Home Latest News Arif Alvi Says He is trying to Patch Up differences between PTI, Establishment

Arif Alvi Says He is trying to Patch Up differences between PTI, Establishment

Former president says he is willing to face Article 6 proceedings in court over allegations he violated the Constitution while in office

by Staff Report

File photo of Arif Alvi

In his first press conference since leaving the President’s Office, Arif Alvi on Sunday said he has tried his best to patch up the differences between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the military establishment, stressing this is necessary to unite the country.

“I gave it my all … tried to resolve things from every angle,” he told journalists at his Karachi residence. “I tried in every meeting, some were public, others were not,” he said, while admitting his efforts had failed to make much headway. “Even now, I’m trying to resolve things,” he said, while responding to a question on the May 9 riots. He said he supported an impartial probe into the riots, and punishment for anyone who had broken the law.

Alvi also said the government and the establishment both needed to recognize the mandate given to the PTI. “If you’ve heard my speeches, I have been talking about bringing the country together and the most important step towards this would be recognizing [PTI’s] mandate,” he said, recalling that when the government and military were on the “same page” during the COVID-19 crisis, the country was ranked third in the world in terms of recovery.

He said Pakistan was passing through a tough time. “The economy has been on the downturn for the past couple of years while the country has been experiencing strife. I pray that the country is taken in the right direction,” he said, emphasizing that there were no easy solutions. The leadership, he said, must motivate people toward austerity and lead by example.

To a question on reports of PTI founder Imran Khan wanting to appoint Lt. Gen. (retd.) Faiz Hamid as the next Army chief, Alvi said Khan had always maintained he had no preference. The former president also confirmed he had seen the diplomatic cipher, though did not offer any additional details.

Calling for all cases against Imran Khan to be tried in open court, he claimed confidence that this would result in the exoneration of the PTI founder in all cases against him. Praising Khan, he said the PTI founder would always be his leader. “I have never seen such an honest man,” he claimed. “No one has such a quality to unite the nation. There is no leader like PTI founder,” he added. He said he would soon submit a request to meet Khan in prison.

When asked if he supported Khan’s allegations against the establishment, Alvi said the PTI founder had his own opinions, while he had his own.

On the reserved seats denied to the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council, he said he had insisted a resolution of the issue before the swearing-in of the new National Assembly, adding he had said as much in his statement summoning the maiden assembly session.

To a question, Alvi said he was ready to face legal proceedings against him under Article 6 of the Constitution. “Conduct a case under Article 6 against me if they want. Those levelling allegations of unconstitutional actions can go to the courts,” he said, maintaining he had “stood fast” on accountability and democratic values. “I adhered to the Constitution and did what was appropriate,” he insisted.

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