PTI leader Raoof Hassan on Tuesday said that former premier and party founder Imran Khan would consider any “constructive suggestions” brought forward by Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai through his dialogue with the government.

In February, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan said that party founder Imran Khan had given instructions to initiate contact with all other political parties, except the PML-N, PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan.

The three parties are part of the coalition that is heading the government.

In an apparent U-turn from its earlier assertions that the former ruling party would only talk to ‘empowered’ stakeholders and not the ‘toothless ruling’ coalition, Imran on June 11 ordered the party’s top brass to reach out to the government for a dialogue.

However, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad three days later with Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Omar Ayub, Hasan said: “Regarding a controversy on the media that the PTI is moving to have negotiations with three political parties that are mandate usurpers, Imran has clearly told us that there is no situation like this.”

In an interview with Dawn News programme Doosra Rukh that aired on Friday, the PTI spokesperson said that the party’s stance had not changed since the beginning.

Addressing PTI leader Gohar Khan’s comments on the party being open to negotiations, Hasan said they had approached Imran following Gohar’s comments, where the PTI founder said that no such statement was given.

“There will not be any direct contact with the parties that have stolen the mandate,” Gohar quoted Imran as saying.

“Regarding Mehmood Khan Achakzai […] Imran said that if he wanted to talk [to the opposition] on his own then he is allowed,” he said.

“We cannot pressure any party […] if they think that they can play a constructive role then they should try,” he said.

“Imran said today that if they bring forward constructive suggestions, we would consider them. It is an open-ended policy.”

While responding to the question of whether PTI has given the authority to negotiate to the PkMAP chairman, Raoof said: “No, PTI’s position is clear. Do not confuse two things together. PTI’s position is clear that we don’t want any contact with mandate thieves.”

“If he [Achakzai] comes to us and says that this is something positive and we should move forward with it, to that Imran has said that we will consider it,” Hasan said.

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