PM’s offer of talks


PRIME Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said he is willing to hold talks with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the “larger national interest”, adding that the ruling PML-N and its coalition partners have already sacrificed their political capital in an attempt to save the country from default.

Addressing the launch ceremony of Youth Development Initiatives in Islamabad on Thursday, he pointed out that Imran Khan did not even shake hands with the Opposition leaders during the last four years and is now asking us to hold talks but despite all that the Government is ready for talks for the sake of the country.

This is a welcome development and needs to be appreciated by all stakeholders as the country cannot afford the continuation of political confrontation and creation of law and order situation as is being threatened by the opposition.

There is an urgent need to initiate the dialogue process as political issues cannot and should not be sorted out through pressure tactics.

Irrespective of the nature and scale of the protests by the opposition, we have witnessed in the past that the Governments cannot be removed through violent moves and only the economy and people of Pakistan suffer due to short-sighted approaches.

Dialogue is the only answer to all the issues involved but regrettably PTI shut the door of talks while in power and is still attaching conditions to the initiation of dialogue.

The entire focus of the party was to malign the leadership of the then opposition parties labelling them as ‘looters’, ‘thieves’ and ‘corrupt’.

The party persists with the same accusatory posture and, therefore, finds it difficult to climb down from rhetoric and engagement into a meaningful dialogue to sort out differences.

The Prime Minister has a point when he says the coalition parties sacrificed their political capital by taking tough decisions to save the country from the widely-predicted default.

In fact, PTI should be thankful to the coalition Government for incurring the wrath of the people as witnessed during recent by-elections, which would have been the fate of the PTI if it was still in power to take such unavoidable decisions for the sake of the country.

The general election is also inescapable and its timing can definitely be decided through sincere talks.


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