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Pervez Khattak exchanges words with Imran Khan, fellow ministers

Khan reportedly threatened he would invite opposition to form government

SAMAA | and - Posted: Jan 13, 2022 | Last Updated: 1 week ago
Posted: Jan 13, 2022 | Last Updated: 1 week ago

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak has criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan during the parliamentary party meeting of the PTI and its allies before a key vote on the mini-budget.

The altercation stemmed from the issue of the gas shortage in Pakistan especially in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, SAMAA TV’s Abbas Shabbir has reported.

Khattak also staged a walkout from the parliamentary party meeting. The prime minister later invited Khattak to in his chamber and after leaving the chamber Khattak said that he only discussed gas shortage in the meeting, but the media outlets had made a mountain out of a molehill.

At the parliamentary party meeting, Pervez Khattak first exchanged words with Energy Minister Hammad Azhar and walked out of the meeting in protest.

The PM sent Ali Zaidi and Murad Saeed to bring Khattak back, but after coming back Khattak had an exchange with Imran Khan too, Shabbir said.

The defence minister said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province produced electricity and gas but was still facing a shortage. 

“It is us who got you elected as prime minister,” he reportedly told Imran Khan.

Imran Khan hit back by saying he would not be blackmailed.

“If you continued the blackmail me in front of everyone, I would invite the opposition to come and rule the country,” Khan reportedly said.

Khattak said he and other leaders like him had to face voters and if the technocrats did not change their behaviour, people would not vote for the PTI.

He also criticised Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, telling him that he was not a representative elected by a popular vote. “We come through people’s vote and we are answerable to them.”

Speaking to journalists outside the meeting room, Khattak denied that he had an altercation with “anyone”. However, he did say that he demanded his rights.

“I only talked about my rights.”

Khattak said he left the meeting to smoke a cigarette.

Later, Imran Khan called Khattak to his chamber to discuss the issue. Omar Ayub was also in the meeting.

Khattak repeated his grievances to the PM and then left to attend the National Assembly session.

But before joining the NA session, Khattak briefly talked to reporters and said that he was surprised at the media coverage “which suggests as if I have kicked up a storm.”

Khattak rejected the reports that he had threatened to vote against the party. “Imran Khan is my leader and I cannot think against him,” he said.

But the defence minister again confirmed his exchange with Azhar over the issue of gas.

Denial and confirmation

If anything, the defence minister and others confirmed that the issue of gas shortage was raised at the meeting.

Hammad Azhar later told reporters that his explanation had satisfied the participants of the meeting.

SAMAA TV’s Khalid Azeem says that Khattak has confirmed the heated exchange by saying that he demanded his rights, though he would never put in on the record.

Azeem said the lacklustre performance of the PTI in the recent local bodies polls in KP has also disappointed Khattak.

KP Industries Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said it was not unusual for the PTI minister to expressed their reservations before the prime minister.

Speaking to SAMAA TV, Yousafzai also said that gas shortage in KP was a real issue.

Opposition cheers for Khattak in National Assembly

Later, when the National Assembly session started, the opposition members raised slogans to ostensibly support Pervez Khattak asking him to go ahead with his opposition of Imran Khan. “Kadam barhao Pervez Khattak, hum tumhary saath hain.”

The defence minister responded to the slogans by expressing his displeasure. He gestured towards the opposition benches as if to hush them down.

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pervez Khattak Imran Khan, Imran Khattak Pervez exchange words,
 

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