The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has told the government to come up with “final reply” to its demand for an investigation into what it sees as rigging committed in last year’s general elections. The two sides once again briefly met on Tuesday.
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The meeting took place at the residence of PTI General Secretary Jahangir Tareen. It was attended by federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal from the government side and Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar of the PTI. Talking to Dawn, Mr Umar, without divulging details, said the two sides stuck to their earlier stated positions.
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The government insists on dealing with the cases of rigging at the constituency level but the PTI argues that if rigging is proved in a selected number of constituencies, it should lead to the holding of snap polls. “We told the government team that the PTI has demonstrated whatever flexibility it could. Now the ball is in your (the government’s) court.”
Senator Ishaq had sought time to come up with the government’s final response as he had to consult the prime minister and leadership of other political parties, said Mr Umar. Mr Qureshi said the government wanted the PTI to back off from its basic demand for an all encompassing probe through which the proposed judicial commission could determine whether the elections were held in a free and fair manner or not.
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Talking to a TV channel, he said it appeared from the meeting’s proceedings as if the government had made up its mind not to listen to the PTI’s demands. Therefore, “I will ask my leadership to start preparing its next plan of action.” -dawn