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Ready to continue talks with PTI in ‘larger national interest’, govt tells SC



  • Govt says “significant” progress achieved in talks with PTI.
  • Says PTI “acknowledges” gravity of economic challenges.
  • Both sides agree on holding general elections on same date.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in a statement to the Supreme Court, informed that the ruling alliance “believe that political issues can best be resolved through dialogue and are ready to resume” it in the “larger national interest”.

The government made the assurance in its four-page statement submitted to the apex court today on the recent talks with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). 

Dar had submitted the statement on behalf of the coalition parties informing the court that “significant progress has been made since the dialogue process began”.

In the statement, Dar said that all members of the ruling alliance, apart from the two parties, had agreed to the negotiations. He added that five rounds of formal and informal talks were held between the PTI and the government.

“Coalition Partners’ committee apprised the PTI committee that the talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries are at the most sensitive and crucial stages. In order to avoid any further economic deterioration, it is of utmost necessity that the agreements with the IMF and friendly countries are concluded before the Annual Budget 2023-24 can be presented/approved,” read the statement.

Dar shared that he informed the PTI of the condition of the economy when it came to power and the situation after Imran Khan was ousted from power in 2022. The points highlighted by the government included the ranking of Pakistan’s economy, rising public debt, ballooning circular debt, downgrading of Pakistan’s stock market and decline of its market capitalisation. The PTI was also informed about the physical and economic losses on account of the devastating floods of last year.

“In view of the foregoing, the undersigned pointed out that it was absolutely critical to conclude the IMF ninth review, pass the Annual Budget for FY 2023-24 and approve the Trade Policy 2023-24 before dissolving the National Assembly,” said the finance minister.

The statement said that the PTI committee “acknowledged the gravity of economic challenges being faced by Pakistan and agreed to negotiate on holding general elections to the National and all provincial Assemblies on the same date”.

“The Coalition Partners also showed flexibility to reach political settlement and considered dissolving the National and two Provincial Assemblies before the end of their constitutionally mandated terms. Negotiations between both committees consequently led to a major breakthrough to end the political impasse,” said the statement.

The finance minister said that both parties agreed on the following points:

(I) Consensus amongst all participants that the general elections be held on the same date;

(II) The committees further agreed that the caretaker governments should be in place at both the federal and provincial levels for holding general elections justly, fairly and in accordance with law and to provide a level playing field to the leadership of all political parties to actively participate in the electoral process;

(III) There is, however, no agreement on the date of dissolution of the National and Provincial Assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan, and both committees had agreed on 02-05-2023 to resume negotiations after getting clearance from their respective leadership.

PTI welcomes early dissolution of assemblies

Reacting to the government’s proposal for the early dissolution of assemblies, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said it was a “positive step”. 

“If an agreement is reached on the date of dissolution of the assemblies and impartial caretaker governments before the elections, it will be important steps towards ending the political crisis,” said Fawad.


Bilawal toes father Zardari’s line of political ‘unity’ ahead of polls




  • PPP chief Bilawal calls for burying politics of hatred, division.
  • Says wants to introduce new style of politics to end rivalries.
  • Zardari not afraid of “forces”, wants son Bilawal to become PM.

Following reports of differences between the top Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders, party chairman Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari has called for “burying” politics of hatred and division in line with the vision of his father Asif Ali Zardari’s reconciliatory politics.

“We have to do politics wherein we should think about unity and not of division. The PPP wants to start a new kind of politics in the country,” Bilawal said while addressing a public rally held to mark the PPP’s 56th foundation day in Quetta.

Bilawal said his party wanted to promote a style of politics under which there is no rival party of the PPP.

“PPP is fighting against inflation and poverty due to which people are suffering. The old style of politics is based on hatred, division, and revenge. The country’s youth needs to bury such politics,” the PPP chief added.

The PPP chief apparently lowered his rhetoric against his rivals in his first public interaction since his father Asif Ali Zardari’s interview wherein the top PPP leader termed his son “inexperienced” while expressing displeasure over his tirade against the elder politicians.

The interview broadcast on Geo News last week triggered speculations that there were cracks among the top PPP leadership.

