Major development: Government – PTI talks to settle political dispute

Shehbaz - Imran

Prime Minister's response to talks with Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD, Oct 22,2022- A major development has been that a direct meeting has been held between the representatives of the current government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf led by Imran Khan to discuss and resolve mutual political disputes.

Different media outlets reported that a meeting was held between the two parties two days ago. The PTI wants the general elections to be held soon, even if they are held in March or April 2023 next year, and in return it will agree to a pact on economic and other institutional reforms.

Imran Khan is pushing for early elections, PDM leadership is insisting on completing the term of his government. After a gap of several months, the relevant leadership is bringing forward the issues discussed between the two parties.

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Another meeting between the two sides is scheduled to take place in the coming days. If these meetings continue, more representatives from both sides will be included in future meetings.

The PTI has been trying for the past several months to achieve its political goals through the establishment, but the establishment was only willing to facilitate negotiations between the two sides.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had made a statement on Thursday regarding his willingness to talk with the PTI government.

Addressing a function in Islamabad, the prime minister expressed his willingness to start talks with the PTI on the subject of the upcoming general elections to find a solution to the current political crisis. He confirmed that PTI has approached the government with an offer of talks.

Dawn told the prime minister that after four years of rhetoric against the PDM people, now Imran wants to sit with us for negotiations. I have put aside my political opposition and expressed my willingness to negotiate for the national interest.

The last time the two sides held talks was in mid-May. Behind-the-scenes efforts by the neutrals led to a meeting between representatives of the ruling coalition and the PTI leadership in Islamabad on May 25, the same day Imran Khan marched towards Islamabad. However, these talks ended without a breakthrough.

The neutrals had also contacted the two sides on May 24 requesting them to come together and end their political disputes as they were causing political instability and economic crisis.

In this meeting held on May 25, Yusuf Raza Gilani, Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal, Malik Muhammad Khan, Asad Mehmood and Faisal Sabzwari represented the ruling coalition while Pervez Khattak, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar represented the PTI.

An important representative of neutrals was also present in the meeting. Due to Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s tough attitude in the negotiations, there was no breakthrough.