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Govt, PTI to meet again as first round of talks comes to end

ISLAMABAD: The government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) delegations will meet again tomorrow (Friday), following the conclusion of the first round of discussions on holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

The government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) held talks at Parliament House to break the political impasse over elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), which lasted about two hours.

PTI was represented at the talks by a three-member team consisting of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry, and Senator Ali Zafar.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Senator Yousuf Raza Gillani, Saad Rafique, Naveed Qamar, and Kishwar Zehra are on the government’s panel.

The government and opposition delegations will meet again on Friday (tomorrow) at 3 p.m.

Speaking to journalists following the meeting, PPP leader Yousaf Raza Gilani said the ruling parties would deliberate and make a decision. “Whatever is decided, it will be based on input from all parties,” he said.

The negotiations would resume tomorrow at 3 p.m., during which the PTI would offer its proposals, according to Gilani, who said that the coalition parties would then be informed of the PTI’s demands.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar stated that it had been mostly determined that the issues will be dealt within the framework of the Constitution.

During a press conference, Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that the consultations lasted two hours and that political parties find solutions to problems through dialogue.

However, he stated that his party will not allow the talks to be exploited to postpone elections.

One-point agenda

PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed optimism for a breakthrough in negotiations to journalists prior to the talks. “Even in despair,” he remarked, “we should hope for the best.”

Furthermore, Fawad Chaudhry stated that PTI has only one goal, which is to win the election. “We spoke with [party chief] Imran Khan, and our issues have been resolved,” he added, adding that the three-member committee has complete authority.

According to the Constitution, elections must be held within 90 days of the assembly’s dissolution. “Negotiations will only take place in accordance with the constitution and the law,” he stressed.

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