politico has shared his willingness to still meet with the PTI chief. “Insha’Allah, I would meet Barrister Gohar myself and we want contact to increase between Opposition parties.”

He added that there is no room for any misunderstanding among Opposition parties, which could benefit the “establishment and anti-Opposition” powers.

At the start of the video, Baloch said that the stance shared by Barrister Gohar Khan was not completely true.

“The truth is that KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur Had contacted JI chief Siraj-ul-Haq after the February 8 elections, seeking JI’s support in providing a platform for the independent candidates backed by the PTI.”

He added that the party conducted [internal] consultations following Gandapur’s request and a committee was formed as a result that decided that they would gather in Islamabad on February 12.

It was decided that the meeting will be conducted at 4pm and Barrister Gohar would arrive with his team, Baloch said,

“Professor Ibrahim, Inayatullah, others and I were present at Mian Aslam’s house. After 4pm we were informed that he would arrive at 6pm, then 6:30pm, then 7pm, then 8:30 and then at around 9pm his secretary, via a phone call, said the meeting cannot be conducted due to some engagements,” the politician revealed.

Baloch continued that his party informed CM Gandapur and Azam Swati about the development. 

“Late at night, Azam Swati acknowledge that it was not right and Barrister Gohar would arrive tomorrow. I told him to inform me about the time, so that I could reach Mian Aslam’s home.”

However, the politician added, that he neither received any “confirmation or communication” nor he was informed about 10 o’clock by Barrister Gohar, but he arrived at the aforementioned time.

“Our former parliamentary leader Sahibzada Tariqullah sahib, who was informed by Azam Swati, was also present there. I then spoke with Barrister Gohar on telephone and told him I could arrive in half an hour or 40 minutes,” he said.

Baloch added that Gohar refused saying that he had to go meet PTI founder Imran Khan at Adiala jail and said he would contact after his meeting. “But the contact never happened.”

On the other hand, the PTI chief said: “I spoke to Liaquat Baloch sahib and went to Mian Aslam’s house to meet him after he asked me to arrive there. I went at his house at the designated time, the lights were on, everything was there, but he was present. The host was also not there.”

Gohar said he reached there at 10pm on the day decided for the meeting, but neither of the two politicians were there and was later informed by them that they were an hour away.

“We approached them again and I talked to him to tell him that we wanted to move forward [with JI],” he said, adding that the party was pressured so much that “they backed out” of the talks.

He insisted that it was them and not PTI that backed out. 

“Liaquat Baloch sahib was supposed to come meet me, we had adjusted the time. But when I understood that he was avoiding, I called him up myself and told him that I would come, as he is a senior parliamentarian.”

Gohar added that it was then decided that the meeting will take place at Mian Aslam’s house. 

“One of their former MNA from Dir arrived and even he did not know that they were not present.”

Baloch also said that during this time, Amir Dogar and Azam Swati were in contact and talks continued with JI. “They said that they will discuss something with JI in relation to the KP government.”

This happened when Siraj-ul-Haq sahib resigned as JI chief, he said, adding that the party then held a meeting of the central majlis-e-shura which also included discussions on the contact with PTI, along with the country’s situation.


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