PTI denies receiving invitation for reconciliation talks

Gohar says PTI has not been contacted for any negotiation, refutes secret discussions

Imran Adnan April 23, 2024
PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan addressing media outside Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on April 23, 2024. SCREENGRAB


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan denied receiving any formal invitation from the government for reconciliation talks, following a statement made by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah on the matter.

While speaking to reporters outside Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail, Barrister Gohar asserted that PTI had not been contacted for any negotiation, refuting rumours of ongoing secret discussions. If a genuine invitation were received, the party would publicly acknowledge it, he said.

He highlighted that the incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan has also confirmed that he did not receive any message for dialogue. Gohar rejected any notion of holding secret talks with the government, emphasising that his party is open to dialogue but not in a concealed manner.

Commenting on the recent by-elections held in 21 national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies, Gohar criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for failing to conduct free and transparent elections, particularly in Punjab.

He alleged that ballot boxes were filled before the polling process and that the results were pre-planned. He announced that PTI would stage peaceful protests on Friday against the by-election rigging.

Discussing the recent hearing of the cipher case against Imran Khan, Gohar criticised the process, highlighting that the prosecutor presented 21 witnesses in a 14-hour hearing, but Khan’s lawyers were not given a chance to present evidence.

Regarding the cases against Khan's wife, Bushra Bibi, he stated that she had no connection with the Toshakhana case and was targeted to pressure the PTI leader.

Meanwhile during an informal interaction with the media during a hearing in the 190-million-pound case, PTI founding chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan criticised the current state of governance in Pakistan, stating that the "law of the jungle" is prevalent in the country.

He accused Punjab Police of interfering in the April 21 by-elections, suggesting that the elections in Punjab seemed to have been "contested by Punjab Police." Khan contrasted this with the situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where PTI holds power, noting that there were no complaints of rigging, no FIRs filed, and no arrests made in that province.

Imran Khan emphasised that the ongoing issues stem from a lack of the rule of law, and he announced that PTI will stage peaceful protests in all constituencies of Pakistan on Friday in response to the electoral irregularities.

The former prime minister also questioned why returning officers were not sourced from the judiciary, despite repeated requests from opposition parties. He criticised the ECP for failing to conduct transparent and fair elections, asserting that it is the people's right to choose their representatives.
Khan stated that PTI would not allow a "drama" under the guise of elections, reiterating the need for a fair electoral process.

A day earlier during a talk show, PML-N's Sanaullah had extended a reconciliation offer to Imran Khan, suggesting that joint efforts could help overcome the nation's multiple challenges, including economic and political crises. He urged Khan to engage in dialogue, warning that escalating political tensions could further destabilise the country's fragile economy.


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