ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Wednesday that a parliamentary committee would discuss terms of talks between the ruling alliance and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to hold country-wide elections on a single day.
The meeting with leaders of the 13 parties, known as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), was held a day before the Supreme Court hearing on petitions requesting a single-day election to the national and provincial assemblies.
He stated that the parliament had dealt with challenges in the past and taken constitutional and legal steps regarding the Supreme Court. The parliament did not accept the verdict of a three-member Supreme Court bench that ordered polls to the Punjab Assembly on May 14, he added.
PDM chief Maulana Fazlur, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, among other leaders, attended the meeting. The legal team briefed the attendees on the election fund case and negotiations with PTI.
The top court had adjourned the hearing of the petition till April 27 after the PPP and PML-N had assured the Supreme Court that they would sit with the PTI on April 26 to find a solution to the election date. The Supreme Court seeks a progress report on the talks by April 27.
A dispute emerged among the ruling parties over holding talks with the PTI on April 18 after Jamaat-e-Islami’s bid to bring both sides to the negotiation table.
The PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari suggested dialogue with the PTI during the coalition partners’ last meeting, but the PDM chief Fazl rejected the proposal. Representatives of the JUI-F and JWP rejected Bilawal’s opinion, stating that it is not in the coalition’s interest to hold talks with the deposed prime minister