Qureshi accuses PM of sabotaging govt-PTI negotiations


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of trying to “sabotage” the most looked-at talks between the coalition government and the Imran Khan-led party on elections date. The talks are being held to end an impasse over the timing of general elections across the country, which has fuelled political tensions, with the Supreme Court also urging the political forces to negotiate and find out a solution to the prevailing political turmoil.

Repeating his stance expressed a day earlier, where the former foreign minister sought a “clear response” from the ruling coalition and warned of taking to the streets if negotiations ended up being an “exercise in futility”, Qureshi said that despite hopelessness “I will sit at the negotiation table with good intentions”.

“The Constitution is being attacked as one group refuses to follow it,” the PTI leader said, warning that if there is no Constitution the federation will disintegrate. Qureshi claimed that it was PTI which was showing flexibility while the premier has been trying to sabotage the talks. “They are trying to put the judiciary under pressure,” the former foreign minister said. “Why is this happening just to delay elections?” He went on to accuse the PDM government of having personal interests and claimed that the PTI’s decisions and moves are in the national interest.

Taking a jibe at Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s “childish” speech delivered on the floor of the National Assembly last week, Qureshi said he was threatening the judges. Bilawal last week suggested the initiation of “contempt of parliament proceedings” against the Supreme Court judges. He criticised the apex court’s directives regarding the release of funds for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, saying that “contempt of parliament” had taken place.