Imran reaffirms willingness for talks

Says ready for negotiations with all except PML-N, PPP, MQM

Our Correspondent May 04, 2024
PTI founder Imran Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE


Former prime minister and incarcerated founding chairman of PTI Imran Khan has once again signalled his willingness to sit down at the table with all stakeholders except for the PML-N, PPP, and MQM-P.

The PTI founder made it clear that the formation of a three-member committee within his party is aimed at facilitating discussions, not striking deals.

During an informal conversation with journalists at Adiala Jail on Saturday, Imran said negotiations are typically conducted with adversaries rather than allies.

He clarified that those seeking to dodge legal repercussions or flee the country are often the ones eager to strike deals."

"We have been stating for 18 months that we are open to talks because negotiation is an integral part of politics. We are willing to engage with everyone except for the three parties mentioned, for which a dedicated committee has been established," Imran stated.

Clarifying his stance, Imran reiterated that the committee is solely authorised for negotiations and will not be involved in brokering any covert deals. He asserted that he harbours no desire to seek release from detention.

Read Imran gives PTI go-ahead for talks

Addressing the impending legal challenges, the PTI founder mentioned the potential initiation of another Toshakhana-related case against him, expressing his unwavering resolve despite mounting pressures.

Last week, reports emerged indicating Imran’s consent for his party to engage in discussions with both the establishment and political rivals. However, the party founder stressed adherence to established protocols and the need to establish clear Terms of Reference (TORs) before initiating any talks.

Confirming the readiness for dialogue, PTI leader Shibli Faraz outlined the party's prerequisites for negotiations, stressing the importance of a conducive environment for constructive dialogue.

During a Senate session a day earlier, PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui extended an invitation to PTI for talks on behalf of his party leadership.
On the same day, PTI leader Shehryar Afridi expressed intentions to engage in discussions with the military establishment. Afridi, speaking to a private TV channel, indicated that talks with the army chief and DG ISI would take place soon.
Afridi clarified that PTI's objective is not to seek a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) for itself but rather to negotiate for the “betterment of Pakistan's future”.
He also mentioned Imran’s longstanding desire to engage with the establishment from day one, lamenting the absence of a response thus far.


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