PTI urges govt make the next move by giving date, venue for talks


The PTI on Friday urged the coalition government to “give a date and venue” for a meeting that would bring together all political parties to the table — a move that is expected to rid the country of the ongoing political and economic crises.

In a tweet today, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said, “Azam Nazeer Tarar is making statements every day to sit together and solve issues. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has also asked for talks.

“Take this action further than statements as well and give a date and venue for the [political] parties to meet. Imran Khan has already favoured dialogues,” he added.

His tweet comes a day after PTI Chairman Imran Khan struck a conciliatory tone, saying he was ready to “talk to anyone” and “render any sacrifice” for the sake of the country.

“I will not shy away from any sacrifice for the sake of Pakistan’s uplift, interest and democracy. In this regard, I am willing to talk to anyone and take every step towards it,” the former premier had tweeted.

Imran’s tweet had come a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had once again extended an olive branch to him on Wednesday, emphasising that “all political forces will have to sit together to take the country forward”.

Fawad also reiterated the call for a meeting date and venue while speaking outside the Lahore High Court later today.

Addressing the premier and Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, he said: “You are making statements [so] you should move forward with it. Whatever venue [you decide and if there is an] invitation, Asad Umar is here. You talk, we are ready for that.”

The last time the conversation of all parties coming together had emerged was when the prime minister had called an All Parties Conference (APC) in February and had invited the country’s political leadership, including Imran, to discuss ways to overcome the challenges the country was facing.

Shehbaz had called the APC as the country faced a surge in terrorist activity with a suicide bombing at a mosque in Peshawar Police Lines on January 30 claiming the lives of 84 people, mostly police officials.

PBC ready to call APC
Separately, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Friday said it was “ready to call/arrange” an APC to take the conversation forward.

In a press release issued today, it said the PBC was “ready to call/arrange [an] All Parties Conference and to invite all the central leadership of parliamentary parties to reconcile their disputes through dialogue and to hold free, fair and transparent elections to all Assemblies on a mutually agreed timeframe”.

It quoted PBC Vice-Chairman Haroonur Rashid and Chairman Executive Committee Hassan Raza Pasha as saying that “all parliamentary should resolve their disputes through dialogue and pay attention to other major public issues like inflation, devaluation of currency and unemployment, etc”.

The PBC asserted it and the legal fraternity have “offered services for mediation among parliamentary parties in past through All Parties Conference (APC) and will continue to do so”.

Saying the “country cannot afford to further linger on prevailing tensions”, the statement quoted Rashid and Pasha endorsing the “message of civil society and their invitation to form an informal Group of Mediators to engage with all parliamentary parties to start a reconciliation process to forge a national consensus” on holding elections.