Govt, PTI kick off negotiations at Parliament House to build consensus on holding elections to national & provincial assemblies on one date
Second round of talks to be held today at 3:00 PM
Ishaq Dar says we have to review the matters while remaining in the ambit of the constitution
Shah Mehmood Qureshi says political problems could be addressed with good intentions
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
A committee of leaders representing the federal government and a team of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leaders finally kicked off highly-anticipated negotiations at the Parliament House on Thursday to build consensus on holding elections to the national and provincial assemblies on one date.
The government has nominated senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Railways Minister Khawaja Muhammad Saad Rafique, Law Minister Senator Chaudhry Azam Nazeer Tarar Advocate and Economic Affairs Minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders Makhdoom Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar as members of the committee holding the talks. The MQM-Pakistan’s Kishwar Zehra and Muhammad Abubakr are also a part of the government-nominated committee.
Meanwhile, PTI Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, Senator Barrister Syed Ali Zafar and senior leader Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry are representing the PTI.
As per reports, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has decided to skip the talks.
The first round of the talks between the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government and the PTI came to close on Thursday at the Senate Secretariat, with the second round to be taken place on today (Friday) at 3:00 PM.
According to media reports, the PTI stressed dissolving the National Assembly (NA) as PTI Chief Imran Khan wanted the NA to be dissolved no later than July.
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, talking to the media, said political problems could be addressed with good intentions. “The solution will be sought following the constitutional provisions,” he added. The PTI wanted to move forward, he said, with country’s progress as the topmost agenda. He went on to say that the government still needed time to deliberate. “We suggested them to take time and come back with a proposal,” he added.
The second round of talks would take place today (Friday), said Yusuf Raza Gillani. “We would take a final decision after taking all the parties on board,” he added. Talks were held, he said, in a good environment. Yusuf Raza Gillani said that the talks would be resumed today (Friday) at 3:00 PM at the Parliament House, during which the PTI would present its demands. Parties part of the ruling coalition would then be apprised of the PTI’s demands, he added.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the meeting would be held at 3:00 PM today (Friday) with more details. “We have to review the matters while remaining in the ambit of the constitution,” he added. “We have no demands,” said Ishaq Dar.
Ishaq Dar said it was principally decided that matters would be resolved within the ambit of the Constitution.
Speaking to the media ahead of the meeting, Qureshi said that there was only “one-point agenda” for the talks, and that was elections.
When a reporter sought clarification on whether he meant early elections, he succinctly replied, “elections”.
In response to another question, he said the PTI’s delegation had Imran Khan’s complete mandate for the talks. “Whether the Pakistan Democratic Movement has the mandate for the talks, this you may ask them.”
Asked whether the PTI was sticking to its stance of the government using the talks as a delaying tactic, Qureshi replied, “This will become apparent by their attitude.
“In the past, their attitude has shown that they are using delaying tactics. Let’s see how their attitude is today,” the ex-foreign minister said. The PTI leader said the purpose of Thursday’s talks was to end uncertainty in the country.