Serious negotiations only with PM: Sanaullah

By Our Correspondent
June 03, 2023

ISLAMANAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Friday told Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that “serious negotiation” can only be held with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as the party seeks to hold talks in the aftermath of May 9. “If you seriously want to negotiate, then the negotiations will be held only with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif,” the interior minister said in a tweet. Sanaullah, in an interview with Voice of America (VOA), extended the assurance that PM Shehbaz would respond “positively” if the PTI chief approached him for talks.


The interior minister regretted that Khan forms committees for holding negotiations but refuses to sit down with political opponents himself. But in the same interview, the minister mentioned that from the government’s perspective, now might not be the right time to begin talks with PTI as it may hurt the sentiments of martyrs’ families due to the May 9 incidents. PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who remained adamant about not holding talks with incumbent leaders whom he called “thieves”, has now changed his stance and is willing to negotiate with the government.

For this, he had constituted a seven-member committee — comprising PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former defence minister Pervez Khattak, former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser, PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh, and former ministers Murad Saeed, Hammad Azhar, and Aun Abbasi. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had recently said that Khan, while constituting a negotiation team, should form an “alternate” committee as people keep leaving his party. And this is what happened when a day earlier when Khattak announced relinquishing charge as PTI’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president.

The government’s top ministers have ruled out holding talks with the PTI chief, however, Sanaullah has previously hinted as well that there might be some room for negotiations.