Third round of Govt-PTI talks fails to make breakthrough

ISLAMABAD: The third round of talks between the government appointed panel and the protesting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday failed to make any headway as the latter showed no sign to budge on its demand for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation.

Talking to media representatives after today’s round of talks here, Sardar Sarwar – one of the members of government’s negotiation committee – said the talks could not be successful despite acceding to all the demands of PTI except for PM’s resignation. “Both the sides shared agreement on all points but one (PM’s resignation).”

The government’s committee comprised Ahsan Iqbal, Zahid Hamid, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Sardar Sarwar and Pervez Rashid while Shah Mehmood Qurshi, Javed Hashmi, Assad Umar, Jahangir Khan Tarin and Arif Alvi represented PTI’s panel for the dialogue.

Ahsan Iqbal said PM’s stepping down would amount to a punishment without proof. “A solution based on someone’s stubbornness and ego cannot be imposed upon the nation,” he added.

He said the PTI committee came forward as advocates of a minus-one formula.

He said fresh elections should be conducted if the judicial commission comes to a conclusion that an organized rigging did take place in elections.

Shah Mehmood Qurshi said that though the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has accepted government’s proposal of judicial commission, the Prime Minister will have to resign to ensure an independent commission.

He said the PM should step aside for one month during which the judicial commission may complete its probe. And then if the commission declares the elections transparent, the same PM would be acceptable to PTI, he added.

Qureshi said that a joint committee comprising representatives from different intelligence agencies should probe the poll rigging and the judicial commission complete its work within a month.

He denied the impression that the PTI had called for dissolution of assemblies.
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He said an electoral reforms committee had already been formed but another committee of experts should also be set up. He added that legislation could be introduced in the parliament after recommendations of both the committees.