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Dar rules out talks with PTI until Imran Khan takes ‘corrective actions’

Finance minister says attacks on armed forces’ installations should not be condoned
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during an interview with Geo News on May 28, 2023. Screengrab via Twitter/@geonews_urdu
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during an interview with Geo News on May 28, 2023. Screengrab via Twitter/@geonews_urdu

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that negotiations with the PTI could not be held until the former ruling party takes ‘corrective actions’ over the events of May 9.

“Negotiations with Khan could be held if he takes ‘corrective actions’, apologises to the nation, admits his mistake, and promises not to do anything like May 9 in the future,” he said in an interview with Geo News on Sunday.

He was responding to a query on the people responsible for the May 9 events. The PTI chief has appealed for talks to resolve the crisis, however, with a statement that such an offer should “not be considered his weakness”.

But a couple of leaders in the ruling alliance have rejected Khan’s offer for talks.

Dar added that there was complete planning and instructions from the senior leadership before the May 9 events. He supported his claims with the “available evidence”. The finance czar advised the PTI leader to go through the accountability process to prove themselves.

He blamed the PTI for not fulfilling the last agreements singed when the PTI staged the 2014 sit-in.

When asked about talks offered by the PTI chief, Dar said: “We had negotiations with a clear good intention. We had five rounds in three days and 75% agenda was achieved by both sides on the last day. We convinced them that separate elections cannot be held and they agreed.”

Both sides also agreed on the fact that free and fair elections cannot be held under any political government, he claimed, adding that they also agreed on simultaneous elections.

The last point was the date of elections and the PTI was stuck on May 14 date, set by the Supreme Court. But the government team did not accept and told them their tenure ends on August 12 and the election would be held in September or October.

Dar said the government offered a “mid-point” having elections on September 30 or October 1. The PTI replied that they would discuss it with their leadership.

“To my great surprise, they [PTI] gave mixed signals, and the events of May 9 completely changed the situation now amidst this situation how you can have negotiations until they apologise to the nation and condemn attacks on military installations and other damages,” he said.

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Politics May 29 2023