ISLAMABAD/LAHORE – PTI Chairman Imran Khan has demanded of incoming prime minister Nawaz Sharif to make drone attacks stop inside Pakistan after taking charge or ask the PAF to shoot them down because the masses elected them due their anti-drone stance.
In a press statement on Thursday, Imran said that the masses had rejected the policies of General (r) Musharraf and want complete sovereignty for Pakistan.
As a prime minister the first thing Nawaz Sharif needs to do is either to stop the drone operations or shoot them down, the statement reads.
“We will not tolerate US drone attacks inside Pakistan. This is what the people of Pakistan want. They had voted the parties into power that have anti-drone policies,” Imran Khan said, adding that the next prime minister should announce to bring down US drones if they attempt to violate Pakistan’s air space.
Congratulating the speaker and deputy speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for their unopposed election, Imran directed incoming chief minister Pervez Khattak to give top priority to law and order, education and health after taking charge of the office.
There was no response from Nawaz Sharif camp to Imran’s statement, however, sources said that Nawaz Sharif may announce an anti US drone policy soon after taking charge as the prime minister. “We have noticed statement of Imran khan and brought it into the knowledge of Mian Nawaz Sharif as well, though he did not respond to it,” a trusted aide of Nawaz Sharif told TheNation.
Sources say that advisors of Nawaz Sharif suggested him not to issue any statement that is directly or indirectly related to the US policies in the region, arguing that such types of controversial statements may land him or his party’s government in trouble.
It has been learnt that the PTI is finalising an international petition which states that drones are inhuman and violate human rights.
“In a bid to gather support from International community against the US drone strikes inside Pakistan, we are in a middle of drafting a petition to be sent to international human rights organisations and UNO,” a PTI source said. He added that some PTI leaders had suggested Imran Khan to contact Angelina Jolie for getting her support against drone strikes.
Two weeks ago, Mian Nawaz Sharif, while speaking to the representatives of the foreign media, said that he would hold talks with the United States over drone attacks as they were a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. “We will convince the US to stop drone attacks.”
Nawaz Sharif has been saying during his election campaign that drone attacks are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and a challenge for the country’s autonomy and independence.
Analysts say that Imran’s demand of stopping drone attacks in Pakistan was valid and this is what Nawaz Sharif has been stating before election.
“I think both Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan are on the same page regarding policy against drone strikes,” a senior PTI leader said.
Separately, PTI Punjab President Ijaz Chaudhry told a press conference that in order to check the rigging in elections and identify its shortcomings the party leadership would review west Punjab region from June 8 to 10, central Punjab from June 11 to 15, south Punjab from June 16 to 20 and north Punjab from 21 June to 23.
Ijaz said that the masses would reject the government, if it fails to minimise the loadshedding. He said that the people had given their mandate against the drones and the incoming prime minister should hunt down the drones after taking charge of the office.