ISLAMABAD - The leadership of opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday reiterated its resolve that they were willing to sit down with the federal government for parleys in order to develop political consensus to get the country out of the prevailing quagmire.
However, they cast aspersions on the ruling parties’ intentions in this regard, accusing they were hell bent on disobeying the Constitution to avoid the polls, which was unacceptable.
In a statement, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry stated that Prime Minsotwr Shehbaz Sharif’s statement cleared the little doubt if any that the government was in no mood either to hold talks with the opposition or conduct elections in the two provinces in the constitutionally mandated timeframe.
Qureshi said that in the best interest of the country and people, they were willing to sit down for talks to develop political consensus within ambit of the Constitution. However, he stated that clearly this government was not sincere, as it neither wanted to hold polls nor dialogue with the opposition to find out solution to get the country out of the imbroglio.
Former foreign minister Qureshi reiterated: “PTI will continue to follow the Constitution and Supreme Court’s judgement regarding holding of the general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). He claimed that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government neither wanted to hold polls on May 14 nor on October 8, as there was no consensus within the widely fractured coalition of ruling parties. He stated that the government was even in no mood to hold talks with the PTI, as they were hell-bent on violating the Constitution. He went on to say that PML-N leaders Ayaz Sadiq and Khawaja Saad Rafique were nominated by the government to hold talks with the PTI but now both were saying that they were not part of the team tasked to hold talks. He added that they wanted to use the parliament as a bulwark and shield.
Reacting to PM Shehbaz’s statement that polls of all provincial assemblies and the National Assembly should be held in the country on same day and in October, Fawad said that the constitution mandated that polls were to be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies. He advised that the cabinet should send its decision to the parliament and change the Constitution with a two-thirds majority or else polls should be held in Punjab and KP as per the order of the apex court. He reminded that the constitution cannot be suspended only by statements and resolutions, adding that the attitude of disobeying the constitution by the ruling parties was unacceptable.