| Welcome to Global Village Space

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Calls for Dialogue with Imran Khan Amid Political Tensions

In response, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Omar Ayub stated that PTI would consider talks with the government only after the release of its founder and other incarcerated members

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif extended an olive branch to his political rival, Imran Khan, on Wednesday, offering to sit and talk if Khan has any issues. Speaking in the National Assembly, the premier said, “If their [PTI] founder is facing troubles [in jail], then I reiterate: come, let’s sit down and talk.” He recalled a time when politicians would severely criticize each other but still stand together in times of happiness and sorrow.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have been at odds for years, particularly after the February 8 elections, which Imran’s party claims it won. Referring to the 2018 elections, the prime minister noted, “We joined the parliament despite the [rigged] polls. The sort of slogans that were raised during my first speech will always be remembered as a dark chapter in the history books.”

Read more: Gov. to File New Cases to Delay Imran Khan’s Release: Sanaullah

He emphasized that if someone faces injustice, justice should favor the victim, regardless of their political affiliation. The PM lamented that his previous proposals for dialogue with Imran were met with hostility. “So who is responsible for this bitterness [between politicians]? We don’t even shake hands now,” he expressed. He also mentioned the treatment of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah during their imprisonment.

In response, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Omar Ayub stated that PTI would consider talks with the government only after the release of its founder and other incarcerated members. “This should be in your minds: you torture our workers, you’ve kept our lady workers in prison vans at 45°C. My prime minister Imran Khan was kept in a death cell, there’s an oven-like environment over there,” he said amidst the noise from the treasury benches.

Read more: Chief Justice Isa Clarifies Supreme Court Not Source of Imran Khan Audio Leak

Ayub insisted that the house’s proceedings could only continue if government members respected their opposition colleagues. He responded to the premier’s request for talks by saying, “Reconciliation will take place when you realize the abuse of Yasmin Rashid, Mehmood ur Rasheed, and Hasan Niazi.” He also claimed that former premier Nawaz Sharif had air conditioners installed in his jail cell, contrasting it with the harsh conditions faced by PTI members.