PTI leaders reach out to foreign envoys to seek ‘relief’ for Imran Khan

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PTI Senator Ali Zafar (left), US Ambassador Donald Blome and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi. — APP/US Embassy/Reuters
PTI Senator Ali Zafar (left), US Ambassador Donald Blome and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi. — APP/US Embassy/Reuters 
  • Diplomats did not give an official confirmation.
  • Two PTI leaders confirmed meeting took place.
  • Discussion entailed treatment meted out to PTI chief.

ISLAMABAD: As the noose around Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan remains tightened following his arrest on August 5, his party’s leadership has begun approaching foreign diplomats posted in Islamabad with the aim to request “support” and seek “relief” for their leader.

The party efforts seemed to have sped up, as Khan has been behind bars for over two weeks now after a trial court in the federal capital issued a verdict in the Toshakhan case and handed over a three-year imprisonment sentence to him.

The News, citing sources, reported that a meeting of PTI stalwarts including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Barrister Ali Zafar and Raoof Hasan took place with seven foreign envoys at the residence of Australian High Commissioner Neil Hawkins in the Diplomatic Enclave the other day.

Other diplomats who attended the breakfast meeting include US Ambassador Donald Blome, UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott, European Union Ambassador and Head of the Delegation Dr Riina Kionka, Canadian High Commissioner Leslie Scanlon, Norwegian Ambassador Per Albert Ilsaas and Indonesian Ambassador Adam Mulawarman Tugio.

No official confirmation on behalf of the diplomats is available, but two of the PTI leaders have reportedly confirmed the meeting. The Foreign Office has also not given its version regarding the development.

The meeting that took place over breakfast was scheduled earlier with the consent of PTI stalwart Qureshi, who is currently the party’s senior vice chairman and served as foreign minister of the country twice in the past.

The sources said that in their meeting with the envoys, the PTI leaders spoke about the circumstances in which their chairman had been lodged in jail and the case in which he was sentenced by the court.

The sources said that the PTI team rendered an explanation pertaining to the cipher saga with the US ambassador and discussed with him the political scenario.

PTI Central Secretary Information Raoof Hasan maintained that the Australian high commissioner invited them to breakfast and they availed the opportunity to discuss with them the country’s political situation.

Meanwhile, Senator Ali Zafar said that the increasing trends of terrorism and regional situation as well as elections and political issues were also discussed in the meeting with foreign envoys.

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