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Civil Society welcomes Zardari’s talk offer

LAHORE: The Mediators, a coalition of civil society organizations and political parties, has welcomed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s proposal to hold ‘unconditional’ talks with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

It has also asked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to invite PTI leader Imran Khan to an open dialogue inside and outside parliament.

“We call on the prime minister and the speaker of the National Assembly to find a way to allow the full participation of PTI MNAs in the crucial final phase of this outgoing parliament to take sovereign charge of the general elections,” a statement issued on Tuesday said.

“We hope that this gesture will bring the parliament to the forefront of resolving the nation’s constitutional and political crises, as well as ease the brewing tension between the legislature and the judiciary,” the statement continued.

It stated that civil society will continue to work to bridge the gap between coalition partners and PTI in order for them to come to the negotiating table.

“Such efforts from any source are appreciated. We hope that Mr. Asif Ali Zardari’s pro-talks stance will break the ice, allowing others to shed bitterness and reciprocate with flexibility “It stated.

Asif Ali Zardari extended an olive branch to PTI on Monday, urging Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to initiate ‘unconditional’ talks with the opposition because “the door for talks should never be closed in politics.” “The prime minister has the authority to start negotiations. I will ask Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to meet with the opposition “Zardari made the remarks while speaking to a joint session of parliament.
The co-chairman of the PPP, who served as the country’s 11th president from 2008 to 2013, also advised the opposition, PTI, not to impose any preconditions on talks.

Zardari’s offer came as PTI senior leader Fawad Fawad Chaudhry praised the PPP for passing a resolution stating that it did not want to be a part of the campaign to discredit judges and claiming that political parties did not obstruct negotiations.

According to the former president, the opposition will have to sit across the table from Shehbaz “because he is the prime minister of the country.”

In reference to his party’s legacy, he stated, “We have been protecting Pakistan and will continue to protect it in the future.” We will leave the next generation with a Pakistan that is not fragmented.

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