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Durrani meets Shahbaz in jail, stresses ‘grand dialogue’

Top Story

December 25, 2020

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) Central Secretary General Muhammad Ali Durrani Thursday conveyed PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif a message from Pir Pagara Syed Sibghatullah Rashadi about the launch of grand dialogue in the country.

After meeting Shahbaz Sharif in the Kot Lakhpat Jail, he told the media that as the head of his party’s delegation, he conveyed an important message from Pir Pagara to the opposition leader. “Pir Pagara sent us to Shahbaz Sharif with a four-point agenda,” he said. All parties should adopt a way of reconciliation before start of any confrontation, he added.

Durrani said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) decision to resign from assemblies was a major threat to democracy as well as the national economy. He said that Pir Sahib wanted conversation in which the opponents sit together and parliament should resume its work; the country and the Constitution should be in the hands of the parliament, he added.

He said Pir Pagara believed that dialogue would have to be held ultimately, even after resignations; so why not start it now. He said that during the meeting, Shahbaz said that he wanted unity of the nation and wanted to unite the opposition and the PDM.

Durrani said Shahbaz told him he was willing to "go to any extent for the sake of unity in the country". Shahbaz said he was sincere with the nation; he did not wish to create any division and asked what role he could play from jail.

Durani claimed that Shahbaz also agreed with the proposal of Pir Pagara. He said that basis of confrontation created problems for all. “Dialogue needs to be started immediately and we suggested launching track to dialogue. Even countries in war situations also conduct dialogue,” he added.

To a question, he said he, along with his delegation, went there to end the confrontation before the fire of resignations burnt the whole political process. He said no one would win from confrontation process, winners and losers both would stand defeated in the end. "At the moment, I don't want to talk about anything that could cause problems," he said.

The PML-F secretary general said that if need arose, he would also go for talks with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Maryam Nawaz. "What I am saying is better for the establishment, the government and the opposition too," he said.

However, it would be wrong to push anyone against the wall in the name of accountability, he added. “If the opposition leaders arrested, the door on dialogue will be closed,” he said adding that movements could not be stopped by imprisoning the opponents.

All political leaders must be freed, the PML-F leader said. He suggested signing of new charter of democracy, a charter of tolerance and a charter of parliament, which have become indispensable. The PML-F leader said he keeps constant touch with PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and is also personally in touch with the country's leadership.