- A consensus was reached on holding elections on the same day across the country under a caretaker setup. Ishaq Dar
- Political tensions can be reduced if the government gives a date for NA dissolution. PTI leaders
- The delegation also rejected the government’s plan to conduct general elections in October.
A three-member delegation – comprising of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry and Senator Ali Zafar – were representing PTI in the talks.
Meanwhile, the delegation of ruling coalition includes PML-N’s Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Azam Nazeer Tarar and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq along with PPP’s Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani and Syed Naveed Qamar.
Talking to media after the meeting, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar from the government’s side said that a consensus was reached on holding elections on the same day across the country under a caretaker setup.
The finance minister noted that both sides tabled their proposals on date for holding general elections. “Both the side still don’t agree on one point in the agenda,” he said, adding that another round will soon take place.
Ishaq Dar further said that the delegations will consult with their respective leaders, adding that flexibility was being shown from both sides in the negotiations.
Separately, Shah Mahmood Qureshi from PTI side – while talking to journalists – also confirmed the development, saying that they had “shown flexibility for the sake of national consensus”.
The PTI senior vice chairman noted that his side has agreed on some points in the negotiations with the government team. “We have agreed on holding elections on the same day across the country under a caretaker setup,” he added.
However, he said, both the sides failed to reach consensus on date for elections and dissolution of assemblies – national and provincial. “Both sides also agreed on holding transparent polls so that no one can express concerns later,” he added.
Qureshi further said that the ruling coalition side did not show flexibility on the dissolution of all assemblies before May 14.
It is pertinent to mention here that delegations of the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) held two rounds of talks on holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
During the second round of talks, PTI delegation sought the date for the dissolution of the National Assembly (NA) before the budget.
Moreover, the delegation also rejected the government’s plan to conduct general elections in October.
Sources closer to PTI said that the political tensions can be reduced if the government gives a date for NA dissolution. They added that PTI wants significant progress in talks with the government before the next hearing in the Supreme Court (SC).
It is to be noted here that the government had assured the Supreme Court of holding talks with the opposition over elections in two provinces on April 26.
During SC’s last hearing on polls delay case, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had assured the Supreme Court that they will sit with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and try to find a solution on the election date.
The Supreme Court – in its April 4 order – declared Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone elections to the Punjab Assembly till October 8 “unconstitutional” and fixed May 14 as new date.
The National Assembly later passed a resolution rejecting the three-member Supreme Court bench’s verdict on the Punjab polls, stating that it would not provide funds to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for polls.