ISLAMABAD: The ruling coalition on Tuesday could not reach a consensus on Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) proposal of holding dialogue with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to end the ongoing political standoff following some allied parties dubbing Imran Khan’s PTI as “unreliable”.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired a meeting of the ruling coalition partners to deliberate upon the proposal presented by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and endorsed by various coalition partners including Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain-led Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), and National Democratic Movement (NDM).
However, sources maintained that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Jamhoori Wattan Party were among the parties who opposed holding the dialogue, dubbing the PTI as “unreliable”.
In his address, Bilawal insisted on the dialogue to end the political and constitutional crises, saying that doors of dialogue cannot be shut. He said that closing the door of talks is against the spirit of democracy and the principles of the PPP. He said that it is high time that the political forces must get together and steer the country out of the prevailing challenges through dialogue.
However, sources said that the coalition partners did not reach a consensus with regard to holding talks with the PTI following JUI-F and PML-N categorically rejecting the proposal.
Earlier, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq had also held meetings with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and PTI Chairman Imran Khan separately and urged them to resolve the issues through dialogue.
Addressing the meeting of the ruling coalition partners on Tuesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif lamented the Supreme Court’s stay order on the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure), Bill 2023, saying that a legislation has yet not been enforced, a three-member bench issued a stay order and declared that whether the President gives his assent or not, it will not be enforced.
“It’s unprecedented and (it) hasn’t happened in any part of the world,” the prime minister maintained, adding that it was because of this reason the bar councils raised voice against the apex court’s order.
About the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff-level deal, the prime minister said that the program is now at the last stage. He praised Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for their efforts towards the yet not done deal with the IMF.
He also revealed that Army Chief Syed Asim Munir also made “countless” efforts towards reaching the IMF deal. “I would also like to say even at the cost of my reputation that our army chief also made countless efforts towards this end (the IMF deal),” he said, adding that he would not give further details.
The prime minister said that he would also be speaking with the Chinese president on April 27. He added that the government has completed one year and there was a general perception that this “unity” will not last long. He said that the opponents used to talk everywhere that this government will last for a few days and then there will be a start of darkness and challenges.
“We faced crises and challenges together; there are differences of opinion as well. We listen to each other’s words. It’s the beauty of democracy to listen to each other’s opinion,” he added.
He said that the coalition government is making sincere efforts to take this journey to a logical conclusion, addressing the obstacles in its way through unity. He said that the rivals were counting days as to when the coalition will break and when will Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Nawaz Sharif, and Aftab Sherpao part ways.
“This unity is unprecedented and more efforts should be made to further strengthen it…By the Grace of Allah, the Almighty, the boat in which you are aboard, will not be left adrift and it will be shored up,” he added.
APP adds: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said out of sincerity and commitment with the country, the coalition parties had shown an unprecedented unity throughout the first year of their government, becoming a matter of worry for the opposition parties.
The prime minister, addressing a meeting of the coalition parties, said in the beginning, the opposition and even the people in the coalition parties were not hopeful of the durability of the alliance.
However, all of the allied parties manifested their democratic spirit and played their constructive role to maintain unity as well as for steering the country out of pervading challenges, he added.
PM Shehbaz said despite time to time differences on certain matters, the allied parties remained united to face the challenges inherited from the previous government. In democracy, the decisions were made through consultation, not imposition, he added.
Referring to the ongoing controversy regarding the court verdict on general elections in Punjab, he said nowhere in the world had ever happened that a court granted a stay on the implementation of a law even before its promulgation.
The decision of the three-member bench even prompted the bar councils to raise their voice – for sake of the rule of law, not out of love for the government – as they also believed that the decision was contrary to the norms of the justice, he added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023