Wednesday June 19, 2024

Political breakthrough: Direct meeting held between govt, PTI representatives

The two sides met two days back. Two representatives from each side attended the meeting

By Ansar Abbasi
October 22, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. 

ISLAMABAD: In a major political breakthrough, there has been a direct meeting between the representatives of the present government and Imran Khan-led PTI to discuss and resolve their political disputes amicably.

The two sides met two days back. Two representatives from each side attended the meeting. The PTI wants early elections -- even if they are held around March-April 2023 -- and in return they would agree to sign the charter of economy and other institutional reforms.

If Imran Khan is pressing for early elections, the PDM leadership is insisting to complete its term. What the two sides discussed in their first meeting after months of gap is being shared with their respective leaderships. The two sides are expected to meet again in the days to come.

In the future meetings, if these talks continue, the two sides will be represented by more people from both ends. The PTI has been trying during the last several months to achieve its political objectives through the military establishment, which was only willing to facilitate the two sides to sit and talk.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday had talked about the PTI’s willingness to talk to the government. Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, the prime minister expressed his readiness to initiate talks with the PTI on the issue of next general elections in a bid to find a solution to the prevalent political crisis.

Confirming that the PTI approached the government with the dialogue offer, the PM was reported by Dawn having said, “After bashing us (ruling PDM leaders) for over four years, now he (Imran) wants to sit at the table for dialogue. I have put my political rivalry aside for national interest and am ready for talks.”

Last time the two sides met in the second half of May this year. With the background effort of the neutrals, the ruling coalition representatives and PTI leaders had met in Islamabad in the morning of 25 May, the day Imran Khan led the long march to Islamabad. The interaction, however, ended without any breakthrough.

The neutrals had also approached both the sides on 24th May with the request that they should sit together for a negotiated solution to their political disputes, which are causing political instability and furthering the economic chaos.

On May 25th morning, the two sides met. Yousaf Raza Gillani, Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal, Malik Muhammad Khan, Asad Mehmood and Faisal Sabzwari represented the coalition government while Pervez Khattak, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar represented the PTI. An important representative of neutrals was also present in the meeting. The talks had no breakthrough primarily because of the harsh conduct of Shah Mehmood Qureshi.