Islamabad: The main opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) today submitted an adjournment motion in the National Assembly over Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s invitation to the Taliban to play a cricket match.
The motion seeking a discussion on the issue was submitted by PPP lawmakers Imran Legahri, Shazia Marri, Ijaz Jhakrani, Kamal Khan and Abdul Sattar Bachani.
It stated the minister had invited the Taliban to play cricket at a “sensitive time”. It added that Khan’s offer was tantamount to insulting the people and security forces of Pakistan, Geo News reported.
Interacting with reporters yesterday, Khan had indicated that a cricket match with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan could help revive the stalled peace process between the government and the outlawed group.
Khan is one of the key ministers overseeing the government’s efforts to engage the TTP in peace talks. The process was suspended last week after a Taliban faction executed 23 troops taken hostage in 2010.
“I have information that the Taliban keep an interest in cricket. So if this message can go through to them, we can have a cricket match with them which can have a better result,” he said after an exhibition match in Islamabad.
TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid rejected the offer, saying cricket was responsible for turning the youth away from jihad. The Taliban also said they were strongly opposed to the game of cricket.
Khan’s remarks were criticised by opposition parties and the public on social media.