Imran Khan responds to Zardari-Riaz audiotape about ‘patch-up’ message

The alleged conversation surfaced on Saturday
<p>A montage photo of Malik Riaz (L), Imran Khan (C) and Asif Ali Zardari (R).</p>

A montage photo of Malik Riaz (L), Imran Khan (C) and Asif Ali Zardari (R).

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan on Tuesday denied contacting property tycoon Malik Riaz for a “patch-up” with the former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The response came after an alleged audiotape surfaced on Saturday in which Riaz can be heard giving a “patch-up” message to Zardari from Imran Khan. However, the date of the audio was unclear to identify the context of the alleged conversation.

The former prime minister, who became the first premier to be ousted through a no-confidence vote in April, rejected the notion that he wanted any reconciliation with the PPP leader.

‘No need to verify resignations’

Khan, once again, maintained that he had not made “any deal with anyone” to call off the long march on May 26 to avoid bloodshed. “I am saying this from the last 26 years: Zardari and PML-N are the same,” he said while rejecting the claims of a deal with the coalition government.

Speaking to a group of social media influencers, he said the PTI members have already resigned from their posts, adding that there was no need to verify their resignations.

A day earlier, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf summoned PTI lawmakers to verify their resignations from the parliament.

“We had announced in front of the National Assembly’s speaker that we have resigned,” he said. “There is no need for a member to verify their resignation individually […] The day we come back to the assembly, it will mean that we have accepted this imported government.”

‘Pressure to recognize Israel’

Talking about Israel, Khan said there was “a lot of pressure” on his government to recognize the statehood of Israel when the Abraham Accords were signed last year and he was in power.

However, Khan refused to share the name of who sent the message to his government to recognize Israel.

“We were sent a message that you should think about your country, but at this time, I cannot reveal who had sent the message to us,” he added.

Imran Khan

Asif Ali Zardari

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