Ahsan says doors for talks with PTI open through Alvi

Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said that the doors were open for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan to hold talks with the incumbent government through President Dr Arif Alvi.

Talking to a news anchor on Express News, the minister stated that the government is ready for talks between it and the PTI if the president wanted to play a role. He added that President Alvi had a constitutional position and should be active again.

Alluding to the establishment, Iqbal further said that it was “not a good tradition” to involve non-political organisations in politics. He maintained that the doors for talks were open if Imran wanted to have discussions while staying within the bounds of democracy.

Read Nawaz tells PM not to engage Imran in talks

He revealed that some members of the PTI had allegedly contacted and spoken to the coalition government but had expressed their reservations about talks, claiming that the PTI chief did not listen to them either.

On the other hand, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that President Arif Alvi has the mandate for negotiations and that negotiations would be conducted in his presence. He emphasised, however, that the only negotiations the PTI was willing to participate in would be about the elections.

He asked the federal government to show willingness for holding elections, adding that there was no contention if they gave a specific date and framework for the elections.

Negotiations not on agenda

Last week, a source in the Prime Minister's Office denied reports that a federal-level committee had been formed to negotiate with PTI, clarifying that its main purpose was to assess the prevailing political situation and do collective decision-making on matters pertaining to the former ruling party’s long march.

The same was also confirmed by senior PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid to The Express Tribune.

However, one of the members of the 13-member committee only partially agreed with this assertion, saying that as of now there was no other committee formed to engage with the former ruling party and till another committee was formed – if need be – this will be the panel for the purposes of any negotiation with PTI leaders.

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