However, the party quickly rejected the rumours, and Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari, the daughter of PPP Co-chairman Zardari, put to rest the speculation asking people to not pay heed to the headlines

She also shared an image with her family — including Zardari, Bilawal, and aunt Faryal Talpur. All of them seemed in a happy mood.

In the same gathering, Bilawal also fired a broadside at his political rivals saying that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is now known as the “mehangai [inflation] league” in the country.

“People know that they are showbaz [showmen] of politics,” the PPP chief added.

Bilawal said Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the PML-N wanted to roll back the provincial autonomy granted under the 18th Amendment.

“They want to occupy the resources of the provinces..PPP will not let this conspiracy to succeed.”

Jiyala next PM’

Bilawal also announced giving a surprise to the entire in the February 8, 2024 general elections saying the jiyala [PPP worker] will become the country’s new prime minister.

Addressing the gathering, Zardari called for the support of his son to make him the country’s youngest prime minister.

“We have to teach Bilawal what we know […] we have to train him to make him a leader of the youth.”

The former president also said that some forces are always at play to pull the legs of a leader who wants to take the country forward.

“We are not afraid of such forces. We trust our people.”

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COAS Gen Asim Munir meets Kuwaiti crown prince




  • PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar to meet Kuwaiti crown prince today. 
  • Both army chief and PM are in Kuwait on official visit. 
  • PM Office says multiple MoUs expected to be signed during visit. 

Army chief General Asim Munir on Tuesday met Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as part of his official visit to the gulf country, reported Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

The meeting was also attended by Caretaker Law Minister Ahmed Irfan Aslam, Pakistan Ambassador to Kuwait Malik Mohammad Farooq and other members of the delegation.

Meanwhile, PM Kakar has also arrived in Kuwait City after concluding the UAE visit and is expected to meet the crown prince today, the PM Office said on Wednesday.

The premier will also meet his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

The PM office said that a number of memorandum of understanding (MoUs) will be signed for mutual cooperation in various sectors including manpower, information technology, minerals and mining, food security, energy and defence.

In UAE, Pakistan signed several MoUs worth multi-billion dollars in a range of areas on Monday to boost economic and strategic cooperation between the two countries, PM Kakar said.

The prime minister said with the signing of the MoUs, the bilateral economic and strategic relations had entered into a new era of bilateral cooperation.

Congratulating the people of Pakistan and the UAE, he said the foundation of friendship with Pakistan which was laid by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the 1970s, had been taken forward by his son Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to a new era.

PM Kakar expressed the hope that the MoUs that were signed by the two countries would turn into tangible projects very soon.

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Imran Khan’s aide kickstarts PTI funding campaign in Europe




LONDON: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Zulfi Bukhari has kickstarted a mass mobilisation and fundraising campaign for the party in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Addressing a workers’ convention in High Wycombe in London along with Sahibzada Jahangir, one of the founders of PTI, Zulfi said that the mass mobilisation and fundraising has been started for the elections scheduled for February next year.

“We will take part in elections at any cost. We need funds and effort from the overseas regions. The party needs funds for its legal challenges as well for the election campaign,” he said.

Zulfi said the entire leadership is prepared for the elections and will not be deterred by the arrest threats.

The former cabinet member said he will be going to Pakistan himself as soon as the party leadership directs him, adding that he was prepared to go to jail.

However, it is unlikely that Zulfi will be travelling to Pakistan anytime soon as the caretaker govt has requested Interpol for his arrest. He was in Dubai when the Interpol request was made, he left UAE and since then has not travelled outside London.

Zulfi said he will be personally visiting cities in the United Kingdom and Europe to raise funds.

The PTI leader revealed that the campaign in the UK is scheduled to start shortly and arrangements are in place. He said the PTI Core Committee was meeting daily to discuss affairs of the party to formulate strategies on a daily basis.

Zulfi Bukhari has so far stayed away from PTI UK events but his decision to take part in mobilisation suggests he has been asked by the leadership in Pakistan to engage with the local chapter.

Two weeks ago, he told an audience at the University of London that making Usman Buzdar Punjab’s chief minister was a mistake but Imran Khan did the right thing by not sacking him.

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