Friday, April 28, 2023

Imran Khan sets condition after first round of talks with PDM

"I have asked Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Fawad Chaudhry to talk only if govt willing to dissolve NA," says PTI chief

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan inside the Islamabad High Court. — Twitter/PTI
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan inside the Islamabad High Court. — Twitter/PTI

  • Constitution is supreme not parliament, says Imran Khan.
  • Says PTI won't talk if govt repeats Sept/Oct election point.
  • Imran Khan says PTI with Constitution, PDM against it.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Friday that he has instructed leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Fawad Chaudhry to only talk with the government if they are willing to dissolve the 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 (govt) repeat the same talk of holding elections in September or October then there is no need,” said the PTI chief 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, these two, 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 as his party was with the Constitution while the other was against it.

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

First round of talks 

The ruling alliance and the PTI finally came to the negotiating table a day earlier to discuss the poll date following 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 government's delegation comprised federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Naveed Qamar, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Azam Nazeer Tarrar and Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Yousaf Raza Gilani.

The PTI delegation informed the government about PTI Chairman Imran 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."

Qureshi, while speaking to the media, said 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, an 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.