- Both sides make progress in talks for judicial probe into poll rigging allegations
- Finance minister says matter may be resolved within a week
- PTI’s Qureshi says progress made over terms of reference
The dialogue between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government picked momentum Friday as both sides moved from their stated positions and expressed flexibility to resolve the political impasse.
Both the sides met at the residence of PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Planning Commission Minister Ahsan Iqbal representing the government and PTI being represented by its Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Asad Umar.
A source privy to the details of the meeting told Pakistan Today that both the sides agreed to show flexibility.
“Dar told the PTI leaders that the government was ready to form a judicial commission through presidential reference but PTI should also agree that the commission itself would devise it’s terms of reference (ToRs),” the source said, adding that the PTI team said it would discuss the matter with its Chairman Imran Khan.
The source added that the PTI leaders told the government negotiators that the representatives from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) should also be a part of the commission but the government team insisted that this matter should also be left with the commission which may order any government department to produce evidence in this regard.
When contacted, PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the media should not speculate as the matter was of national importance.
“Today’s meeting was constructive and positive. We have made progress over the ToRs,” said Qureshi. He said that the PTI wanted to reach a conclusion at the earliest as the nation was fighting the war against terrorism.
“PTI’s stance has been logical, consistent and flexible to reach some conclusion. Idea behind our demand for setting up of judicial commission is to probe the 2013 polls. This would help setup a framework for free, fair and credible elections in the country in future which would help democratic process and restoring the confidence of the common public in our electoral process,” he added.
Qureshi said that PTI’s stance was that it wants formation of judicial commission through presidential ordinance and punishment to officials if rigging proved so as no one in future could dare steal mandate of the brave and resilient people of Pakistan.
IT’S ABOUT TIME:
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that there has been considerable progress in talks between the government and the PTI over their longstanding demand of a probe into alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections, and the matter may even be resolved within a week.
Dar, along with PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen, was addressing the media after a meeting at the Tareen’s house in Islamabad.
“I must acknowledged that they (the PTI) is also cooperating, and we are very close to resolving the issue,” he added.
The minister said other parties are also a part of the process, and they will share the final document with them as well.