PTI rejects ‘attempts to sabotage’ election talks with govt

(MANEND NEWS): Fawad Chaudhry, the spokesperson of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), on Saturday announced that the former ruling party has decided to continue negotiations with the government regarding the framework for elections within the bounds of the Constitution.

Fawad, taking to Twitter, stated that the PTI is committed to upholding the orders of the Supreme Court and rejecting any attempts to “sabotage the talks.”

He further said that the final agenda for the negotiations will be discussed on Tuesday.

The announcement came soon after Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar denied any involvement of the federal government in the last night’s raid on the residence of former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi in Lahore.

According to a statement issued today, Dar contacted senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi and denied any involvement of the Centre in the police action, saying that it was instead carried out by the caretaker Punjab government.

Dar expressed sorrow over the raid and the violation of the sanctity of the “veil and the four walls”. Qureshi informed Dar about the emotions of Elahi’s family as well as the sentiments within the party.

“We will inform our leadership about the emotions of the PTI,” Dar assured Qureshi, adding that his party will soon contact the opposition party again in this regard.

Earlier in the day, Fawad had said that the party will decide about the future of the talks with the Centre after consulting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Fawad, in a tweet, stated that the attack on PTI Central President Pervez Elahi’s residence, the detention of Ali Amin Gandapur despite bail, and the arrests of workers were making the negotiation process “meaningless”.

He questioned how the government would take major decisions if it could not better the ongoing environment despite giving assurances.

The tweet comes a day after a team of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), Punjab, and the Lahore police conducted a late-night raid to arrest Elahi.

The law enforcement officials remained on the premises of Elahi’s residence for more than three hours during which they took into custody around nine people, but were unable to find Elahi.

Govt-PTI talks

Hours before the raid, efforts to find common ground through dialogue between the leaders of the ruling alliance and the PTI continued as the talks remained on track, and the leaders on both sides had, so far, refused to let their differences come in the way of forging a consensus on general elections.

On the second day of talks, the government and the PTI teams once again entered a room in the Parliament House, shut the door and emerged after a couple of hours, agreeing that the third – possibly final – round would take place on coming Tuesday after which a decision would be announced.

Though the leaders emerged sounding hopeful about the future prospects, the second round of talks between the PTI and the ruling coalition to break the ongoing political and constitutional impasse in the country ended with both sides agreeing to take input from their leadership and continue negotiations next week.

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