Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Friday said the government is ready to hold talks with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and may resume the process from Sunday. “A commission under the 1956 Inquiry Commission Act may be formed to probe the alleged rigging in the elections; however its recommendations would not be binding,” Dar said while talking to media persons.
“The government never refused to talk with PTI, however, it was Imran Khan, Chief of PTI who refused to continue negotiations with the government,” said Ishaq Dar while talking to the media. Responding to a question about the formation of a Judicial Commission to investigate allegations of rigging in the general elections 2013, Dar said it cannot be formed through an ordinance as is being suggested by PTI. In that case, there are apprehensions that it would be challenged and struck down, he stated. An inquiry commission can be formed with a mandate to investigate the 2013 general elections to determine whether a massive or systematic rigging took place to favour PML (N), Dar said.
PTI has been informed that the commission to be constituted through Ordinance may be struck down. Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif has publically announced that he would resign if the rigging allegations were proved against PML-N. Similarly, Imran Khan has also announced he would end the protest and sit-in after the recommendations of judicial commission are finalised. Khan cannot dictate TORs or scope of work to the judicial commission as it consists of senior judges as it would be tantamount to insulting the judiciary, Dar maintained.
Dar said that ISI and IB officials could not become part of the commission; however the commission could summon anybody, including intelligence service officials. He further said that Khan’s agenda was more futuristic including electoral reforms. The electoral body has already conducted 16 meetings where 1283 proposals were tabled. However, PTI members only participated in two meetings and after that they left.
He urged Khan to end his protest and hold negotiations within the framework of the constitution and law to arrive at solutions. He said that sit-ins and protests have led to a considerable loss to the country’s economy and urged Khan to end them. He said the government is ready to resume the stalled talks with PTI after the arrival of Prime Minister from the UK; however, all political parties who backed the government during this period would be taken into confidence. About the appointment of Chief Election Commission of Pakistan, Dar said that the process was completed in consultation with the Opposition Leader before the deadline given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT