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‘Disagreement’ among ruling allies over negotiations with PTI

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  • Bilawal says closing door for talks against his party’s principles.
  • Meeting ends without reaching consensus on talks with PTI.
  • PML-N’s Javed Latif says no to negotiations with Imran-led PTI.

ISLAMABAD: The ruling allies have hit a snag over holding talks with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), sources told Geo News Tuesday, after Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) bid to bring both sides to the negotiation table.

The coalition partners — an alliance of 13 political parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — met in Islamabad after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif convened a meeting on the country’s political situation and the JI’s negotiation efforts.

During the meeting, a disagreement took place among the parties in the coalition government over holding talks with the opposition party as some believed that PTI Chairman Imran Khan could not be trusted, while others insisted that political forces should not shut channels for negotiations.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari stressed holding dialogue with the opposition, with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Balochistan National Party, Balochistan Awami Party, Chaudhry Salik, and Mohsin Dawar backing him, sources said.

The PPP chairman said closing the door for talks is against his party’s principles and “undemocratic”.

“It is the need of the hour that the path of dialogue be adopted and the country taken out of the crisis,” Bilawal said.

But representatives of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and the Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) rejected Bilawal’s opinion and said that it isn’t in the coalition’s interests to hold talks with the deposed prime minister — who was ousted from the office via a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly in April last year.

“Imran Khan isn’t a political force; we oppose holding dialogue with him,” the JUI-F opined, while JWP’s Shahzain Bugti said that his party did not oppose talks but “Imran is a liar”.

Bugti added that the PTI chairman is “untrustworthy”.

The meeting ended without reaching a consensus on the matter of holding dialogue, the sources added.

PM Shehbaz, FM Bilawal meeting

PPP Chairman Bilawal also called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Radio Pakistan reported. Bilawal apprised the premier of his ministry’s affairs.

The two leaders discussed the country’s political situation during the meeting.

‘Be a bridge, not a wall’

Separately, leaders of the PPP and the MQM-P called for a dialogue among political parties to bring political and economic stability.

Senior PPP leader and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani said politicians should “play the role of a bridge, not a wall”. He addressed the media alongside fellow party leaders — Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar and Adviser to Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira — and MQM-P leaders in Islamabad.

“The PPP wants to make a conducive environment for dialogue among the political parties as we believe all problems being faced by the county can only be addressed through dialogue,” Gillani added.

He said the PPP would approach the JUI-F in this regard.

Meanwhile, MQM-P leader Abu Bakar said his party would support the PPP to strengthen the country’s democracy.

‘No negotiations with Imran-led PTI’

Meanwhile, a day earlier, PML-N leader Javed Latif said that while the majority of the party leadership is in favour of holding negotiations with “second-tier” PTI leadership, including Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Pervaiz Khattak, it is against talks with the “miscreant in Zaman Park”.

“Negotiating with a miscreant like Imran Khan, who is responsible for causing unbearable price hikes, rampant poverty, and economic destruction, is not in the interest of Pakistanis,” he said at a press conference in Islamabad. 

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The IHC upholds Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail.

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Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail was granted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday.

The former first lady Bushra Bibi’s application to be transferred from Bani Gala sub-jail to Adiala was heard today.

Details reveal that the Islamabad High Court heard a motion to restore the denied petition about the relocation of Bushra Bibi, the wife of PTI founder, from sub-jail Bani Gala to Adiala.

The application for the reinstatement of appeal was heard by Justice Miagul Hassan Aurangzeb. When state attorney Abdul Rehman entered the courtroom on behalf of the state, Usman Riaz Gill represented the former first lady.

State counsel did not object to the appeal being restored during court proceedings. At the following hearing, the court asked for assistance in determining what conditions must be met for a location to be designated as a sub-jail.

The court also mandated that Bushra Bibi’s medical examination be scheduled. The court subsequently delayed the hearing and gave instructions to fix the appeal for April 22.

Recall that the attorneys for former first lady Bushra Bibi, Barrister Salman Safdar, Usman Riaz Gill, and Khalid Yusuf Chaudhary, had filed an application to restore the dismissed appeal a day ago, but the Islamabad High Court had denied their request to pursue the case.

The petition contended that the traffic gridlock at the Sarina Chowk checkpoint was the reason for the delay in getting to the court.

The attorneys did not purposefully take their time getting to court. They warned that the petitioner would suffer irreversible loss if the petition was not resurrected.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb has voiced his displeasure at the absence of attorneys from the court.

According to Judge Aurangzeb, the former first lady would have been imprisoned if Bushra Bibi’s attorneys had prevailed in this case. The attorneys themselves were opposed to Bushra Bibi’s incarceration.

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oath-taking ceremony for the Balochistan cabinet postponed

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The Balochistan cabinet’s oath-taking ceremony, which was supposed to take place at the Governor’s House today (Thursday), has been rescheduled.
The Governor’s House spokeswoman announced that the Balochistan cabinet’s swearing-in event has been postponed. Nevertheless, there was no explanation provided for the ceremony’s postponement.

It is important to note that the 14-member Balochistan cabinet, which consists of two members from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and six ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was set to take the oath of office today, Thursday.

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Senior PML-N leaders want the X ban lifted.

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A veteran party leader and former railways minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, claimed the caretaker government’s social media ban didn’t help anyone.

Saad Rafique warned his party’s present government to avoid becoming a laughing stock since politics requires political moves.

“Bans and prohibitions come where dictatorship prevails over democracy,” PML-N veteran Javed Abbasi remarked of the social media ban.

“Can we ban matches factories fearing they ignite fire?” he asked. He said, “We scare of truth and try to keep it under the veil.”

He called the PML-N administration cruel for banning free speech.

The Interior Ministry said the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday that X, formerly Twitter, needed to be banned since it violated Pakistani legislation.

Interior Secretary Khurram Agha reported on the high court’s rulings on the social media ban petition for the ministry.

Social networking site X was down for two months in Pakistan when the hearing took place.

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