As PTI chief Imran Khan dials up the resolve to dissolve assemblies, the ruling coalition is hoping quiet negotiations with the former ruling party can take the sting out of the burgeoning peril before the window of opportunity closes. However, despite the rare talks, neither side showed any appetite to thaw tensions on the ‘sticking point’ – early elections – as the political temperature continues to rise up.
The parleys – mediated by President Arif Alvi – are tempered by the backdrop of two sides publicly asserting polar opposite stances on snap polls.
Well-placed sources told The Express Tribune that President Arif Alvi filled in the PTI chief on the series of meetings he held with members of the ruling PML-N. However, the efforts have not yielded ‘any wins’ as both sides signalled their reluctance to concede their respective positions.
The development was also confirmed by PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry who said that the president held a meeting with Imran Khan and shared details of his meetings with the former prime minister.
Later, a senior leadership meeting reviewed the developments and concluded that the government had no intention to hold elections and therefore, PTI has no other way but to take to the streets and announce elections in provinces it controls.
In a meeting with the PDM delegation comprising Federal Minister Ayaz Sadiq and Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarrar, President Alvi was apprised about the centre’s take on the conditions set forth by the former prime minister.
The tete-a-tete with coalition government leaders at the President’s House lasted for 45 minutes, sources said, adding that matters pertaining to the economic and prevailing political situation of the country and legislative issues came under discussion.
It was agreed that discussions on issues related to the dissolution of assemblies or the completion of the term of government shall continue.
Meanwhile, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, when reached out for a comment on the development, said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif believed in consensus and consultations “unlike propagandist Imran Khan who has proven to be a divisive corrosive force rather than demonstrating leadership”.
She added that this was at its most apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic and when sensitive national security issues and FATF were being debated.
“The country is moving towards economic and political stability as 99 per cent of the political parties are with a government consisting of majority representation,” she added.
The development came as PTI chairman Imran Khan said that he will announce the date for the dissolution of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies on December 17.
“I have completed consultations with the party and we have decided that in a gathering at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk, I will give my nation the date for the dissolution of the KP and Punjab assemblies,” he said in an address to the nation.