Monday December 04, 2023

PM invites Imran Khan to APC to build consensus against challenges

Invitation major development as PDM-led govt, PTI have always been at loggerheads on almost all national issues

February 03, 2023
PM Shehbaz Sharif (Left) and PTI chief Imran Khan. The News/File
PM Shehbaz Sharif (Left) and PTI chief Imran Khan. The News/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday invited Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to an All Parties Conference (APC) aimed at finding solutions to surmount the daunting economic and political crises.

The prime minister seeks to bring heads of all political parties to the table so that they could join heads and strategise to get out of the ongoing turmoil, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement. The conference is set to take place in Islamabad on February 7.

In this regard, she said, Federal Minister Ayaz Sadiq has begun contacting top PTI leaders, including former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser and ex-defence minister Pervez Khattak, and asked them to participate in the upcoming moot.

PTI leader Asad Qaiser, meanwhile, said that consultations were underway within the party over participation in the government’s APC.

The invitation is a major development as the PDM-led government and the PTI have always been at loggerheads on almost all national issues.

On the next day of the APC (February 8), the prime minister would take the parliament into confidence about the course of action on challenges being confronted by the country.

Highly-placed sources told The News here Thursday evening that PTI senators had boycotted the previous joint sitting of parliament, so the ruling alliance was approaching the PTI not to boycott the next week’s joint sitting.

The joint sitting would consider and pass amendments in the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act 2015 that would ensure the direct election of the mayor and deputy mayor of the federal capital. With this, Islamabad will become the first city in the country that will have two prestigious civic offices directly chosen by the people of the city like a number of metropolitan cities of the world. The bill was passed by the National Assembly and Senate separately in December last year, but the president declined to give his assent and the same was returned to the parliament. The amendment in the act would also make it possible to increase the number of local councils in the federal capital.

Separately, on Friday, PM Shehbaz and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah would participate in the apex committee meeting at the Governor House in Peshawar. In the meeting, which will be held after 15 months, the Peshawar corps commander, KP IG and chiefs of other institutions will also take part. Key decisions might be taken over the law and order situation and terrorism following the tragedy in the provincial capital.

Moreover, an updated list of elements involved in terrorism, their facilitators and hideouts would also be presented in the apex committee meeting.