Release of leaders, electoral transparency on cards as PTI picks Achakzai to lead talks

Negotiations to include talks on constitutional boundaries of state institutions, release of workers and leaders

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Pashtunkhwa Mili Awami Party (PkMAP) Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai is participating in a protest in Pishin against alleged rigging in the general elections 2024 on February 22, 2024.—@MKAchakzaiPKMAP/X
  • PTI leadership backs use of TTAP alliance's platform for talks.
  • Party's political leadership will be part of negotiations: sources.
  • Agenda to include Constitutional boundaries of institutions.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Wednesday picked Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai to lead the negotiations via opposition alliance's platform Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Ayeen (TTAP), sources told Geo News.

The development comes after the PTI leadership supported using the TTAP's platform for negotiating with the stakeholders, the sources added.

Meanwhile, PkMAP chief Achakzai, who will be given full authority to lead the talks, will take further steps in this regard once the PTI finalises its decision.

With the development of a consensus of all the stakeholders on a common charter serving as the basis of the talks, the negotiations will revolve around matters pertaining to the release of incarcerated leaders and workers, electoral transparency, and the constitutional boundaries of the judiciary, parliament and other state institutions.

Furthermore, the PTI's political leadership will also be part of the negotiations, the sources said.

The development comes a day after PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar said that the party's incarcerated founder, Imran Khan, had given his approval for talks with the government and said that the party would initiate negotiations after talking to Achakzai.

"We told the PTI founder that dialogue is necessary, as the distance is widening. He agreed with us [on this]," said Gohar, when speaking with journalists outside the Adiala jail.

The PTI chairman noted that the former prime minister wanted the avenues of dialogue to be opened. He told journalists that Khan is ready to forgive what has happened to him for reconciliation.

"PTI founder has said many times that 'I am ready to forgive what happened to me'," said the PTI chairman.

When asked if the negotiations will take place at the behest of the Supreme Court's advice, Barrister Gohar said: "The option given by the SC is also under consideration."

However, he emphasised that it is PTI's "own decision" to negotiate.

"PTI founder did not write any letter to the SC for negotiation. PTI will also respond to its negotiation option."

The PTI chief's comment comes days after Khan decided to "step back" from his rigid stance, ordering his party leaders to establish contacts both inside and outside the Parliament to ease the ongoing political tension, sources told Geo News.

The sources said that the party's leadership was directed to hold talks with various political parties outside the Parliament, while its lawmakers were also asked to enhance its relations with parties in the ruling coalition government.