Ready to continue talks with PTI in ‘greater national interest’, government tells SC

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PTI and government negotiating teams will hold the third round of talks at Parliament House in Islamabad on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.  — Facebook/@Shah Mahmood Qureshi
PTI and government negotiating teams will hold the third round of talks at Parliament House in Islamabad on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. — Facebook/@Shah Mahmood Qureshi
  • Govt says “considerable” progress in talks with PTI.
  • Says PTI “recognizes” the seriousness of the economic challenges.
  • Both parties agree to hold general elections on the same date.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said in a statement to the Supreme Court that the ruling alliance “believes that political issues are best resolved through dialogue and is ready to resume it” in the “greater national interest”.

The government has given assurances in its four-page statement submitted to the apex court today about the recent talk with Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Dar had submitted the statement on behalf of the coalition parties informing the court that “significant progress has been made since the dialogue process began”.

In the statement, Dar said that all members of the ruling alliance, except the two sides, had agreed to the negotiations. He added that five rounds of formal and informal talks have been held between the PTI and the government.

“The Coalition Partners Committee informed the PTI Committee that talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries are at their most sensitive and crucial stages. To avoid further economic deterioration, it is of utmost importance that the agreements with the IMF and friendly countries are concluded before the annual budget 2023-24 can be presented/approved,” the statement said.

Dar shared that he briefed the PTI on the state of the economy when it came to power and the situation after Imran Khan was removed from power in 2022. debt, downgrading of the Pakistan stock market and decline in market capitalization. The PTI was also briefed on the physical and economic losses caused by last year’s devastating floods.

“In view of the foregoing, the undersigned noted that it was absolutely crucial to complete the ninth review of the IMF, approve the annual budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year and approve the 2023-24 trade policy before dissolving the National Assembly ”said the financial institution. minister.

The statement said that the PTI committee “recognized the seriousness of the economic challenges facing Pakistan and agreed to negotiate the holding of general elections for the National and all Provincial Assemblies on the same date”.

“Coalition partners also showed flexibility to reach a political settlement and considered dissolving the National and two Provincial Assemblies before the end of their constitutional mandates. Negotiations between both committees then led to a major breakthrough to break the political deadlock,” the statement said.

The finance minister said that both sides agreed on the following points:

(i) consensus among all participants that the general elections will be held on the same date;

(II) The committees further agreed that there should be provisional governments at both the federal and provincial levels in order to conduct general elections just, fair and in accordance with the law and to provide a level playing field for the leaders of all political parties to actively participate in the electoral process;

(III) However, there is no agreement on the date of dissolution of the National and Provincial Assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan, and both committees agreed on 02-05-2023 to resume negotiations after obtaining the consent of their respective leaders.

PTI welcomes early dissolution of meetings

Fawad Chaudhry, leader of the PTI, reacted to the government’s proposal to wind up the assemblies early, saying it was a “positive step”.

“Agreement before the elections on the dissolution date of the assemblies and impartial transitional governments would be important steps towards an end to the political crisis,” Fawad said.

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