LAHORE: Two key PML-N and PPP leaders on Saturday reiterated the desire to hold talks with the PTI, but lamented that the party didn’t intend to have a dialogue with political forces.

Talking to the media in Lahore, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Faisal Karim Kundi said talks with PTI could only take place if the party “apologises for its mistakes”.

The KP governor, who belongs to PPP, said PTI was a political force, but if the party wants to return to power with support of the establishment, nothing can be done.

“If the PTI wants to sit with political forces and apologises for its mistakes, then we are ready for talks.”

The KP governor also advised the PTI to discuss its issues and problems in the parliament, including reservations over general elections.

“If the PTI has any issue regarding the February election results, it should come to the parliament,” he said, asking the party to “stop thinking of returning to power on the crutches of military establishment”.

“In the past, the PTI enjoyed power with the help of the establishment. It is still looking for the same shoulders to make a comeback.

“But it will be better if the PTI talks to political forces,” the governor said and added if the PTI continued with its current style of politics, it would gain nothing.

The PTI was not pleased with Mr Kundi’s suggestion and called him a “fake KP governor” who doesn’t even have the mandate and authority to hold negotiations with it.

A PTI spokesperson said those who “stole the public’s mandate through forged Form 47” have no authority to hold talks nor do their words or actions carry any weight.

Petroleum Minister Dr Musadik Malik also extended an olive bra­nch to PTI for dialogue, but said the party wanted to talk with “someone else” and not political forces.

“Doors are always open in politics, and [PML-N] leadership always called for reconciliation and dialogue,” Mr Malik said during a press conference in Islamabad.

However, he claimed that the PTI was more keen on holding talks with the military establishment.

The minister said leaders in the ruling alliance, including PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif always invited PTI for talks, “but the party refused”.

Talking about the economy, he said on the directives of the prime minister, maximum relief was bei­ng ensured to the masses and inflation witnessed a gradual decline.

Syed Irfan Raza in Islamabad also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2024

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