Govt blames Imran for backtracking on talks

ISLAMABAD (INP): Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for backtracking on talks with the government.
In an interview, the federal minister said that the PTI was in contact with the government and two senior members of the party Parvez Khattak and Asad Qaiser had agreed to hold talks but after the Supreme Court ordered both sides to meet and update the court by 4pm, they took a U-turn.
“Imran Khan also said that he was ready for talks. There was flexibility in PTI’s stance but everything got changed suddenly.” A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial is hearing a set of petitions, including one of PTI, on the delay in elections to the Punjab Assembly.
The court had instructed on April 20 that the rivals should hold parleys on elections and apprise the court the same day, however, after the break, the government informed the bench that they will hold parleys with PTI during the Eid holidays. Sanaullah, while referring to the SC order, said that the PTI backtracked after the apex court issued directives.
“They [Asad Qaisaer and Parvez Khattak] also assured that they would sit on April 26 but then Imran Khan withdrew their mandate.” The minister added that Kh Saad Rafique and Ayaz Sadiq had contacted PTI leaders and he has proof of this. Sanaullah added that Khan torpedoed these efforts by announcing that they were not authorised and that Qureshi is tasked to hold talks on behalf of the PTI.
When asked to comment about the SC hearing today, he said that the response that Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan has to give is quite satisfactory “The coalition parties have decided not to close the door of negotiations and they should be done through parliament.” The Supreme Court will be informed about the parliament’s forum for negotiations, he added.