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Saturday, February 24, 2024  
13 Shaban 1445  

Govt-PTI talks postponed till Tuesday, both sides say progress made

Both sides will sit on Tuesday, proposals shared by both sides

Talks between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the ruling alliance were postponed till Tuesday after both sides exchanged demands on Friday.

The talks were held in Committee Room number three, where they ended on Thursday.

Sources said that both sides showed flexibility on their proposed election date in Friday’s session. Speaking to the press afterwards, Ishaq Dar said that that Tuesday’s sitting could be ‘almost final’. He also said that both negotiation teams would take time off for Labour Day and meet again after discussion with party leadership. Sources claimed that a time between July and September could be agreed upon for elections throughout the country at once.

The PTI team has reportedly asked the government to announce a date for the dissolution of the assembly before the budget. The assemblies would be dissolved right after the budget is presented.

Reports had claimed earlier that the ruling alliance had decided to stick to its opinion that elections should be held in October. However, Dar did not sound like things were stuck in his press talk.

“There is no deadlock,” Dar said.

The PTI team also told the media that the talks went ahead in a ‘friendly’ atmosphere and progress had been made.

“We have tabled our demands, and will consult our leadership over the weekedn,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.

PTI’s delegation had told the government team yesterday that they were willing to agree to elections across the country at once, provided all other assemblies were dissolved immediately.

PTI’s Ali Zafar also told the media that he was hopeful that something would be agreed upon on Tuesday.

However, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the arrests of PTI workers was spoiling the atmosphere for talks.

“Talks are pointless if this continues to happen,” he said.

The government team includes Yousaf Raza Gillani, Ishaq Dar, Naveed Qamar, Azam Tarrar, Saad Rafique and Kishwar Zehra.

PTI is represented by Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry and Ali Zafar.

Imran says dissolution of assemblies only way out

While both teams prepared to sit down for a second round of talks, PTI Chairman Imran Khan told journalists that the only way forward was dissolving the National Assembly and announcing elections immediately.

Speaking to journalists informally in the Islamabad High Court, Imran said that if elections in Punjab were not held till May 14 it would mean constitution was violated and rule of law would basically end in the country.

He said that he had told the negotiating team to press for immediate dissolution of the assembly, otherwise there should be no talks.

“If they try to suggest October or September for electionss, then there is no point in talking,” he said.

“The ball is the government’s court, if they want to have elections on one day they can go ahead.”

Conditional talks are pointless, says Khawja Asif

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told reporters that he had heard Imran Khan’s comments about the conditions given to the PTI team, and they would make talks pointless.

“If conditions are set already, then there is no point in having talks,” he said.

He also added that Maulana Fazal ur Rehman who heads the PDM has already clarified that he does not consider PTI to be a political force worth negotiating with.

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