‘Govt ready for ‘grand political dialogue’ if Imran Khan wants to’

Web Desk
March 23, 2023

'PTI chief should send two people from his side and two people from govt will sit together to discuss things,' law minister says

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Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar addressinga press conference on March 23, 20223, in this still taken from a video. — Twitter/PTVNews

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar on Thursday called for a grand national dialogue among all stakeholders, including politicians, to bring down political heat and hold simultaneous elections for national and provincial assemblies.

“If [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman] Imran Khan wants to hold grand political dialogue we are ready,” he said addressing a press conference.

The law minister lamented that during the four-year tenure of the PTI, they did not try to mend relations with the opposition.

“Imran Khan should send two people from his side while two people from the coalition government will sit together to discuss things,” he said.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader mentioned that Pakistan is facing serious economic and security challenges as well as political upheavals, which require unanimous views among all the stakeholders, especially the political parties.

He said the democratic process is successfully continuing in the country and “we should refrain from paving way for any undemocratic third option”.

'Simultaneous election only viable option'

Commenting on the elections dilemma, he said that the simultaneous election for the national and four provincial assemblies is the only viable option to bring political and economic stability to the country.

Tarar, while endorsing the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone the date for general elections in Punjab from April 30 to October 8 — said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) made a right move by withdrawing the election schedule.

A day, the electoral body, in a surprise development, announced the postponement of the upcoming elections in Punjab till October 8, initially scheduled to be held on April 30, citing security reasons as the major cause for the change in plan.

Supporting the ECP’s decision, the law minister mentioned that Article 254 of the Constitution provides that when any act or thing is required by the Constitution to be done within a particular period and it is not done within that period, the doing of the act or thing shall not be invalid or otherwise ineffective by reason only that it was not done within that period.

The minister further added that a digital census is underway in the country and its findings will also be compiled in the next few weeks.

He said this will address the concerns of the smaller provinces and provide a basis for delimitations of constituencies across Pakistan.

“We should not forget that the country is also facing security challenges on multiple fronts and holding elections requires the massive deployment of law enforcement agencies, which is not possible at this point in time,” he said.

— Additional input from Radio Pakistan

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