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Wednesday July 24, 2024

PTI 'picks' Achakzai to lead talks for opposition alliance

Sources say agenda of negotiations will include release of incarcerated leaders, electoral transparency, etc

By Haider Sherazi
June 12, 2024
PkMAP Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai arrives before the start of the voting process by newly-elected lawmakers to appoint Pakistan’s new prime minister at the Parliament House in Islamabad on March 3, 2024. — AFP
PkMAP Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai arrives before the start of the voting process by newly-elected lawmakers to appoint Pakistan’s new prime minister at the Parliament House in Islamabad on March 3, 2024. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has assigned the task to carry out negotiations with the stakeholders to Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai via the platform of the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Ayeen (TTAP) alliance, sources told Geo News on Wednesday.

The development comes after the PTI leadership, the sources added, suggested using the opposition alliance's platform for holding talks with the stakeholders.

Furthermore, it has been decided to give Achzakzai full authority to lead the negotiations.

The PkMAP chief will take further steps in this regard once the PTI finalises its decision, the sources added.

With the development of a consensus of all the stakeholders on a common charter serving as the basis of the talks, the negotiations will revolve around matters pertaining to the release of incarcerated leaders and workers, electoral transparency, and the constitutional boundaries of the judiciary, parliament and other state institutions.

Furthermore, the PTI's political leadership will also be part of the negotiations, the sources said.

The development comes a day after PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar said that the party's incarcerated founder, Imran Khan, had given his approval for talks with the government and said that the party would initiate negotiations after talking to Achakzai.

"We told the PTI founder that dialogue is necessary, as the distance is widening. He agreed with us [on this]," said Gohar, when speaking with journalists outside the Adiala jail.

The PTI chairman noted that the former prime minister wanted the avenues of dialogue to be opened. He told journalists that Khan is ready to forgive what has happened to him for reconciliation.

"PTI founder has said many times that 'I am ready to forgive what happened to me'," said the PTI chairman.

When asked if the negotiations will take place at the behest of the Supreme Court's advice, Barrister Gohar said: "The option given by the SC is also under consideration."

However, he emphasised that it is PTI's "own decision" to negotiate.

"PTI founder did not write any letter to the SC for negotiation. PTI will also respond to its negotiation option."

The PTI chief's comment comes days after Khan decided to "step back" from his rigid stance, ordering his party leaders to establish contacts both inside and outside the Parliament to ease the ongoing political tension, sources told Geo News.

The sources said that the party's leadership was directed to hold talks with various political parties outside the Parliament, while its lawmakers were also asked to enhance its relations with parties in the ruling coalition government.