Nawaz says ready to hold meaningful dialogue with PTI

Published December 2, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif talks to the media upon his arrival in London. -APP Photo
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif talks to the media upon his arrival in London. -APP Photo

LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that his government is prepared for meaningful dialogue with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its chairman Imran Khan, DawnNews reported.

He said that calls to shut down the country would not only be inappropriate but disastrous and that Pakistan is being played with in an unfortunate manner.

He said that his government strongly believed in settling issues through talks.

“We are the democratic people. The negotiations should be constructive. If they want to talk, we would have no objection,” he added.

The prime minister made the remarks after arriving in the United Kingdom to attend the London Conference on Afghanistan.

When speaking of investigating alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections, the PM stated that the issue should have been raised earlier on.

He also took aim at the govt in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) saying that education institutes are in a terrible shape and that jails are broken in the province.

“First make a new KP, then think about making a new Pakistan,” the PM said.

Afghan conference

The prime minister was received by a representative of the British government and Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, Syed Ibne Abbas, at Heathrow Airport when he arrived.

The London Conference on Afghanistan, is being held on December 3-4.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah will also attend the conference.

On the sidelines of the conference, the prime minister will also hold meetings with David Cameron and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Earlier, Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said in a statement that during the visit, the premier would also hold a meeting with World Bank officials.

The British PM is also scheduled to host a breakfast meeting, which will be attended by PM Nawaz and the Afghan leadership.

"A bilateral meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry is also scheduled," said Aslam.

Commenting on the premier's participation in the London Conference, Aslam said it is a reflection of the importance that Pakistan attaches to international efforts for peace, stability and economic development in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has consistently underscored the importance of deeper engagement of the international community with Afghanistan on the economic plane to reinforce efforts for peace and stability.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who met Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif at his office on Sunday night, will meet PM Nawaz in London later this week.

More on this: Kerry to meet PM in London

At a news briefing in Washington, the State Department had named only two world leaders that Mr Kerry would meet during the London conference on Afghanistan — PM Nawaz and Afghan President Ghani.

Secretary Kerry recognised the “tremendous sacrifices the Pakistani military has made in its efforts to improve the security situation in Pakistan and acknowledged Pakistan’s commitment to counter all extremist elements,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki had told a briefing in Washington on Monday.

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