Muhammad Ali Durrani, secretary general of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), has said that arrest of opposition leaders by the anti-corruption watchdog is hampering efforts to reach consensus with the opposition parties to bring down political confrontation in the country.
The leader of PML-F, an ally of the PTI-led government in the Centre, made the statement while addressing a joint press conference with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Lahore late Thursday.
“The arrests of opposition leaders are creating hurdles for talks as accountability is not the domain of government... it should be carried out by courts,” he said.
His statement comes two days after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) detained PML-N senior leader Khawaja Asif on corruption allegations.
Durrani said he came to meet Fazl, who is also chief of the 11-party alliance called Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on the instructions of PML-F chief Syed Sibghatullah Rashdi Pir Pagaro, as part of his “track-two” dialogue efforts aimed at bringing political stability in the country amid the opposition’s anti-government movement to dislodge the incumbent government.
“The 2021 will be a year of consensus and the meeting will proved to be fruitful,” Durrani said, adding that the agenda setting is inevitable before initiating any “grand national dialogue”.
He also said that all political leaders of the country including PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif are concerned over the people's issues particularly “deteriorating” economic condition of the country.
Speaking alongside Durrani, Maulana Fazl once again categorically ruled out any possibility of dialogue with the incumbent government.
“No dialogue is possible with the government which came into power through rigged elections,” Fazl said, adding that negotiations will also disappoint the masses as they want to get rid of this “incompetent government”.
Fazl said all state institutions needed to be on one page that this government should not be allowed to stay in power and added that “every day of this government is causing damage to the country”.
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