The inside details of PTI-govt election talks

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
Web Desk
PTI and PDM-led government negotiating teams holding third round of talks at Parliament House in Islamabad on Tuesday, May2, 2023. — Facebook/@Shah Mahmood Qureshi
PTI and PDM-led government negotiating teams holding third round of talks at Parliament House in Islamabad on Tuesday, May2, 2023. — Facebook/@Shah Mahmood Qureshi

  • PTI to submit report in SC today, Fawad confirms.
  • He says party will request court to implement Punjab polls verdict
  • Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Dar admitted PTI showed flexibility.

ISLAMABAD: The much-anticipated talks between the coalition government and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) remained inconclusive on Tuesday as leaders from both sides failed to reach a consensus on the date for the dissolution of the assemblies and holding of the general elections in the country.

Hours after the meeting ended, sources unveiled the inside details of the negotiations, claiming that the ruling alliance was ready to show more flexibility on the elections date.

“Both sides have agreed to continue negotiations after a report has been submitted in the Supreme Court,” the sources told Geo News, adding that talks might resume once the apex court announces its verdict.

The government officials and the PTI leaders sat across the table after the Supreme Court had intervened in the elections matter after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) postponed the polls in Punjab to October 8 due to the lack of funds and unavailability of security after initially announcing that polls would be held on April 30.

The apex court later on proposed to the political parties to reach a consensus on holding polls together across the country or else the court would give its decision.

After the conclusion of the third day of talks, the sources said that the delegation representing the coalition government categorically turned down the PTI’s proposal of dissolving assemblies before May 14.

“The assemblies can’t be dissolved before the federal budget is tabled,” the sources said, adding that the PTI partially agreed on this.

Moreover, they said that the PTI urged the coalition government to bring unity among all factions as statements and attitudes of some of the ruling alliance leaders was triggering mistrust between the two sides.

The PTI delegation was led by Shah Mahmood Qureshi and comprised Fawad Chaudhary and Senator Ali Zafar.

Meanwhile, the government team comprised former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Law Minister Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar, National Food Security and Research Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's Kishwar Zahra.

PTI to submit report in SC today

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad said that the party will submit a detailed report of negotiations with the "PDM alliance" in the Supreme Court today.

He further added that the party will request the apex court to implement its order regarding the Punjab Assembly elections.

Govt admitted PTI showed flexibility: Qureshi

PTI Vice Chairman Qureshi said they tried to take the matter forward with good intentions, adding that the finance czar Dar admitted that the party showed flexibility.

“We showed flexibility for national consensus,” he said.

Qureshi, while speaking to a private channel, revealed that the government has a three-point agenda, which included:

  • Elections should be held across the country on the same date
  • Elections should be held under the caretaker government
  • The results of the polls should be accepted by all parties

The PTI leader added that the PTI’s position was clear that the according to the directives of the Supreme Court elections should be held on May 14.

Qureshi, who has accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of trying to sabotage the talks a day earlier, reiterated that the factions of the ruling alliance made all out efforts to cripple the negotiations.

Recalling Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Khawaja Asif and Javed Latif’s remarks and stance regarding the PTI and the talks, Qureshi said that despite the attitudes and statements of these leaders “we made an effort so that the nation can be pulled out of this chaotic situation”.

“On one hand negotiations were carried out while on the other hand they raided the houses of our leaders,” he said, recalling two recent incidents when police raided PTI President Parvez Elahi’s Lahore and Gujrat residence.

The former foreign minister revealed that the PTI delegation tried to understand the government’s perspective and even chalked solutions for the legal obstacles as per the Constitution.

“We will now submit a report to the Supreme Court sumarising the three rounds of talks held on the directives of the apex court,” he said, adding that they will inform the judiciary that results are not visible.

He further added that if the mindset of the ruling alliance remains same then more rounds of talks will remain meaningless.

“We will urge the Supreme Court to take decision as per the Constitution, and will assure it that the people will defend the order,” Qureshi maintained.