Saturday March 02, 2024

PTI chairman sets NA dissolution pre-condition for talks

PTI chief says “ball” now in government’s court on the matter of elections

April 28, 2023
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan appears before the Islamabad High Court on April 28, 2023. — Twitter/@PTIofficial
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan appears before the Islamabad High Court on April 28, 2023. — Twitter/@PTIofficial

ISLAMABAD: A day after the parleys between the opposition and government were initiated, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday said that he has told Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Fawad Chaudhry to continue the dialogue if the coalition government agrees to dissolve National Assembly.

“I am telling these two if the government is ready to dissolve the National Assembly at once and hold elections then talk. If they (government) repeat their narrative of holding elections in September or October then there is no need,” the PTI chief said while talking to reporters at the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

He was flanked by Qureshi and Fawad when he was speaking to the media. On Thursday, the two leaders, along with Barrister Ali Zafar, held the first round of talks with the government on elections. The two sides will meet again today.

During his informal discussion with the journalists at the IHC, the PTI chief also stated that the “ball” was now in the government’s court on the matter of elections.

“If elections are not held on May 14 it means Constitution is torn apart. If the Constitution is violated then whoever has power will have his way,” said the PTI chief.

He added that his party always respected the Supreme Court adding that there was no comparison between the PTI and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) as his party was with the Constitution while the other was against it.

“The Constitution is supreme not the Parliament,” Khan said.

Govt, PTI hold much-awaited talks on election date

A day earlier after a months-long standoff, the PDM-led government and the PTI held their much-awaited talks on the election date after the Supreme Court's orders.

In the first round of talks — which lasted for around two hours — at the Parliament House's Committee Room Number 3, both sides informed each other about their top leadership's stance, sources told Geo News. The second meeting will be held tomorrow.

The government's delegation comprised Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Yousaf Raza Gilani, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, and Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar.

The opposition's delegation included Qureshi and Chaudhry, and the party's top legal expert Barrister Ali Zafar.

The delegation informed the government about Khan's stance on elections and about how the elections should be conducted.

Talking to journalists after the meeting, Gilani said the ruling parties would consult each other and make a decision. "Whatever is decided, it will be based on input from all parties," he said.

Qureshi, while speaking to the media, the consultations ended after two hours and stressed that political parties find solutions to problems through talks.

"We have entered the talks with a spirit of arriving at a decision [...] but we will not allow the talks to be used as a delaying tactic for polls," the PTI vice chairman said.

After the meeting, sources told Geo News that the PTI presented three demands before the government delegation:

  • The national and provincial assemblies should be dissolved in May this year and for extending polls beyond May 14, amendment should be made to the Constitution;
  • If the government decides to amend Constitution, then PTI's resignations will have to be called back;
  • Elections should be held across the country in July this year.