Government reschedules APC on terrorism to 9th

-Info Minister says leaders to formulate joint strategy to combat terrorism
-Qaiser hints ‘ready to bury the hatchet for peace in country’
-Habib asserts Party has not taken final decision on attending APC

Staff Report
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb announced on Mon-day that the all-parties conference (APC) convened by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will take place on February 9 instead of 7.
Marriyum said that the national leadership will formulate a joint strategy to combat terrorism and other chal-lenges being faced by the country.
The minister said that the National Action Plan would also be reviewed in the APC.
Following last week’s deadly bombing in a Peshawar mosque, PM Shehbaz Sharif summoned an APC to find solutions on “important national challenges”.
The prime minister seeks to bring heads of all political parties on the table so they can join heads and figure out ways to address “important national challenges”, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb had said in a statement back then.
In a bid to develop consensus on the issue, the PM also extended an invite to his rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.
Federal Minister Ayaz Sadiq had contacted top PTI leaders — including former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser and ex-defence minister Pervez Khattak — and asked them to participate in the moot.
The invitation was a major development as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government and the PTI have always been at loggerheads over almost all national issues, not only since Khan’s ouster from the PM Office, but even when the tables were turned.
However, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said that party chief Imran Khan would not attend the federal government’s APC.
The PTI leader Umar had said: “How can we sit with them [PDM-led government] while cases are being reg-istered against us?”
The APC holds importance as the government faces an uphill task when it comes to terrorism. The terror at-tacks have witnessed a spike after the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended its ceasefire with Islamabad in November last year.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader and former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser has said that the party is ready to set aside their differences for peace in the country.
In a statement issued on Monday, the PTI leader called upon the government to change its behaviour as the “country is going through serious crises.”
“National unity is the need of the hour,” he said, adding that the government would have to improve its be-haviour first.
“In our [PTI] tenure, the government evolved a better strategy and succeeded to restore peace [in the coun-try]. Our strategy was in the best interest of the country,” he added.
Responding to a question about the All Parties Conference (APC), the former NA speaker said that the gov-ernment’s representatives made a telephone call to him on Sunday and verbally invited him to the multi-party conference.
“It was not an appropriate way to invite anybody to the APC,” he said, adding, “National harmony in Paki-stan is out of the question as the government shows unconstitutional behaviour.”
Imran Khan rejects APC invitation
On February 3, PTI Secretary-General Asad Umar said the party Chairman Imran Khan would not attend the federal government’s APC scheduled for February 9 (Thursday). However, earlier the APC was to be held on Tuesday (today).
The statement of the PTI leader came as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif confirmed the invitation he had ex-tended to the PTI chief at an apex committee meeting in Peshawar.
During the high-level huddle, the premier without naming the PTI chief, said: “I have also invited the person who does not want to even shake hands with me,” adding, “All parties are invited to the APC and apex com-mittee meetings and I hope that it will not be rejected.”
It is pertinent to mention here that following last week’s deadly bombing at a Peshawar mosque, PM Shehbaz summoned the APC to find solutions to “important national challenges”.
The premier seeks to bring heads of all political parties to the table so they can figure out ways to address the challenges, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement.
Meanwhile,  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Farrukh Habib on Monday said the party had not taken final decision on attending the all parties conference (APC) called by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Feb 9.
Speaking to TV, he said a suitable environment was needed to be created before calling [us] to the APC. “If you are serious about gathering all at a table, you should not add salt to the injuries of [the people martyred in suicide attack in] Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)”, he added. They, he said, had arrested the PTI leaders even before lodging first information report (FIR) against them.
He said the PTI was too major political party to be ignored. “We saw the government’s fascist outlook [when it ordered an opera-tion] at the parliament lodges”, he added. He said he had not gone to his flat at the lodges after the ‘regime change operation’.
Speaking about the terrorism in KP, he said the incumbent government did not pay heed to the concerns raised by Murad Saeed [on terrorism] adding that KP was the worst-hit province by terrorism. “Rs600 billion were spent on KP’s security in nine years”, he added.
Commenting on the blockage of health card by the government, he said Rs400 billion earmarked for the health card scheme had been rolled back. “The establishment of DNA lab at Khyber medical college was initiated in the PTI’s tenure, but Shehbaz Sharif is doing false propaganda over the laboratory”, he added.
He said the “Jail Bharo Movement” had been announced as a protest. “Bogus FIRs have been lodged against me as I had blocked a vehicle with no number plate”, he added.