Pakistan President Arif Alvi
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
The government has started talking about initiation of dialogue with the opposition but with lots of ifs and buts, an idea that is not acceptable to the other side.
President Dr Arif Alvi has said it is for Prime Minister Imran Khan to decide about the start of talks with the opposition and added that the demand of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) of resignation of the premier was unjustified.
"The political system is being destabilised over the past two years. There is a need for national dialogue on electoral reforms,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview. File photo
On the other hand, the government says it is ready for dialogue only with the serious-minded leadership of the opposition but PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz should not be part of the process as they are not members of the Parliament.
"National dialogue is part of politics and the forum for such a dialogue will be parliament, as it represents the people’s will. But both Ms Nawaz and Fazlur Rehman are not part of the parliament, therefore they will be excluded from the process,” Information Minister Shibili Faraz told reporters.
He said the opposition leadership believed that if they won, the elections were free and fair but if someone else won, elections had been rigged. He said the government had suggested reforms in the electoral system as the agenda for the national dialogue.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (left) offers condolences to Maryam Nawaz for her grandmother’s death in Lahore. File photo
The minister said it was unfortunate that those who were "facilitators in the killing” of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and tortured Benazir Bhutto were sharing the stage with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership. He said that normally events marking death anniversaries were not used for delivering political speeches, but they used the event for political point-scoring.Fazlur Rehman and Ms Nawaz say there will be no dialogue with the "selected” and the "selectors”. "Time for talks has gone since long.”
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